The Shelter


The moment after you finish watching Community seasons 1-3 + it’s the greatest show so you pixelate yourself. #threeseasonsandthatsit

Happy Halloween! Holiday season is upon us (this is more or less signaled by me having to wear a shirt in my house now) and I always forget how much I love it because I’m partially spending a lot of it mourning the summer season. Okay, I just love every time of year because California is the best coast.

What have I been up to?

Health update: So I started feeling kind of sick of my meals (only mildly), but luckily, I had a vacation, which led to (no surprise here) completely breaking my diet…so…you know, it all worked out. Definitely hard to keep up with nutrition on vacation, but I guess I already knew that. Still have to find a workaround, though I know I’m more conscious of it now. As in, I realize in the moment that I’m making poor choices for my body, so I’ll always weigh the options and I’ll try to go for a healthier option, if possible.

My sleep schedule has been out of whack, so I need to get that back in whack. It’s worse than I thought. I think it’s partially work hours, partially laziness, partially weather, partially staying up late and different daily schedules, and partially having this racing mind that just won’t quit. Of note, I had one day recently where I went to bed, fell right asleep, got a solid 8 hours, and woke up so refreshed and ready to take on the day. I wish every day was like that. Most days are me staying up late and thus waking up late or going to bed early but not being able to sleep because I woke up late and thus wasn’t really tired long enough to warrant sleeping when I want to. It’s an endless cycle of de-motivation.

Chiptopia update: I’ve accomplished my goal and I actually can’t believe everyone came through for ya boy. Still not sick of Chipotle. I had my catering party this month, which turned out great. Surprised by all the free catering swag they gave me. Throwing catered lunch parties feels so adult. It’s been a fun summer having a random and fun short term goal to work towards with my friends.

Non-adulting update: Okay. So D&D has become my life and being an unapologetic nerd is awesome. Giving up TV has been a cinch in these Fall premiere weeks because I’ve just been watching Critical Role and rewatching some of my favorite shows.

D&D has turned out to be a really fun, new creative outlet for me. I get to write a fantasy novel while playing a fantasy game while learning to act/improv while drawing while hanging out with friends. WHO THE FUCK KNEW?! It’s been fun doing background research. I’ve learned about plot-writing and improving. I’ve also gotten back into drawing, as I’ve been sketching maps and character faces and expressions (and using a sketch pad and my prismacolors which I haven’t used yet). I’ve been watching Critical Role religiously to learn more and more (I’m caught up, though technically, I skipped quite a few episodes in between). Stop watching TV, I said. Free up more time to focus on your life, I said. Meanwhile…I get sucked into something else.

I’ve been watching TED talks to find random motivation and inspiration and just to learn. It feels like a smart way to spend my time.

Lately, I’ve been hit with a lot of nostalgia through media. Rewatching old shows makes me really reminiscent of the older, simpler years when that show was on. Even watching through seasons, you see the progression from Season 1 to the Series Finale. You think about the actors and where they are now. You think about where you were when the show aired and where you are now. It’s been a long time and so much has changed. But you’ll always have those episodes of your favorite shows to go back to. It’s a wonderful and heartbreaking feeling at the same time.

Listening to old music gives me the same feeling. Old artists and bands you used to like, you think about where they are now in their careers. Listening to old stuff and remembering why you liked that song so much and where you were and what was going on in life at that time. It’s such an odd feeling. Among other great music these past couple of months, Utada came back from hiatus with an album and I just felt this pang of nostalgia hit like no other. I had been listening to her old albums in anticipation and I loved every minute of it.

Nowadays, I don’t listen to much of my old music. I just make Spotify playlists and move onto the next every month. And with my enjoyment of EDM, DJs are releasing album-less, collaborative tracks so often, it’s hard to keep track. I think about the idea of my favorite artists and who used to be on the list, who’s still on the list, and who I should add. It’s been hard finding new artists that I can deem a favorite because there’s just so much and I really enjoy an artist one time and then the next, I forget about them. It’s a very weird feeling for someone who gets so attached and sentimental.

For the record, I feel this way about books, TV, and movies, too (and semi-relatedly, girls I used to like (in the sense that it’s really telling of who I was at that moment in time). Media can be so fleeting. Sometimes, I think of why something was a favorite…and was it really a favorite? Or just a product of the time? The enduring favorites, those are the ones to look out for. And these days, I’m always wary to get attached. Like should that be a favorite? Well, let me put it on the back-burner and see what happens (my TV hiatus is a product of this line of thought).

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. Just feeling nostalgic.

I’ve also started learning Vietnamese on Duolingo, the app I’ve been using to learn French. Let me tell you, it’s tough. On one hand, I’m thankful to have the background knowledge that I do because if you’re going into Vietnamese without prior knowledge, good luck. On the other hand, because I’ve learned the language in a very slang/Vietlish/colloquial way, it’s hard to separate that from the formal way the app teaches it (and I’m not entirely sure if the app is right and I’ve been learned wrong this whole time or not). It’s fun though and I do love this app. It’s funny because French comes a lot easier to me now. I used to sometimes try to translate songs to Spanish, but now I do it for French. Sometimes, I try to think in French. In fact, getting through my French lessons are way quicker than my Viet lessons.

As you may well know, I finally got some tiny hands; I’d been wanting to buy these for months, but couldn’t justify the price. Finally, for whatever reason, I think my budgeting was really good this month, I decided to get them. I don’t remember life before Tiny Hands. They’re the best and my friends have given me the greatest spectrum of reactions I could expect.

Tiny Hands!

Fun events update: Nothing too wild, yet. But another Vegas trip in the books, and probably the best one yet? Because I want to retire from Vegas now, it was that fun. My sister came home and we were planning to go to Vegas for Celine Dion (who I finally saw in concert!), so we planned a trip around that. Bonus because we also got to celebrate Amadeo’s birthday that weekend, lots of laughs all around. And I got to see Chainsmokers (kind of) and Cash Cash (front row!) that weekend. Also got table service for the first time and got to step into a penthouse suite. My theory is that when I have a taste of the Ballin’ Life, and I can’t go back, things just won’t be the same. But it was also great because I somehow got really buzzed really quick, was able to keep it for both nights without getting sick (I usually hate drinking two nights in a row), and I felt great throughout.

On the way home, we stopped by Seven Magic Mountains because why not. My new tradition (that started last time and I guess ends now) is to do something outside of Vegas while we’re there. This was close and popular and convenient. It made for great pictures, but it was windy and dusty, and cool, but not as cool as you’d think. I like the idea of the temporary art piece and I’m hoping they continue to replace it with something new.

Also got to go back to Universal and walk through The Walking Dead attraction. Thankfully, it was daytime, but as I walked in alone, I was thinking how much of a mistake it was. It ended up being okay because there were other people in front, guards walking around (so we don’t hurt the zombies, I assume), and random non-zombie actors. I feel like I’ve come a long way from that kid freaking out in haunted houses, but then I think to myself, why do I subject myself to this? Anyway, back to WWHP where I got to fill up on butterbeer and happiness.

So Kygo is one of  my favorite DJs, so I was really excited to see him live. It was unreal, with the live orchestra and performances, the fireworks and the lights, and the guests- Seal and Leona Lewis came out, the latter of whom sang my favorite Kygo song- Oasis. Magical, I tell you.

We had our traditional pumpkin carving event, though this year, I opted out of carving a pumpkin, instead choosing to solely observe. Much less stressful that way, but also less rewarding in the end. Everyone seems to be stepping up their pumpkin carving game, and this is bias because social media allows everyone to humble brag more and on a larger platform, obviously (not hating, just observing). I didn’t have inspiration this year, so I didn’t want to carve.

Went to Escape for the second Halloween weekend in a row. Interesting and new experiences this time around. Saw a lot of great costumes, hi-fived some tiny hands with my tiny hands, didn’t see anything too crazy this time. I enjoyed some new DJs I hadn’t listened to prior to the week before in which I made a playlist (Lost Frequencies, Andrew Bayer, Andrew Rayel, Mark Sixma, etc.), but I was disappointed in Kaskade (possibly because it was too crowded and we were outside and I was sobering up), who I really wanted to see. Overall, very fun, but I’m announcing my [second] retirement from raves.

Also went to Comikaze during Halloween weekend. We went for the first time 2 years ago and this was our second trip together. There will be a recap here soon. Also interesting and new experiences. Saw a lot of great costumes, but didn’t hi-five any tiny hands, unfortunately. I also didn’t have any Stan Lee sightings this year because my body decided not to wake up on time Saturday morning. Seriously, this sleep issue is killing me.

Adulting update: I’m so sick of this election, can’t wait for it to be over so I can get on with my life, which includes things like being uninterested in politics.

More importantly, I’m also planning a self-governed hibernation (my last one was a hermitude, I think last year), in which I disconnect from my social life to try and get back on track with myself. It will take some time, and I’m not exactly sure how long it will be, but I feel it necessary and overdue. I’ve been talking about it for a while, but have held out for this past weekend. Now, I can happily have no plans for the rest of the year and snuggle up in my blankets and eat lots of comfort food (it’s already begun because my parents bought Halloween candy and the bag is open so they clearly helped themselves so I decided to do the same, and not that many kids come to our house anymore anyway so there’s always a lot of candy left, so I might as well enjoy it, okay?!). Anyhow, catch you on the flipside!

Food lab:
– Singaporean Chili Crab, recipe adapted from Steamy Kitchen. The national dish, how exciting. And also an interesting new way for me to enjoy crab. Definitely had difficulty with this recipe with the whole personal killing of an animal thing (classic privileged person who never had to kill their meal (and yes, I do realize that someone out there is killing an animal to get food to me, but do realize that psychologically, it’s obviously easier to accept it when you’re not doing it (though I do recognize that animals are still being tortured/killed for human pleasure/consumption even if I don’t see it (I’m not ignorant, and I know that I need to find more ways to address this (but that’s a post for another time))))). Anyway, this was very interesting because the palate was very different from what I was expecting and still, I find it odd, yet delectable. My parents really liked it too.
– Korean BBQ baby back ribs, recipe adapted from Steamy Kitchen. I was trying to find a Korean recipe that I was interested in and stumbled upon this, another recipe that’s a new way for me to enjoy an old favorite. And once again, back on the crisis of pork. Like the previous recipe, it also was very interesting and new for my palate, very complex, yet familiar. Odd, yet delectable.
– I’ve gotten into this habit of thanking whatever animal sacrificed themselves so that I could enjoy the meal before I eat. I know it’s weird, but I just want to put it out there that I recognize the animal suffered for this and it’s all part of eating mindfully. It’s hard when your family has particular eating habits, and you have habits that are hard to break, and you have a crisis of conscious. So for now, while I don’t go full vegan, I can at least acknowledge and be conscious of this.
– Just to be clear, here’s where I stand with this. And feel free to enlighten me. I try to eat less beef and lamb because these animals’ grazing habits (ruminants) are bad for the environment. I try to eat less pork and octopus (I don’t like the latter anyway) because I deem them to be intelligent creatures and it depresses me. I know animals are being farmed and suffer every single day for human consumption (and I know people get all upset about eating dog meat, but where’s the love for pigs who are more intelligent? People’s narrow-mindedness with relativity irks me). It’s tough because I’ll admit I’m weak to the taste of meat. I guess what I can do is find meat that is humanely raised and killed, right? I’ll have to do more research on this (I am ignorant on this, which is why I’ve just been trying to avoid what I can). And in the meantime, I can recognize death and be grateful of what I have.
– Some quick research: pasture-raised > free range, 100% grass fed (but grass-fed ruminants are bad for environment?), “Animal Welfare Approved” sticker, enrichments, no antibiotics, humane slaughter (paradoxical?), humaneitarian, this, this, and this. What’s good for you, the animal, and the Earth (note: it’s a balance)?

~ by Btab on 31 October 2016.

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