The Uncharted Territory

Adventure Catalog

– It’s as if this past month or so has been a dream. I’ve been waking up late, working a lot of hours, and really enjoying my free time. I’ve gotten to come back to a lot of hobbies.
– I’ve been trying to give myself time limits and schedules for all the fun stuff I do so that I can get many things done in one day. It doesn’t always work out so well because indulgence is easy, moderation takes practice.
– So far, I’ve been playing videogames for trophies, working on my art, returning to edX, and planning a roadtrip in my free time. I’ve also started learning ASL and looking for new things to try that I can devote some time to.
– I decided to lose control of myself for a bit in order to just get through my games and I got all the platinum trophies I want for now. It’s always this unquenchable thirst I have when I feel like I just want to sit and play games 24/7. It’s unhealthy, for sure, and a lot of times frustrating, and I feel gross afterwards, but when quelled, I feel much better and more accomplished (fake digital trophies are my thing). It’s an odd sensation to describe. I’m not actually sure when I’m getting my next game, though it will probably be closer to Black Friday, anyway. Until then, I’m pretty gamed-out.
– I finally got to see ARIZONA live and it was awesome. Looking back, it all seemed like a blur, very short, but I love all the songs on their album, so I was good. However, I forget how much I dislike concertgoers in general, especially annoying tall people. Luckily, I stood against the wall in the back because the place was small and I still got a decent view with a nice backrest and no one bumped into me.
– Amadeo had a birthday this month and we went brewery hopping…and I feel like everyone is so mature and old now that no one got wasted (as far as I can tell, though I left early). Long gone are the days of staying out late and drinking a lot! Just kidding, I hope not. Sometimes it’s fun to get super drunk in the wee hours of the morning and break any normal dietary restrictions by crying into a milkshake at 0300.

Dog Diaries

As you probably know, I had the opportunity to dogsit for a weekend and it was one of the greatest things to happen to me this year (and it’s been a great year!), so I’ll recount every little detail. If you missed my 3-day Snapchat story, I presciently saved them for your viewing pleasure.

You know how when you have a kid, all you want to do is talk about your kid and it’s annoying to everyone except you? And how everything little thing they do is cute and must be documented? This was me, except this dog clearly isn’t even mine. I still can’t believe I convinced my parents to allow this.

Puppies are so pure and innocent and when you see them learn something, it’s such a beautiful and precious thing to witness.

Peyton was friendly at first sight (and it was (mutual) love at first sight). I don’t think he really comprehended that his parents left him. He got really excited any time someone entered the room and initially, his eyes would follow me any time I moved. Over the course of the weekend, I learned he was very well socialized, independent, and friendly (perhaps too friendly with strangers), which is a sign of good parenting.

I decided to spend some time teaching him how to shake, so we went to spend some time on the stairs. But being a precious puppy, he didn’t know how to properly use stairs, though I think he eventually caught on. He learned to shake so quickly and could do it with both paws…so precious, I can’t even.

Outside in our backyard, I initially didn’t let him off the leash because he was too curious to obediently come to me when I called him. He ate anything and ran through lots of corners with cobwebs. Eventually, he’d run freely through the yard and liked to bring his toys outside and sit in the dirt.

Afterwards, he’d get tired and it’d be the perfect moment to hold him and take a nap because he was so floppy. So much trust. Every time he stretched, it was the cutest. He wouldn’t eat anything out of his bowl, but I’d either have to hand feed him or put food on the floor for him. So silly.

I took him out for Amadeo’s birthday because a lot of Anaheim breweries are dog friendly. We had a lot of fun; he had so much energy and then by the end, he got sleepy. So cute.

I usually don’t like male dogs because of an incident that happened to me and Alan in our youth (the incident entitled “Doggy Dilemma”), but Peyton is the best! I definitely miss having a dog around to cuddle with.

Health Catalog

– I love that feeling when I get a new lease on life. Whether it’s after a month of lethargy, or just a day- I often start to feel invigorated after some lull in my health journey.
– I feel like I’ve been keeping up pretty well with my goals lately, but at the same time, I also feel like I’m plateauing, and I can’t seem to get past it. I’m thinking of mixing things up just for a change because routine can get boring if I just keep at the same thing without progress.
– I’m still working on my posture and correcting what I believe to be APT, anterior pelvic tilt. I’ve been also trying to sleep on my back with a pillow under my thighs, but it gets to the point where I just can’t sleep and give into more comfortable positions. When I’m conscious of my posture, whether standing, sitting, or laying, it’s crazy how quickly my body contorts to a more comfortable position, even if it’s not necessarily healthy for my body.
– My sleep schedule has been out of whack because I’ve had the freedom of waking up late, which is rather bittersweet. I need to find within myself the motivation to get up regularly and sleep early.
– My right wrist has been hurting, feeling a little sore when I stretch it in both directions. I’ve been kind of worried, so I’ve decided to take a break from the gym, which seemed to exacerbate the problem every time I needed to grip something. It’s a good reason not to work out, yet I still feel like it’s so inconvenient for my routine.

Life Reflected

– All of the sudden, I feel like when one part of my life seems to be headed in the “right” direction, I realize there are other parts of my life that I’ve been neglecting. And then it all comes rushing forward and smacks me in the face. It’s an odd sensation of mixed calm and calamity.
– My goals suddenly seem obtainable, yet I feel a void that I can’t put my finger on. From where does this sudden qualm originate? I’m not sure. I think part of it is this paradoxical feeling of comfort, and how I shouldn’t be comfortable– shouldn’t there be something that I need to be worrying about right now? That’s probably stemming from some deep childhood feeling of low self-esteem and how I don’t deserve happiness, but I’m not a psychologist.

Signal Boost

Spider-Man: Homecoming. This was everything I hoped it was and more. It’s so odd how I don’t really like Spider-Man as a character, but his films I just love. I’m not even really sure why I don’t like him, his powers are awesome and he’s hilarious and his suit is really cool. He was just never one of my favorites growing up. Nonetheless, the PoC excellence in this film and all the little Easter eggs were just a treat. Also, Marisa Tomei is bae.
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The Big Sick. More Asian male leads please! I’m starting to see a trend, me learning a lot more about Afghanistan, Armenia, and Pakistan (see more below)…countries a lot of Americans don’t think about when they think “Asian”. I just love POC and how all stories with POC infuse so much more culture than 2 whites. What a beautiful, funny story this was!
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The Promise. I did not think I’d like this film. Ugh, love triangles. But I had to watch because Christian Bale is the best. Turns out it was an amazing look at the Armenian Genocide, something I didn’t even know about. Tragic, heart-wrenching, and powerful. I’m so glad I watched this and learned something new about something so atrocious.
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Gifted. A sweet, though rather predictable film that raises an interesting question. Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer always get me, but there was a pleasant surprise in the young Mckenna Grace.
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I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore. Another quirky Netflix comedy that wasn’t like what I expected it to be. Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood were great. You should watch it and enjoy it for the wild ride it is.
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To The Bone. A Netflix indie film and I’ll pretty much watch anything with Keanu Reeves. It’s a drama about anorexia and other eating disorders. I thought the acting was good and it was interesting, I don’t know much about eating disorders and how accurate these depictions were, though it was good.
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Despicable Me 3. They’re really reaching with these movies now, yet there’s still something slightly endearing about it. The minions are still super cute and the family element still tugs at my heartstrings. The storyline is rather lame and lacking, but it is a kid’s movie after all. I didn’t even remember what happened in the last one, so it was hard to follow along.
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Batman and Harley Quinn. Another addition to the DC Universe Original Animated Movies. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was actually quite funny. It was very reminiscent of the old Batman cartoon, mixed in with a lot of random humor. It was very light and there were a lot of dramatic moments that just fell short…but I feel like this was done on purpose. It was strange, but in a good way. I love all the canon/meta references, Harley and Ivy together, the adult humor, and the fact that I always side with Poison Ivy on everything. I mean, I’m all for killing all humans, but even better- we get to be human-plant hybrids? I’m down.
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The Defenders. I can’t say I was super looking forward to this show, but I was interested to see where it was going. Having avoided Iron Fist, at first, it was confusing, but everything kind of wove together towards episode 3. Still, it always seemed like, as a whole, it fell short. Like the poor man’s Avengers, except zero comic relief and a lot of similar/boring powers. Also, Iron Fist is still ridiculous and annoying af. And I really like Jessica Jones, but her irreverence and whining kind of overshadowed a lot (ugh with all the martial arts disrespect). This is all me being overly critical though. I enjoyed the episodes…I mean I did binge watch it after all. Then again, I did take several breaks, so it must have not been all that engaging. At the end of the day, it was a good mini-series, but the team lacked cohesion and chemistry, which I hope they will develop in the future. Also, they didn’t call themselves “The Defenders”, so that was lame. On the other hand (hehe), I really liked all the members of The Hand, I wish we got to see more of them. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, but I liked it. Don’t miss it if you’re a Netflix Marvel fan.
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Twin Peaks season 3. Um. I really don’t know. I think I was naive in expecting everything to wrap up neatly. I am satisfied but also mostly unsatisfied. It was great and it was ridiculous. I am enlightened and confused.
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– Preacher season 2. I absolutely adore this show. There are departures from the comic series, but I’m pretty okay with them and am more interested to see where they take all the characters. This season just built upon the magic that was season 1 and made it more hilarious and ridiculous.
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Outlander seasons 1 and 2. I decided to finally give this show a try because I got a free shirt at their booth at SDCC, so I felt obligated (I didn’t realize this show was such a hit with bored housewives). But I don’t like period pieces. And I don’t like shows with just white people. And I also don’t care for rape scene after rape scene. I rolled my eyes a lot from the stupid drama. Yet…for whatever reason, I was so intrigued by the sci-fi time traveling part of it that I had to keep watching. Season 1 started going downhill and season 2 was rather boring, as I wasn’t really into the period drama of it all. It got very Downton Abbey. However, the ending was great, and I really enjoy the time travel stuff, even though it’s heartbreaking because we know the end result- we just don’t know how they get there. And now I’m just engrossed in whatever the hell is going to happen in the coming seasons, as I hear the book series is long and full of great source material. Not really in it for the romance, but here we are (though I thought I was gonna see a lot more romping Starz sex scenes, but not that many actually). I love the theme song and the all the Scottish slang too.
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People of Earth season 2. I absolutely adore this show; I wish there were more episodes because it is definitely getting super interesting. I went to the panel at this year’s SDCC as well and got to watch S02E01 with the cast. Adding Nasim Pedrad was a gift. The first season was wacky, but this season is more grounded (if that’s possible), while still holding onto the goofiness of season 1. One of my favorite shows no one is talking about for sure.
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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 12. The irreverence is off the charts this season, but the genius behind some of these episodes is amazing. I love/hate these characters. I’m sad for the hiatus.
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Bob’s Burgers season 7. Such an endearing show with hilarious characters. It’s another good show for background noise because any time you pay attention, there’s a quick, witty joke. This season wasn’t all too memorable, but it had it’s quirky moments.
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Castlevania season 1. I quite enjoy this game series, though I’ve only played a couple. I recall they were enjoyable. I saw this on Netflix and thought it’d be interesting to see, it’s only 4 short episodes, but very intriguing. I can’t wait to see more, I wish it was longer.
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Portlandia season 7. Still hilarious and ridiculous and oddly relatable. Next season is the last, but I always enjoy binging this quirky show because I don’t really have to keep up with it, but can just put it on in the background. It’s such a clever show.
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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I finally got around to reading this and so glad I did- haven’t read such an emotionally draining book in a while. And not a lot of books really keep on the edge of my seat. I read before bed, so I read for a certain amount of time to get enough sleep, but sometimes, you just have to sacrifice some sleep time to keep reading.
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Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino. When I found out DiMartino was writing a book, I just had to read it. It has a lot of the same elements as Avatar, so I found it quite enjoyable. There were some flaws that I’m sure a young reader wouldn’t care about, but at the same time, I found it inspiring. The art was great. I’m excited to see where he goes next in the series.
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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. After Kite Runner, I had to read this. And it broke my heart even more. I found myself bawling. It’s one of those books that just destroyed me, but it was so great. Read if you feel the need to feel an emptiness in your soul and/or release some tears.
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The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. I thought I was going to like this book, but a lot of it didn’t apply to me. I found myself skipping a lot of sections (this book would have been better as solely an e-book or website with links). I also found some parts pretentious and really white-male-centric. There were some small nuggets, but what I found was that it served as a good reminder for me to get inspired and go down a less conventional path in life. I can’t say I recommend it to everyone, but hey, it might be interesting, slightly fictional, and it could inspire you too.
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Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis. What a strange, magnificent, eerie, hilarious story. And to read this in 2017, in this dystopian world…it’s not too far off from current circumstances. None of the issues dragged for me, the art was crazy and overflowed on the page. I was really interested in all the lore: newsfeeds, eating dogs, transients, etc. etc. And it was just so funny.
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Green Arrow (2011) vol. 4-6 by Jeff Lemire. I was told to read this run from Lemire, as it was the best one for this character. Overall, I felt it was rather lackluster and derivative of the CW show, which I’ve stopped watching because it got annoying. This series never felt like it was enough of anything, a bit too rushed, and I didn’t like any of the characters. It was okay.
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American Teen by Khalid. I randomly listened to Young, Dumb, and Broke and fell in love with the vibes, then the entire album was like magic in my ears. So much talent within this young man, I can’t wait to see where he goes.
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– Ctrl by SZA. Another random listen from an artist whose name I’ve heard so much. And I’m so glad I listened- this album met the hype. Her voice comes out as silk, so fluid and smooth. My favorite song is Drew Barrymore (watch the music video too).
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Trip by Jhene Aiko. More chill vibes from a surprise album drop- and a massive one at that. Some are a bit weird, like the talking/yelling parts (I really hate talking in songs). Her voice is also very relaxing.
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Double Duchess by Fergie. I’ve had a crush of Fergie since forever and it’s been a long running joke with me and Ryan. I’ve been waiting for this album since the first one dropped and I can’t believe it’s finally here. I’m a fan of her more ballad-y stuff like Big Girls Don’t Cry and there were a surprising number of songs on here that showcased her voice. And there’s no lack of silly, fun rap pieces as well.
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Awake by Illenium. One of my favorite DJs. This album is no different than his other work; I absolutely adore his music…more chill vibes.
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Stargazing EP by Kygo. Also one of my favorite DJs and another chill album. It’s clearly the month of me listening to chill music. It’s short, but every song is perfection.
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~ by Btab on 29 September 2017.

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