The Quiet Place

•29 June 2018 • Leave a Comment

Y’all, I’m feelin’ some type o’ way. Life is just mad dece right now and I’ve had my reflective moments (which went well with the gloomy clouds of early June). It’s not even as if something amazing happened, but I just want to remind myself (and readers, namaste) to notice, acknowledge, and celebrate these content moments (#contentments) in life where things are sailing smoothly; I am so grateful.

On another note, I randomly woke up at 0500 one day and had thoughts to check my Tumblr. It was a strange, pleasant trip down memory lane and I’m glad it exists, almost like a microcosm in a time capsule of my life a few years ago. Times were simpler, but definitely more angsty.

From where I sit, I get to enjoy the sunsets almost every night- I never really appreciated sunsets until now; like seeing them when I’m not even doing one of those “hike to a nice viewpoint and enjoy the sunset” moments, it suddenly makes it all the more enticing to just stop what I’m doing and appreciate the vast beauty of all the colors. It’s a gentle chime, a reminder to pause and be grateful.

We’ve had guests over and perhaps I’ve realized how much I appreciate my solitude.

Health Log

– My parents go hard with the hospitality, and food is no joke. We ate pretty good and there was just mounds of food. I haven’t been really healthy lately.
– My overnight oats randomly started tasting sour. And not even the whole batch would be; if I make 4, then half would be sour and the others wouldn’t. I tried experimenting with different things, but I’m not sure what the variable is. I haven’t changed things since I first started making them. I’m really disappointed, because it’s been such a staple for me daily, but I couldn’t bring myself to make them for awhile because I couldn’t stomach it.
– Meal prep had gone partially out the window: too much other food to eat, very little fridge space for my meals, and the fact that I didn’t want to leave the bonus room to interact with other human beings.
– I did spend more time at the gym to avoid being home, so there’s that.

Connection Log

– I’ve drastically decreased my social media presence this month. Sometimes I forget how false and addicting it can be, so when I do recognize that I’m slowly turning into a zombie, I know I need to step back.
– Coincidentally, I’ve also been wanting to be a hermit anyway, so it’s kind of working out.
– On the other hand, I also want to get back into the swing of things and spend more time hanging out with people. I still feel like I need to give more effort in this section of my life, but I haven’t been prioritizing it.
– It’s an annoying paradox.
– This month, my aunt and cousin and her family stayed over with us for a few days. I actually hadn’t seen my cousin for over 15 years and to be honest, I don’t really remember anything about her. Her kids were super cute (I watched Trolls three times in a row), but this house is not meant to have kids running around. Nonetheless, it was fun and I petitioned my parents to adopt a child. Sometimes the noise is charming.
– Not less than a week later, my parents had their friend(s) over from Florida. They stayed for almost a week and it was hell-ish for me. Family is one thing, but this was a different story. Also, I thought it was just gonna be one dude, but it turned out to be 4 adults and 3 kids. I get that they were on vacation, but a bit of respect for someone who is trying to sleep to wake up early for work would be appreciated. I rescinded my petition for my parents to bring more humans into this house.
– Some observations:

  • I love kids. I don’t know if I love all kids.
  • I don’t like when people are in my house. I don’t like when I have to share the bathroom with multiple people. I don’t like not being able to sit/walk around in my underwear at any given moment. I don’t like when people touch and use my things (um, deodorant and sandals are one-person items!).
  • As much as I enjoy change and challenge myself to adapt to situations, I feel like when my routine is messed up by someone other than me, it really throws me into a tizzy and I get unnecessarily grumpy.
  • People really know how to make themselves at home real’ quick. “Make yourselves at home” isn’t literal, it’s for politeness’ sake.
  • I am a solitary creature. I am socially awkward. I don’t think these things will ever change.
  • So. Much. Waste.

– In conclusion, I’m moving to a distant mountain cave so I can be a hermit as I’ve always dreamed of doing.

Experience Log

– Summer’s officially here! I’m hoping to have more time to do some fun things.
– I think I’ve spent most of this month debating if I want to cosplay at SDCC, what I want to cosplay, and how I’ll go about making it in time.
– I’ve also spent this month marveling about how people can have long hair and not want to buzz their head every time it falls in the face or touches their neck. Not to mention it’s just really hot. Long hair, do care!
– I think now, we will finally have a chance to do work on the house. We had some time after my vacation to make the house livable, then my parents went on vacation, then we’ve had guests over back to back. I’m hoping for some calm now to focus on home improvement.

Signal Boost

– Incredibles 2. A movie about…FUCKING FINALLY! So thankful to have this movie, as the first one is one of my favorite Pixar movies. And I’m so thankful that it doesn’t suck; in fact, it’s an incredible sequel that touched on a lot of interesting, poignant topics. That part about the law vs. morality is way too relevant, even though they probably didn’t anticipate it at the time. It feels so perfect in the way it seamlessly left off from the first one, as if there wasn’t a 14 year gap between films. Wholesome family goodness.
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– Deadpool 2. A movie about how to properly make a fun, family film. Spoiler alert: my new favorite movie of 2018. The meta was on point. The jokes were perfect. Everything tied together so well. I didn’t think it could get better than the first. I’m actually glad they’re unsure about a third movie because this one ended so nicely. Unwholesome family goodness.
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– Ocean’s 8. A movie about a group a bad-ass women who rob the Met Gala, featuring an Olivia Munn cameo. I was so excited when I heard about this cast helmed by America’s Sweetheart, Sandra Bullock. Plus, two Asian women including the one and only Awkwafina. And of course, Rihanna being the best. It was formulaic, but it was fun and classy. I enjoyed how each of the cast members interacted with one another.
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– Solo: A Star Wars Story. A movie about trying to profit off of a franchise with a random story (#RandoCalrissian). Since I’m not a toxic Star Wars fan, I quite enjoyed the film (I hope the losers don’t bully this guy into depression). In fact, I was actually looking forward to it. Donald Glover did not disappoint and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed everyone’s performances as well as the story. It was fun filler, but why can’t there be some peace in the galaxy? But more importantly, can I pull off a Lando cosplay?!
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– Love, Simon. A movie about a closeted gay guy and his coming out journey in high school. Y’all, I’ve been itching for some good teen angst and I finally found it. This is cheesy and corny, just like the cheese corn you can get at KBBQ places. But it was also very cute. I found myself very engrossed and I’m glad it wasn’t spoiled for me before I watched it. Keiynan Lonsdale and Alexandra Shipp are my favs. Greg Berlanti knows his teen angst. Soundtrack was great too.
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– You Were Never Really Here. A movie about a man hired to save a girl from sex trafficking. Super intense, but kind of confusing and boring because I probably should’ve been paying more attention (the movie isn’t long so there is no moment to pause). Very Drive-esque in protagonist and tone.
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– Blockers. A movie about a bunch of parents trying to stop their kids from having sex. It was highly rated, so I had to go see what the fuss was about. It was rather hilarious and subverted a lot of tropes, which I was worried about. It brings up a good point about female virginity and all that controlling hyper-masculinity. John Cena is hilarious.
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– Ibiza. A Netflix original film about a woman neglecting her work to go after a man. It sounds bad when you put it that way because it sounds anti-feminist…but also, isn’t feminism being okay with a woman doing whatever the fuck she wants for whatever reason she wants? That’s all beside the point because this movie has no substance, but it’s fun and it’s funny and I hope I can take enlightening drugs in my 30s and still be a functional adult. Also, Gillian Jacobs is bae and I thought the guy was Renly Baratheon but apparently, it’s the actor that plays Robb Stark, oops.
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– Cargo. A Netflix original film about a man who has to find a way to keep his daughter alive in a zombie apocalypse. That premise is so amazing. I had the pleasure of watching this short film when it came out (you should try to find it somewhere on the Internet and watch it) and it blew my mind (and my tear ducts). So when I found out that they made a film out of it, I was so excited. A good film that added some interesting nuances to the zombie genre. Still cried.
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– Set It Up. A Netflix original film about the remake of the Lindsay Lohan classic, The Parent Trap. It’s a predictable rom com about two white leads, so definitely right up my alley. No, but Lucy Liu was it in and then I saw that it had a high Rotten Tomatoes score (which in retrospect, is probably highly inflated currently), so I had to see what that was about. It was cute; nothing too novel or deep. I really enjoyed all the minor characters, at they were all so memorable and funny.
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– Sense8 (series). A show about telepathy, orgies, and acceptance (it covers all the bases, really). I’m still processing how blessed we are to have this series, which recently aired its finale, which appeared after cancellation and subsequent fan outrage. I could drone on, but I feel like I don’t want to spoil anything, but just know that you should watch this because it’s ridiculous and fabulous and, in classic Wachowski fashion, incomprehensibly brilliant (PS there’s no yellowface, so you’re safe). It’s a wild ride and I want you to experience it for what it is.
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– Luke Cage (season 2). A show about a bulletproof black man in Harlem. This season is great, as it’s really cohesive and fun. I love Misty Knight; the team up with Coleen was amazing. Alfre Woodard was spectacular this season. Even when Danny Rand showed up, I admit I liked their chemistry, but I still can’t wrap my head around how much of a weeaboo he is. So, we have a show like this that is unapologetically black, the culture, the vernacular; it’s great. Then we have the scenes with Danny in a Chinese restaurant, him meditating, and saying how he wants Luke to go visit him and experience where he comes from? God, if we had #AAIronFist, this would look so much more fulfilling. I think my favorite thing about this season is that there is a lot of gray in all the characters: Luke, Mariah, Shades, Bushmaster. Really well done.
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– Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 4, part 1). A show about a woman who was kidnapped and held in a bunker for years and now is making her way through adult life. Yes, from that blurb, you will know this show is super serious. I just found out this show is ending after the rest of this season comes out, which is kind of a bummer, but also, it’s always good when shows end before they get too long and bad. This first half of the season was great as always and it keeps up with the previous seasons’ zaniness, quirkiness, and downright hilarious stupidity. This is my type of humor. Also they said “this is Kimpossible” and I say that all the zamn time.
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– Bill Nye Saves the World (season 3). A show where the esteemed Bill Nye helps me relive my childhood and teaches adults about important scientific topics in bite-size, easily digestible episodes. Ugh, y’all this season is the best so far! All of these topics were very poignant and all the segments were more polished and more interesting. My favorite episode was 3.4 “Recipes from the Future”: I really want to try and build an indoor/vertical/lab/hydroponic garden; I’m really excited for fake lab meat and perhaps eating insects (also, algae “shrimp” is something new to me, but how cool).
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– The Flash (season 4). A show about the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, on his quest to have the most angst of all CW shows. Listen, I was ready to give up on this show. I just can’t do 20ish episodes per season at 1 hr each. It just leaves too much room for filler episodes and I don’t have the time. But I’ll make the exception for this show because it still kept me coming back even after the first few dull episodes (thank Glob for Arrowverse on Netflix and binging so I don’t have to wait a week to see what happens next). I really liked, no spoilers: Sad Barry and #feminism and Run, Iris, Run and the jail episodes. The villain was rather interesting as well with more nuance than usual. Overall, a good season, but I miss the simplicity and happiness. Too much drama now, but as is the curse with all shows, especially Arrowverse. I’ve given up on Arrow and Legends, but we’ll see how Supergirl fares.
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– Legion (season 2). A show about…I don’t even fucking know, I’m just here for the ride. Watching this show is like magic and musical and artistry and drugs all wrapped up in a neat little show. I love the characters though. I find the artsy scenes to be bizarre, but so interesting. I would say the highlights for me would be episodes 2.3 and 2.4 as we got to explore the minds of the other characters.
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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. A videogame about Chloe and Nadine from the series on their own adventure outside of the testosterone-driven Nathan Drake usual fare…aka double Lara Croft time, holla! Ugh, I love this series and, while I don’t think this should be a full priced game that came in its own case because it’s really just a DLC and there were no new mechanics, this was a beautiful story. I simply love the gameplay and the little conversations and I’m so glad we got to highlight these two characters. No spoilers, but Naughty Dog does it again; it may be formulaic, but it is just so endearing.
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– Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage. A game about what the fuck Aqua has been up to since being lost in the dark world and how this series continues to make me cry. Dream Drop Distance was okay and I couldn’t bring myself to grind levels for the final boss, so we’ll just skip that. This game is a continuation of PSP’s BBS, and y’all, Aqua is one of my faves. It’s a very short game, but the story is necessary in anticipation of next year. I was gonna trophy hunt for both of these games, but then gave up because I don’t know if I have the patience and/or skill for it. I used to go hard in all the secret optional Square Enix stuff (even before trophies were a thing), but these days, I want to experience the story and move on to new things. I loved this little DLC-ish game and I’m glad it exists. It’s very sad.
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– Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. A collection of pieces from the mind of Aurelius, who is pretty much my new philosophy zaddy. A lot of these points I’ve come to realize for myself through these years, but it’s so great to see them reiterated in such a classic book, which wasn’t even meant for publication. I don’t agree with everything and that’s fine; I take away from it what I needed to take away from it. It’s gonna be one of these things I need to have around so I can go back to it and read each part like Bible verses when I feel like I’m straying from the path.
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– Trees by Warren Ellis. A graphic novel about mysterious “trees” that have landed on Earth. Aliens, bro! But I don’t know if this was canceled or if it’s on hiatus, but it’s definitely not complete. Which I’m glad, because there is so much potential and they’ve barely scratched the surface. Warren Ellis is bae though, so I trust what will happen. So I guess technically, it’s not complete, but don’t read it if you need a cohesive story.
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– The Omega Men by Tom King. A graphic novel about a ragtag group bent on avenging their worlds. Very short, only 12 issues, but so much power in each page. To be honest, I wasn’t completely following all the points and the politics, but the emotional aspects were great.
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– In Fina We Trust by Awkwafina. An EP by comedic Asian American rap artist that makes me crack the fuck up. “Inner Voices” is just hilarious and smart while “Testify” really shines as a serious piece. Everything’s coming up Fina and I’m all here for it.
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The Fortnight

•26 May 2018 • Leave a Comment

Health Log

– Thankfully, these past couple of weeks have allowed me to have some moments of quiet, not just externally, but internally as well. I feel like this year has been a rush from one thing to the next, without regard for time. I’ve been packing my schedule with projects. But with the house to myself, I’ve become aware of the silence and have been able to spend some more time reflecting on life, putting things on hold.
– I thought it would be a good time to try and be completely vegan for 2 weeks while my parents were in Europe. Success! I had to be on top of what I was going to eat each day and make sure I didn’t accidentally slip up. I did go over my food budget, which makes me acknowledge how much residual food my parents have laying around the house that I just eat without regard. Especially fruit…there always seems to be fruit to snack on, but when I had to buy it myself, there were so many trips to the grocery stores (especially because bananas come and go so quickly). Nonetheless…it was so easy, y’all. I was already most of the way there, I just had to mix it up with dinner options. I tried some new places and some new recipes and I definitely have a go-to super simple staple straight from the freezer option now. Also, I’m addicted to Trader Joe’s chunky spicy guac.

Independence Log

– I love living alone. And no, I don’t just mean without my parents. I mean no people, in general. No roommates, no neighbors, no running into people. I see my future: just me and any number of dogs.
– But that just feels like a dream. Owning a house is much harder than renting. And this house is much bigger than my old one. So there’s just so much more things to worry about. I only occupy certain rooms, but even then, there’s so much cleaning. I feel like all I’ve been doing is buying groceries, then making food, then cleaning up the mess, then eating food, and then cleaning up the mess again, and repeat. Work, home maintenance, eating, sleeping. The routine almost becomes dull to the point of automaticity, but even then, there’s a beauty in the simplicity.
– I imagine, if this time was extended, I would begin to feel like how Mr. Incredible felt before he was contacted by Mirage. But right now, it makes so much sense. There’s clarity and calm.

Connection Log

– Well, since my parents were gone, it seemed like a good time for a housewarming and one year sobriety celebration, but really just needed an excuse to get wasted in a safe environment. The good news is that I did not accidentally consume any non-vegan foods while drunk and there was zero (extra) waste beyond food containers. The bad news is my tolerance had vanished this past year, I was gone after that first shot, and the hangover was wicked.
– Part II was much more chill, thankfully. It reminds me that there’s a delicate balance and it’s important to have nights like Part I and nights like Part II. Except apparently, Part II was too chill and I forgot at least two conversations I had that night. Oops.
– While I love a good hangout, it was also a great reminder that I feel like I want to be a hermit again. I don’t know why I get these urges, but there are times when I just want to get away from it all and spend time alone. Even being alone these past 2 weeks makes me want to be alone all the time. These are the times where I feel I don’t want or need or ever feel like I can be in a super serious relationship. Of course, things may change, but at this moment in my life, I value my independence perhaps too much. I don’t know what I want for myself and my future, but I’ve been slowly able to relinquish most of my expectations, which were mainly society’s expectations I put on myself.

Experience Log

– Sometimes, having no plans on the calendar is liberating.
– Also, it’s the end of TV season, so I can binge watch all my shows.

Signal Boost

– Ali Wong Hard Knock Wife. Another comedy special from Ali Wong and she’s pregnant and raunchy still. This one was really funny, but I didn’t care for many the race-related jokes. Race is an easy thing to joke about, but it feels tired in our climate. Asian woman making fun of Asians is fine, but all the other stuff is unneeded. Besides that, her delivery is always so perfect and I love when she starts yelling.
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– Dude. A Netflix original movie about a group of girlfriends in senior year that do a lot of drugs and had a very different high school experience than me. A random movie that has a little bit of heart, but I pretty much watched it for Awkwafina.
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– Kodachrome. A Netflix original movie about an estranged father and son who go on a trip because daddy’s dying. As an empath, I really relish these cathartic white people movies. Like yes boy, air all your shit you’ve been holding in for years because of your dysfunctional family and current life. Quite enjoyable thanks to the three leads.
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– Fresh Off the Boat (season 4). A 90s period piece about an Asian American family in the suburbs, aka a docu-series about my life. I am just so in awe and thankful that this show exists because I can relate to it so much. This season was top-notch and they’ve really stepped up their writing and acting games. This show is so important, though too (understandably) light.
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– Atlanta (season 2). A show about a rapper in Atlanta. Another brilliant season from the mind of Donald Glover. Enough said. There was one episode that really creeped me out (I got shivers so many times); you’ll know it when you see it. Everything is so funny and real and I’m sure I don’t even understand the majority of the nuances and social commentaries.
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– Dear White People (season 2). A Netflix show about the ongoing struggle of black university students. Another great season; I love the character development. I had some epiphanies while watching, mainly that I should really think about what I’m getting offended by and why I am offended, if I am even actually offended at all.
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– Easy (season 2). A Netflix anthology show about the interesting and mundane and diverse relationships of white people. Somehow, this season slipped past me, but I’m glad I caught up. I love how they continued stories of characters from season 1 and we can see how much they’ve grown. Once again, I adore Joe Swanberg and how he can create these unique microcosms of interesting stories.
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– Bob’s Burgers (season 8). An animated show about a family and a restaurant and all their shenanigans. This show is so clever and hilarious and random. I love the animation, I love the voices, I love the singing; so many LOLs this season. I like my shows with bite-size seasons, but for this show, I can watch endless episodes. Another great season with creative episodes, though no real overarching plot line.
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– Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. A book about the two systems in our brain and how they work. An enlightening read, but maybe not as groundbreaking for me as prior reviews I’ve read. I thought it was wonderfully split up into short, easily digestible chapters, so that was nice.
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– Velvet by Ed Brubaker. A graphic novel about a badass secretary turned agent and how quickly things go crazy after the death of an agent. Such a good read, but too quick. It was a real page-turner and a smart, wild ride from start to finish.
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The Sobriety, redux

•6 May 2018 • Leave a Comment

Back in 2015, I decided to go sober for 6 months as a little social experiment and it is documented as a peer-reviewed article here on this site. Below is a more anecdotal telling of the next phase in my relationship with alcohol.

On May 6, 2017, I threw a house party. A few weeks later, I realized I hadn’t been drinking for a while (in part due to a lot of stress and busyness and not socializing). So, as per us(ual), classic Brian, I decided to see how long I could go. I previously did 6 months, so definitely wanted to try a full year.

Today is the day, folks. I did it. It was way easier than last time. A lot of the “omg why aren’t you drinking?!” turned into “oh, you’re doing one of your things again…” and it stopped there! Guys, peer pressure is real, but don’t let it affect you! Say no to drugs…unless you want to say yes, I ain’t your keeper. The point being you are your own person and you are not beholden to anyone except yourself.

I’ve been moving towards a healthier lifestyle in general, so it just never fazed me too much. There were times where I had some intense cravings for alcohol, ie my birthday, but they soon passed. There is this feeling of freedom in my relationship with alcohol now. I don’t need to drink stuff I don’t want to drink anymore. I can be selective. All that I need is vegan tequila and some oranges and I’m ready to go.

I invite you to “lent” yourself, but not just during Lent and not just for however long Lent is and not just because Jesus is watching. But do it just because. It’s a fun, cool, eye-opening, introspective experience. But as with everything, it’s a balance. I don’t feel the need to do another alcohol-based challenge anymore. I don’t think my friends and I are in a place where we go hard too often (that place being late-20s), so it’s not a big deal economically or health-wise.

I hope there is some good life wisdom to be gleaned from this post.

The New Reality Stone

•29 April 2018 • Leave a Comment

Health Log

– I’ve been addicted to white sugar lately…ever since my vacation and eating out and eating poorly. I crave white sugar now and I know it’s really bad so I’m allowing myself to indulge now so I can stop later. It’s basically cocaine, guys. But I’m sure I can wean myself off.
– Because I’ve noticed this change in habit, I’ve also started to relook at my nutrition and realize I need to modify it slightly. I still don’t want to go back to calorie counting or looking at macros, but I am going back to trying to eat more daily. But also, more healthily. A lot of my shorts/pants don’t fit as well (they be slippin’).
– I started eating breakfast at around 1000 and if I don’t stay up super late, it means I’m kind of slightly maybe casually intermittent fasting.
– I’ve been going to new gyms lately and checking out the ones in my area. Luckily, I still have some good 24 Hour Fitnesses nearby. They sadly don’t compare to my Mission Viejo gym, but I’ll have to get used to them. I also already choked on some water at one of them, so I can never show my face there again.
– So I started growing out my hair and beard to see how long I can get it before it annoys me. So far, so good. My dandruff is in check! And then I started growing out my beard because it grosses people out. And it was pretty gross. I shaved it (un)fortunately, but not until I met my goals of being able to ponytail and braid it. I can’t say I miss it because it was kinda gross, kinda unmanageable, but I’ve been phantom stroking where it used to be. Also, I missed my chin…but it looks abnormally small now or my neck looks bigger or something. I don’t know, I might develop a chinferiority complex. I’m still growing out my head hair, but I don’t like grooming. So far, it’s been very simple to manage.
– I’ve gotten sick twice in the past two months, ever since returning from vacation. This is probably due to many factors: (a) all the sugar I’m inhaling, (b) being 26 is causing my body to start deteriorating at an alarming rate, (c) I’m really stressed out from moving.

Independence Log

– So I have this very realistic fear that I’ll never want to leave my parents’ house now because we’re remodeling and I get a say in some of it and we’re adding smart technology. My plan is also to make my bedroom completely zen and minimalist and calming: just for sleeping. Then I get the bonus room to do whatever I want with. In conclusion, how the fuck will I move out, pay more, and live in a shittier place? You would think me wanting to start a relationship one day will make me want to move my ass, but you know, it’s surprisingly not that motivating.

Connection Log

– It’s actually been really fun working on the new house with my parents. They’re really into interior design and I’m really into showing them how we can make our house really cool.
– The main drawback is my commute, which is 400% worse now. And since I have to sit in traffic now, my road rage management skills have gone out the window and I’m just angrier now. I’m trying to get back to controlling this but people just really suck at driving.

Experience Log

– So much of my time post-vacation has been getting used to living in a new house. It’s taken up all my energy. I’m still wrapping my head around it. There are pros and cons, both of which I’m still discovering on a daily basis. And it’s odd to think about how we take things for granted or we’re just used to living a certain way and it all gets uprooted. I’m a huge advocate of change, though, so it’s been…interesting and challenging.
– I feel like I’ve put so many things aside since the vacation, so I’m trying to get back to basics and work on routines even though things have been kind of jarring being uprooted and all. I’ve been telling people how bizarre it is to come back from vacation expecting to relax at home, but when we came back, we weren’t home anymore. And I never got a proper goodbye to Malaga Lane, to Mission Viejo, to the house I grew up in, to the only house I remember. It sounds silly and melodramatic, but it’s really sad for me in a way that I think neither my parents nor my sister understand. Honestly, I think I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
– Mission Viejo, the city in which I grew up in but no longer live in as previously mentioned, decided to have it’s first official comic con after I moved away, so of course I had to go. I’m really not sure who decided to have it or why, but it was sweet. It was held at the City of Mission Viejo library, which I still frequent. I mean, I had zero expectations that it was going to be a “con”, but I really liked the cardboard cut outs; also got to spectate some D&D games, got some books from the library, could not figure out how to play Carcassonne, saw some cosplay. It was super chill and in it’s infancy, so I hope they continue the tradition in the coming years and continue to grow because that would just be awesome.

Signal Boost

– Avengers: Infinity War. A movie about a bunch of badasses fighting a really badass, sad grape grandpa (raisin). I WASN’T READY. Was I ever going to be ready? No. I can’t believe the day actually came. And even though I had known it was coming, I was anticipating it, I still wasn’t ready. I’m still in awe that all of these movies came together. How blessed are we that we can experience this? How can I wait over a year? WHERE? WHO? WHY? Listen, I’m just glad it’s not horrible. Clearly, it was an everything all at once, nonstop movie that jumped around so much because there was so much to deal with. I think the balance will come in the sequel, so I’m not too worried anymore. When that comes out, we can treat it as one movie. And it will near perfection. Friendly reminder that I kinda sorta agreed with Ultron and I kinda sorta agree with Thanos; don’t @ me.
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– A Quiet Place. A movie about a family that has to shut the fuck up or they will be eaten, like can you imagine how hard that would be for some people…but for me, that’d be awesome because it’d be like a forced silent meditation retreat. One of my new favorite movies of the year! I’m glad I didn’t get any spoilers and I’m glad it held up as a horror thriller. So original! So well done! I can look past the cheap thrills because it was so well done! I love that Krasinski and Blunt were starring together. I love the use of ASL and actual deaf actress, Millicent Simmonds. Noah Jupe is great as well (loved him in Wonder). I was so surprised at how intelligent this film was. I can’t stop gushing.
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– Ready Player One. A movie based on a book about a bunch of nerds who live in a VR game. One of my favorite books, though I don’t know if I’d still like it if I read it again. I don’t remember much from it, but I do know this film adaptation is super watered down, which makes sense because this is Hollywood and there’s only so much you can put in a movie. Unfortunately, this really dampens the film. Good for kids and entertaining as a whole, but of course, disappointing.
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Tomb Raider. A reboot movie based on the reboot of the game series about a woman who gets beat the fuck up by everything and still makes it out alive. I really wanted to like it. I love the Tomb Raider series. I am really enjoying the Tomb Raider game reboots. I often credit the first movies with how I became a man. There is an Asian supporting actor in this film. But it fell a little short. I, of course, would like to enjoy this as a videogame film, but that would do it a disservice by cramping it into a small category that is not well-respected. I did just find it…boring. I do hope they make more so it can evolve.
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– Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. A movie about a mom who goes toe to toe with the incompetent police department because her daughter was raped and murdered and obviously no one cares about that. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one. Added it to one of my favorite movies of 2017. The acting, writing, intensity…it was all great. It reminds me of movies where not much happens in the way of plot, but getting to peek into the lives of these folks during an important moment in their lives, it’s rather satisfying when done properly (otherwise we would tip into boredom territory).
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– Wind River. A movie about the murder of a Native American woman and the search to find her killer. On Netflix now! Do note that this movie is a side adventure with Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch, before Infinity Wars. No, but very intense, interesting drama that discusses the real life issue of sexual assault on women on reservations. Slow, but with great characters and acting.
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– Batman Ninja. An animated movie about Batman getting transported back to feudal era Japan. I know, let that sentence sink in because this movie is as ridiculous, bombastic, and amazing as it sounds. I mean, I love Batman and I love feudal Japan, so it really worked out for me. The animation style(s) in this were amazing. There were samurai monkeys, cool Bat family outfits, crazy transforming robots, and the overdramatic Japanese fun that just all went together so well. What a trip. Next cosplay idea?
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– A Series of Unfortunate Events (season 2). A show based on a book series about 3 orphans who have the worst luck because adults are so incompetent. I liked this season a lot more than the first one, with a lot more nuanced plots and unraveling secrets (though also, to be fair, more questions than answers). I like the new characters and differences from the novel series; I think they add a lot more ethos. Can’t wait for the next (final?) season!
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– Mindhunter (season 1). A show about some white people who decide they want to learn more about psychopaths and serial killers. Only watched this because Amadeo said it was good and then stayed for David Fincher and Anna Torv. Pretty good so far, though at times, a bit boring. Really creepy, just like I wanted.
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– Love (series, 1-3). A show about shitty, quirky, suh LA, white people who find love and go through all the crazy, somewhat mundane relationship drama. I finally got around to watching this because the last season came out this year. Honestly, I’m glad there’s only 3 seasons, otherwise this would be more seasons of nonsense. I did not like these characters and by the end, I still did not like them. Still a fan of Gillian Jacobs and her acting chops, but Mickey was so hard to like. I enjoyed the show as a whole, but if I liked the characters, it would be so much better. The mains are frustratingly annoying, but they’re also realistic and I guess, relatable.
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– Nailed It! A reality cooking competition where contestants compete to earn $10K by remaking popular dessert recipes. I’m glad I finally watched this on Netflix because I’m not really one for competition reality shows, but this was hilarious because it was awkward and it was hilarious. Like really awkward and not all of the awkwardness was satirical. Nicole Byer is great, Jacque Torres was precious. I feel like I could be on this show as a contestant.
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– Chef’s Table (volume 4). A Netflix original documentary about pretentious chefs and how fabulous their restaurants are. I love Chef’s Table, though maybe a little less now what with all my disillusionment with the Food Industry. This season is all about pastries, which went really well with Nailed It! I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, seeing how I’m addicted to sugar and just finished a year of dessert recipes. There was not enough connection to the land, the environment. I mean the Milk Bar lady literally just uses Corn Flakes. And none were vegan pastry chefs, which was disappointing. I love the creativity of these chefs though; pastries are so fun to make.
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– Horizon Zero Dawn. A game about a woman who must prove herself to a society that rejected her only to learn that she is the one who must save the world from the machines (and also so much more backstory that I love). Ugh such a great, original, novel IP, something I’ve been waiting for for a while. At first, it was difficult, but I quickly got addicted to hunting (there was a bit of personal sadness even though they were robotic animals I don’t know don’t @ me) and upgrading and once I got the hang of things, it was really fun and easy. But besides the addicting mechanics, I just plain loved the lore and the story. I rarely read and listen to things when games have lore stuff, but this was different. Everything was interesting and well acted. #STRONGFEMALELEADS
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– Rise of the Tomb Raider. The second game in the rebooted franchise, this one shows Lara becoming more of a Tomb Raider, fighting Trinity, and chasing her father’s legacy to protect his reputation. I love Lara Croft and this is her best game yet! At first, it was frustratingly slow and I felt so weak and useless, but then as things progressed, it became another addiction to collecting and hunting. Some of the times, the mechanics were very frustrating, but that’s partially due to my broken controller joystick (it’s really hard to shoot accurately with a faulty joystick). I was trying to pace myself, but then couldn’t stop one weekend and just beat it. Great story, great acting…I love the evolution from the first game of the reboot and I’m so excited to see where this series goes next in the finale to the trilogy. It’s what I want from a Tomb Raider game. It’s a good foil to Uncharted because of the serious nature of the game. #STRONGFEMALELEADS
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– Bloodborne. A game about a hunter who seeks…honestly, I can’t give a good sentence summary, so I’ll just stop. It took me some convincing from Amadeo to get this game as I know the reputation. I’m more of a casual gamer, so the hardcore difficulty of this game didn’t really appeal to me. Nonetheless, I did want to play some coop games…and I’m so glad I did. What a magnificent, enigmatic, creepy, frustrating, rewarding game. And we got to platinum it together too. We have so many fun videos of all our shenanigans together now. I bought Dark Souls III right after also.
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– Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko. I love this album; it has all the mellow, SoCal chill vibes that I love. Every single was great, every song is great. I just have so much love for Hayley and her just doing her thing out there.
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– My Dear Melancholy, by The Weeknd. A surprise EP which I wasn’t feeling at first, but definitely grew to enjoy. I realized that The Weeknd can say the raunchiest things in that smooth voice and it sounds great: “But if you call me up, I’m fucking you on sight.” It’s overall a tragic, open album. He’s truly melancholy about a lot of these public breakups.
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– Staying at Tamara’s by George Ezra. A great album that indeed had to grow on me. Every George Ezra song just makes me want to put on a nice outfit and go dancing. Not like clubbing and grinding, but like folk dancing with cowboy boots. So cheery.
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– AMERICA by Thirty Seconds to Mars. Is this band destined to just live in my adolescence a la Evanescence (#unintentionalpoet)? Well, the album has it’s moments so that’s a good thing. I’m not one to criticize a band’s growth and direction so I do enjoy it as an album. My favorite 30STM songs are the big anthems and there are good ones on here.
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– Joyride by Tinashe. Well, this is no Aquarius, which I’ve previously stated was an entire album that I could just make love to; she just has that voice. There are some good songs on here, but overall, it’s not my favorite. I can’t even think of a song I really enjoyed as I didn’t really like the singles.
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– 44/876 by Sting and Shaggy. Okay, this came out of nowhere and when I first saw their collab single on Spotify, I had to listen. Little did I know, there’d be an entire album. It’s very island vibes meets 2000s adult contemporary, so very much in lane for both of these artists. And it works so well. Digging the vibes.
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The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. An illustrated memoir from someone who lived through the Vietnam War as a child, as a refugee, as an Asian American. A story that resonates so deeply with me and parallels my parents in many ways. It’s heartbreaking, real, and just…lovely. It’s really inspired me to just be there in the present with my parents and to understand them better as people.
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– Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan. I really liked Y: The Last Man, but this was only okay. I think I had a different expectation and I was disappointed. I found it somewhat boring and every time something interesting happened, it just fizzled. Overall, interesting characters, but forgettable for me.
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The Three Week Sojourn

•25 March 2018 • Leave a Comment

HICE Log

– “We get it, you went to New Zealand and Australia and had the best vacation of your life.”
– Yes, my friends, it is true. For 3 weeks, my sister and I went on the vacation that was at the top of my priority list probably since forever. We actually tried to go last Spring, but it didn’t work out. However, luckily, this year, I feel more stable in my life- enough so in order to be able to take a long, international vacation.
– First off, I didn’t realize I hadn’t left the country since 3rd grade. Life just seemed to happen and I didn’t prioritize these trips, which seems like such a shame.
– Luckily, I was able to check off things on my Life List like skydiving and SCUBA diving.
– No exercise and a lot of eating out while not drinking enough (dehydrated af, never again) made for a lot of poor nutrition and bowel movements. My routines were all thrown off, especially when to eat. It’s been at least a month of me without my health routine and I am verging on wasting away.
– It was really nice to stay disconnected from whatever was happening in the world and just take the time to experience life and people and nature and freedom and joy. It’s times like this that I need to remember…I’m so blessed. Even just walking around, whether it was a nice city or not, there was something magical just being there and experiencing something different. My phone stayed on airplane mode the entire time since I didn’t want to pay for data, but it worked out because it kept me disconnected.
– Being sustainable was not easy, but the two countries were very forward thinking. I tried to reduce as much as possible where I could, though we got a lot of napkins. I am definitely far from being naturally sustainable, and while we had to work at it consciously, it was fun to try and be a sustainable traveler.
– I feel like all the measurements are so backwards in America and I wish we could be like the rest of the world, especially with increasing globalization.
– What does it say about me that I think 3 weeks is too long and I am glad to be back? Something like being too comfortable with the familiar/routine. Something like being overly introverted. Something like I’m glad I really enjoy my job so much that I missed my kiddos.
– Peep my Instagram for highlights, I don’t think I’m going to write a gigantic post here because I’m sure I won’t be able to cover everything.

Things I’ve Learned:
– My max vacation time is probably 2 weeks
– I’ve reworked my vacation list to more realistically be able to plan and take vacations
– I’m definitely a homebody
– I was able to semi-comfortably live out of a bag
– Malaysian food is bomb
– My sister and I survived each other’s nonsense, spending virtually 24/7×3 together
– I could never be a travel blogger or travel for my job; I appreciate vacation when it’s not every day

Things I Knew (which were solidified):
– nature > cities
– Airports and airplanes suck (but lounges on the other hand…)

Signal Boost

Jessica Jones (season 2). A staple of my downtime during vacation since it came out while I was away. When there was good enough wifi in the hostels, I’d watch these episodes. They were great. I love the character development for all the characters. I was surprised to see what happened this season, as I didn’t think they were going down that route, but it seemed to work out nicely for the most part.
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Ugly Delicious (season 1). I watched this series on our first plane ride to Oceania. I feel like it could have been more. It was good, but it never dug in deep enough. Then again, I like my food documentaries about how we’re destroying the world and big agriculture sucks, etc. etc. There were a lot of good questions posed, but not enough good answers. Wasn’t even really about so-called ugly delicious food.
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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. On our 13 hour plane ride back, we got free movies, so y’know, why not. Also, Awkwafina is bae. It was actually funny in a stupid, I’m-glad-I’m-watching-this-on-a-plane way.
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Baby Driver. On the same plane ride, finally got around to watching this. Pretty good with interesting characters, but ew, Kevin Spacey.
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The Dark Tower. Also watched this on the plane against my better judgment (decided not to watch it before because of low ratings). Fell asleep multiple times unfortunately. Probably would’ve been really hard to follow along if I didn’t read the series recently.
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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. And another plane movie. Finally got around to watching this and it was the Aubrey Plaza + Anna Kendrick movie I needed, but didn’t know.  Also funny in a stupid, I’m-glad-I’m-watching-this-on-a-plane way.
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The Compartmentalization

•25 February 2018 • 1 Comment

Health Log

– I weighed myself for the first time in a long time because I needed to weigh my dog and it turns out I’ve lost a lot of weight! Ugh, almost back to my stupid set point. People have been telling me I’m slimmer. It’s an odd feeling because I definitely am slim in the waist again (I can fit into old clothes), but I don’t feel too skinny. I actually think I’ve gained some decent mass overall. I mean, this was predictable, as I stopped calorie counting and I’m not stuffing my face all the time. I’ve also been way too lax on eating regularly, I think. I need to rediscover proper snacking.

Independence Log

– I did my taxes early! And got a nice return, just in time for vacation, which is going to be more expensive than I thought. I probably won’t be taking a large vacation like this for a while.
– Some MoviePass thoughts: Going to the movies alone is great! It becomes a nice get in get out affair and since my schedule is odd and ever-changing, it’s nice to be able to schedule midday movie treats for myself. I always think to myself I could never get used to a 9-5 schedule and I’m so thankful I’m not in a cubicle because I don’t think I could do it.

Connection Log

– I’m trying to make myself more available. It’s a weird paradox of wanting to go out and wanting to stay in. On any given day, one can beat out another for no specific reason. But I think I’ve missed the idea of making plans with someone and both parties actually show up and things go according to plan. I also think a lot of people like giving off the vibe that they’re too busy and have to “pencil you in”. On the contrary, I want to try and make my schedule more open. Sure, sometimes I am busy literally because I’ve scheduled some me-time, but I’d like to try and be consistent with people and not have the “when was the last time we saw each other?” chat with people I consider my friends.
– Some more MoviePass thoughts: I think I’m learning the art of paying attention to things intently for at least a couple of hours. Previously, I’ve become used to streaming things non-stop and just partially paying attention. With shows (cough Netflix cough), I can just watch it and rewatch it and rewatch it. It’s almost an illness, but with MoviePass, it forces me to be present and I think that’s a great thing. It’s easy to try and multi-task with streaming at home, but at a theater, there’s a certain grace about it. Hopefully, this can intermingle with the idea of being present with people. It’s a lost art form, the idea of a proper conversation with an intellectual. I actually am hyper-aware of this being the anxiety-ridden awkward person I am and I like to judge people on the quality of their conversational abilities. It’s fun!

Experience Log

– I’ve pretty much been putting everything aside in order to focus my free time on planning my vacation. It’s one of those feelings: “I shouldn’t start on this until after vacation” or “I’ll figure this out after vacation, when my mind is less busy”. It’s only slightly inconvenient that I’m also moving (gasp! Yes, it’s official), so I’ve been putting stuff off because of this too.
– I got SCUBA-certified (officially)! Just in time for vacation too. For these next dives, we went to Laguna Beach (Shaw’s Cove) and it wasn’t as magnificent as Catalina Island, but at least it was close. Diving is so fun, amazing, exhilarating, and exhausting!
– We celebrated Tet over the weekend as well. I suddenly felt old and didn’t want to get in line to get money. However, I’m still in the “kid” generation, so I did get some envelopes. I think it was a shift in mentality. Turning 26 and really pushing for my own independence…I don’t really need to look forward to a boost in cash reserves because I finally feel like I’m stable with my money, or at least, smarter. And I’m very aware that I am so blessed to be able to think that. Then again, any money (including tax return) before vacation is helpful.
– I’m moving, but we’ll save that for another post.

Signal Boost

– Black Panther. My first introduction to Black Panther was in a random X-Men comic where Storm went to Wakanda. He was and is such a badass. Also, this film is incredible. I couldn’t stop internally screeching in the theater. An amazing Marvel film featuring predominantly non-whites?! I am here for this! Also the soundtrack is lit. Everything about this movie is excellence embodied.
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– Annihilation. I don’t know. I’m definitely glad I had people watching with me this time so we could discuss it after. Mindbending, confusing, brilliant, disturbing, hmm. Still digesting this one.
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– Justice League. Wait…I actually really liked this movie. Probably because I had very low expectations. The main thing for me was that this was way too short. How are you going to introduce 3 new characters on top of an ensemble cast and be this short? That’s why it felt so…not as epic. But really, still…I really really liked it. I think I can forgive a lot of the weird moments because OMFG, I can see some of my favorite characters come to life. I mean this was always going to be Wonder Woman and a bunch of awesome dudes, but even then, Miller and Momoa were brilliant. Honestly, Miller may be a better Barry than Gustin. Fighting scenes were quite enjoyable. A good mix of humor and gravitas. I’m actually excited for the future of the DCEU, granted they don’t fuck everything up again.
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– Coco. I wasn’t ready! Pixar does it again! I am floored! The predictability of the film is not mutually exclusive with how great it is. I was just bawling. And I’ve always loved how Spanish sounds when sung. Brilliant. Needless to say, this movie made it on my list of favorites of 2k17.
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Call Me By Your Name. If you thought this movie was going to be a psychological thriller about someone who takes over another person’s life and becomes them, you’d be like me: rather wrong. This is more of an artsy, white nonsense movie that takes place in the idyllic European countryside. For movies that don’t really do anything, I prefer the mumblecore genre. Nonetheless, acting was superb, I understand the acclaim, though I probably wouldn’t watch it again. Rather boring, not my style. I also have no idea what the title means (I know they said it in the movie, but I don’t understand it).
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– Lady Bird. More white nonsense, but this time, white girl nonsense. I was looking forward to this film because of the acclaim, and I do love indie, quirky, coming of age stories. But zamn, maybe I don’t anymore? I found the titular Lady Bird character to be really annoying and I get why she is, but it was so frustrating. Maybe I just have a lower tolerance for ungrateful little shits. Nonetheless, acting was superb, I understand the acclaim, though I probably wouldn’t watch it again. I do wish I enjoyed these acclaimed films more, but maybe I’m not cultured enough. It had its funny moments.
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– Molly’s Game. Chastain, Elba, and Sorkin? What chemistry! This movie kept me really engaged to see what would happen next, even though I wouldn’t categorize this as a top movie of 2k17, nor would I want to watch it again any time soon. It was fun and smart and very interesting.
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– The Disaster Artist. I don’t even remember why I wanted to watch this movie, but I think I heard it was really weird (without directly commenting on James Franco). Even when it said based on a true story, I thought that was satirical. Anyway, these people are real and I’m shocked and confused. Entertaining, but in the strangest way. Awkward, disturbing, random. I don’t even know.
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– I, Tonya. Such a strange true story to read about, with a lot of commentary on America as a whole. Another film with an entire main cast of wonderful acting. I enjoyed the way the story was told, and as riveting as the incident and controversy was, I don’t think it needed this movie.
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– Wonder. I was actually reading this book with one of my kiddos and it had a really great message: to choose kind. Such a wonderful, heartwarming story and I actually started crying instantly. Bullying sucks, y’all.
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– Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. What a fun film. I don’t even know why, but Jack Black had me cracking up. A good followup to the original (and nicely modernized!) to reiterate how evil this game is.
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– The Greatest Showman. So many mixed reviews. It was good, decent. I didn’t really care for the story, nor did I care for the character. I cheered when their circus closed last year. But I appreciate the Hollywood sanitization of the real life story for the sake of fun storytelling. I will say: this soundtrack is lit though. I’m so glad I got a Zac/Zendaya duet (I need Zedd to remix it though). Don’t care to rewatch, but will be bopping to this soundtrack.
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– Beast of Burden. I mean, I only watched this for Daniel Radcliffe. I randomly saw it on Fandango, added it to my list, couldn’t find it in theaters, so watched it only. I was only half paying attention, but not worth watching. Makes me rethink my decision to literally watch any film in theaters with MoviePass. Should I still be choosy? I mean, it doesn’t even have a wiki page.
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– The Shape of Water. A lot of old people in this showing. I was really looking forward to this one, but I’m not so sure how I feel just yet; I want to let it sit. I think my tastes have changed…looking at my 2017 top movie lists, it’s all blockbuster superhero fun times. I don’t have a taste for the elegance and depth of movies like this anymore. At least, that’s how I feel right now based on some evidence. Like, “it was a great experience, but I don’t think I’d watch it again (because a lot of parts dragged)”. Everyone was phenomenal, but it was still kinda…weird. I found there to be too many plotholes or threads that went nowhere. It fizzled out for me.
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– Hostiles. It started out slow, but then it hit me. Such immense intensity in these characters. I ended up loving the slow build. It’s still so heartbreaking thinking about how invading Americans have treated Native Americans.
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Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. I love a good alternate universe one-shot. This story tells of Victorian era Gotham City as Batman attempts to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper. It was rather boring and hard to follow and the animation style wasn’t for me. Eh, I sadly haven’t really enjoyed the last few DCUAO movies.
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– Fullmetal Alchemist (2017). They made a movie in Japan and they just released it here as a Netflix original. Naturally, I had to watch it. It was great! With the caveat that you should probably watch the anime series (both) before watching this because I don’t think you’d be able to follow along without it. The good news is that the series are amazing. This was a good adaptation that was faithful, but suffered from the fact that they tried to squeeze the series into a movie. It did make me want to rewatch both series, which are on Netflix as well. Such convenience!
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– Altered Carbon season 1. I’m still torn. I initially wanted to watch this because Dichen Lachman and Will Yun Lee and a diverse cast and sci-fi. It seemed like it’d be awesome. I feel overall, it was good, but fell short of what I expected. The concept is very interesting and I’d like to see where they go next. I think I need to rewatch and pay more attention though. I rewatched it and I think there are many issues (they could have addressed the racial stuff better). I wouldn’t say it was whitewashing, but it could be better. But I think I’m more anticipating what’s coming next; I do hope they address the issues and make a better season 2. It’s a clever show indeed with a lot of potential.
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– Planet Earth II. The quintessential nature documentary returns! I love these, even with the added drama. Even as I watch some of the same things over and over again, these episodes seemed to keep things fresh and new still.
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– Bill Nye Saves the World season 2 part I. I really liked this season. Fun, but not too cheesy or dumbed down. Good topics and interesting information. The segments were better done this season. Can I just say that I’m glad there’s a personal childhood hero out there that happens to be a cis straight white man that is not problematic, and is indeed, quite progressive. Also, I really want to smoke a j with Bill.
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– Rotten season 1. I love food documentaries, especially ones that address greed and corruption. This is honestly one of the main reasons I would like to go vegan. Big agriculture is so corrupt and as a society, we are so brainwashed, it’s scary! And I’m obviously a hippie socialist contrarian hipster, so I cannot abide. I liked these episodes for the knowledge learned, but I have zero sympathy for these farmers who cannot survive…like boohoo you’re murdering animals for money and can’t survive. Ugh, these episodes made me so angry, partly because they didn’t address a better future or how to fix the issues. Watch if you’d like some enlightenment on food corruption, but there are better docs on Netflix.
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– Dirty Money season 1. Another Netflix docu-series that makes me angry. Of course corruption and greed are at the crux of everything, who would have guessed? Very interesting, and may be enlightening to many.
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– Midnighter (2015) and Midnigher and Apollo (2016-2017) by Steve Orlando. Yay for representation. I really liked these short series, the latter moreso. Midnighter is such a badass, I would have liked to see him in bigger story arcs that were equally epic, but wouldn’t feel as rushed as these did.
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The Finesse

•23 January 2018 • Leave a Comment

Health Log

– I unfortunately haven’t prioritized routinely going to the gym this year/month because of how my schedule has been a bit whacky. I’m trying to get myself back into form.
– Despite this, I was able to do a handstand push-up against the wall! I was shocked. I don’t think I went low enough, but with time, it should come. It’s so weird because I haven’t been practicing handstands consistently, but I felt so much stronger in my arm support. I still can’t do a handstand without wall support, however.
– It feels so good doing meal prep again (I stopped during the holiday season out of laziness and non-necessity). I feel like I’ve really perfected my meals and there’s less and less variation now that I know how to properly make each meal. And now that I feel that way, it may be a perfect time to try new things. I’m definitely planning to cook a lot more different vegan meals, so hopefully I can incorporate the convenient/easy ones for lunch.

Independence Log

– My parents brought up the fact that we’re moving and I found this an opportune time to discuss paying rent. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I’ve started serious budgeting and I thought it’d be a good idea to pay rent to really see if I can live properly and to give back to my parents. Of course, they rejected this notion, which was partially expected. I’m planning on bringing this up continuously until they just take my money, so I’m moving the rent money I’ve budgeted to pay them monthly into a savings account and letting it accumulate out of range, as if it’s not mine anymore.
– Speaking of my parents moving, I think this time it’s more serious, like we’re actually moving. I’m hesitant to discuss it further as I don’t really know the timeline, nor do I want to know. I’ll just let it be a bittersweet surprise. Still debating if I should just move out when they move though.
– I’ve been looking into investing and starting a retirement account and it’s all very scary and confusing, so there’s that.

Connection Log

– I spent NYE alone, which is how I guess I planned it, but in the end, half of me felt so utterly lonely. A majority of the time, I like being alone, but then some days, it just hits me. I didn’t even watch the countdown because I forgot we don’t have TV anymore. It was an odd feeling, one that really made me rather introspective.
– Luckily, my sister’s dog has moved back home (temporarily?) and it’s been so fun having her around. It really helps with the loneliness.
– My mom mentioned in passing that she wanted to set me up with her friend’s daughter. I was panicking in my head, but luckily I was watching a movie, so I pretended I wasn’t listening and she hasn’t brought it up again. I’m cool and actually like going on blind dates, but what startled me was the fact that they brought this up. My parents, who didn’t want me dating in college because they wanted me to focus on my future. My parents, who, after college, still wanted me not to date because I had to focus on my future. It’s all good though because that meant I didn’t have to introduce them to girls I was dating and we never needed to breach the subject matter. So that’s why my life flashed before my eyes.
– I’m trying to have more routine hangouts with people. For instance, playing D&D and Pandemic Legacy regularly creates hangouts virtually on their own, without much effort to gather people. It’s nice to have hangouts like this because it reminds me to hang out with people and not let too much time go by before seeing friends. Of course, this isn’t always the case, so I’m trying to be a lot more proactive in texting people and prioritizing meeting up with them.

Experience Log

– I ordered MoviePass from Costco, finally. It took some time and a lot of hesitation and to be honest, I’m still pretty pre-anxious about what’s going to happen in a year from now when I try to cancel. That hassle is already making me nervous. Also, just waiting around for the card to come was nerve-wracking. I just felt like so much could go wrong because of all the horror stories I heard. Nonetheless, this was all pushed aside because of my desire to go to the movies more often. I’m totally comfortable going by myself too, so it’ll be a nice change of pace. Plus, it’s one of my goals to take myself out on more dates anyway. I’ve also been trying to catch all of the 2017 movies I missed since I didn’t go to the movies much. Because of the MoviePass, I may be veering back into “watch anything” territory, instead of my “pick and choose” mentality. I guess I do have the time (or at least, perspective-wise, I should make time for myself and my hobbies, movie-watching being one of them).
– Overall, my first experience using MoviePass was outstanding. The theater by my house filled their rooms with all reclining, plush, and reserved seats, which was a nice surprise. There wasn’t an issue using it
– I’ve been making more lists lately. Lists of important things, lists of useless things. I just want to be prepared when someone asks me: “What’s your top 10 movies ever? Go!” and I’ll be ready this time.
– I also wanted to just organize my thoughts coming into the new year with a fresh mind. Getting back into the swing of things, as it were. They say we shouldn’t have any zero days, but I had basically 14 zero days in a row at the end of last year, so…yeah. But anyway, I’ve been working on a lot of fun, different things, which I feel like has really divided my time improperly and hasn’t allowed me to flow as I continuously switch hobbies, allocating certain times to certain hobbies each day. I may have to rethink this, but for now, it’s alright.
– In retrospect, holistically, I feel like I’ve been wasting my time this month, or rather, I’ve been using my time unwisely, prioritizing things incorrectly. There’s been a lack of motivation to “get it in gear” after the new year arrived. This might also be stemming from the fact that I don’t have anything urgent I need to do, so the relaxation is making me question myself and giving me anxiety. It might also just feel like I’m not necessarily accomplishing anything because I’m partially starting many things instead of finishing. It’s probably just all in my head.

Signal Boost

– Thor: Ragnarok (2017). My most anticipated film of 2017 and I can’t believe I missed its theatrical run (I thought my MoviePass would be here sooner but I miscalculated). Anyway, it did not disappoint. I love all the promotional material, I love Taika Waititi, I love Chris Hemsworth, I love not having Jane Foster, everything was excellent. Favorite movie of the MCU? Just may be. #TeamThor
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– Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). I am not a fan of the series, but I did really like Rogue One…a lot. So I thought I’d watch this anyway. It wasn’t bad and I liked it much better than Episode VII. So many cute creatures! I just find these movies so derivative. I can appreciate that these movies are for a new generation, but why can’t they just make it a new story line? It’s just a repeat of the same old thing…Jedi vs. evil people and there’s no hope in the galaxy blah blah blah. The antagonist in this was really dumb too. Not enough cool battle sequences. Meh, but I like all the protagonists, at least. Kelly Marie Tran, though! You go girl! The more I think about it, the more I dislike it, so I’ll stop there.
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– Bright (2017). I’m still shocked that Netflix can make original content with people like Will Smith. Simply amazing. That being said, as I was looking forward to this film since SDCC (got a free shirt, holla!), it was a bit disappointing. It was enjoyable, but didn’t dig very deep. There’s so much more that could be said; that’s why I’ll be awaiting the sequel, where hopefully, they delve into the lore a bit more (and have something more to say about social justice, etc.).
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– Dunkirk (2017) . I felt like I needed to watch this because it’s a Christopher Nolan film, but I was hesitant because war dramas aren’t the most interesting to me. Alas, though it was probably because I wasn’t paying enough attention, I was rather bored and couldn’t quite follow along. Beautiful cinematics, but oh so boring. At least it was short.
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Split (2017). Listen, y’all. I just want to start off by saying I have been a vocal hater of M. Night Shyamalan because of what he did to ATLA, but that can be forgiven in time (still wins the title of Worst Movie Ever) since he’s not a molester and/or rapist. So, now that that’s out of the way, I can’t believe I waited so long to see so many bald James McAvoy characters (bald James McAvoy is my favorite (“Let me in, Eric!”))! And yes, this was pretty bad for mental illness sufferers, but for myself, I’m aware enough not to equate the two things. I don’t care at all for Shyamalan, but I will say, I will now go see the other films in this trilogy.
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– Atomic Blonde (2017). Charlize Theron makes ass-kicking look so amazing. I was kinda confused during the film about what was even going on, but maybe I was supposed to be. Luckily, I read it on Wikipedia and everything makes sense now. Very clever, one of those movies you should watch again to be sure you catch more. The fight scenes were excellent. Everything just looked really pretty. James McAvoy was nearly bald.
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– Ingrid Goes West (2017). A quirky, disturbing, poignant film about Insta-fame and LA and social media. Funny, especially, O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s parts and all the Batman stuff. Didn’t care for the racist moment (but I never really do). Performances were great, but I really feel the movie fell apart at the end, as I don’t think it’s the best message to send. I’m still mulling it over as of writing this, but it fell a little short. Also, it kind of scares me in a Black Mirror way because it seems extreme, but it could be real right now or the near future.
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– Logan Lucky (2017). Pleasantly surprised by the cleverness of this movie. The performances were top notch and hilarious and I wasn’t expecting such an ensemble cast of top-billed actors. I enjoy heist films, but this one had some novel ideas that kept it from being plain.
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– The Foreigner (2017). Jackie Chan is so compelling as a man with nothing left to lose. Such a serious role for him, but he did it superbly. Overall, not a particular memorable or unique film, but interesting nonetheless.
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– An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017). I needed this. I needed to see that Al Gore is still hopeful and optimistic. I needed to feel, even if briefly, that the world is not a complete mess and there are people out there fighting the good fight for Mother Earth. I don’t think they should ever stop with these Inconvenient movies until we don’t need them anymore.
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– Sleeping with Other People (2015). This got added to Netflix and since I never watched it, I decided it was time. Alison Brie is just so great. I quite liked this movie, as ridiculous as it is. It was funny, relatable, and made me rather nostalgic for some reason. I liked the chemistry.
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– Outlander season 3. Well, they did a lot right this season. I love the time travel aspect so much (which is so out of character for me if you knew I hate time travel done poorly), so it started out really awesome. Then, they added an Asian character who’s not a joke. And less rape, which is a plus. So that’s all cool. But looking back, a whole lot of nothing happened and it once again turned into a period piece drama and I was bored. Then the ending had some promise…but then nothing happened?! I just need to see Claire and Jamie time travel to 2018 and live in a modern world. Does it happen (no spoilers, book readers)?
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– Black Mirror season series 4. I binged the other series right before during the week since it’s so short and I wanted to jog my memory and really fuck my headspace up. Well, it fookin’ worked, y’all. All these new episodes really fucked me up good. I’m glad they added in some more happy endings because zamn. At the same time, I need tinder to feed the flames of my black, nihilist soul. I still can’t decide which one is my favorite, so I had to do a rewatch…and I still can’t decide (not “Crocodile”, though, bye).
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– Artemis by Andy Weir. I think I was too hype for this book because The Martian is one of my favorites. I enjoyed it, but it was, overall, rather forgettable, unfortunately. Luckily, it’s a short read and you may glean some fun out of it. Weir’s writing is great still and the funny moments are well-written.
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– Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder, Charles Soule (Volume 5, 2011-2015). When I was collecting information of comic books to read, this title popped up a lot. And I was skeptical because Swamp Thing, really? But I was wrong, of course. I really enjoyed this volume. Soule’s run was actually better for me than Snyder’s. The story felt more compelling to me and the art was superb. I have a new appreciation for Swamp Thing as a character and not to mention, his powers are wicked.
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– Animal Man by Jeff Lemire (Volume 2, 2011-2014). Eh, it wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be based on recommendations. The art was lackluster and unfortunately, though rare, it distracted me from the story. I didn’t really have interest in Buddy Baker before this and I now have slightly more interest.
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