You’re a pretty little flower, I’m a busy little bee

I heard this song the other day when I was bored and shuffling through songs. Beekeeper’s Daughter by AAR if you’re wondering.

A little list of the things I’ve picked up about work:

i-dont-mind-going-to-work1. 9-5 hours suck.

home-from-work2. Don’t take your work back home. It’s unhealthy. Also, by the time work is over, is there even time to do anything??


3. Pen and paper do wonders when you’re bored/the internet is down.


4. … because most of the people don’t get work done UNTIL it’s 6pm. I don’t get it. What’s wrong with these people?


5. You know nothing, Jon Snow. I’m impressed by how little working people actually know. Or maybe it’s just this place…

foodcourt6. The food court won’t change much within 3 years so expect to fight for tables (in my case, let people snag the empty tables because I’m not aggressive enough) and eat less-than-mediocre food for lunch every day.

publictoilets7. When in doubt, go to the clean ladies’ room. Really. Don’t do anything stupid by going to the toilet on the ground floor.


Me after tasting the ‘honey green tea’

8. The drink machine spits out horrible drinks.


9. There are snakes in the office. Figurative ones. Watch yer backs.


10. You learn something new every day…

Bonus: You re-discover music you haven’t listened to in ages.

Looking back, this post describes my feelings exactly at the time I was slogging away at the office.

What’s work like for you? Ever worked a crappy job?


Things I have learned from this office lyfe

Y’all, after sitting at a desk for two weeks from 9-5 (not really, it’s more than that), I have noticed a crapload of stuff about an office job that I would never have known. I’ve always told my mom that I don’t think I could – never mind, lost my train of thought and left this sentence hanging ahaha. Anyway, here’s what I learned:

1. I’m appalled at the bad/defaming things that people say about others behind their backs. Like one minute they’re talking bad about someone and the next minute, they’re talking to that someone as if they weren’t just insulting him or her. Er, okay, man. Scary.

2. The customer service department is interesting but it’s emotionally draining. Like, seriously, how many complaints can you read? Apparently hundreds of them in one day. It is not very uplifting.

3. What are dress codes anymore?! For women, that is. People wear the weirdest things to work. I just feel like I’m at the mall…

4. Can one actually spend the WHOLE day on the phone? Apparently so. Can one actually spend the WHOLE day talking LOUDLY on the phone? Yes sirree bob. This guy talked from morning till the end of the work day. It was so distracting. I wonder if that’s his job – to just make phone calls. Also, I wonder if anyone even understands most of what he’s saying. Let’s just say pronunciation and professional lingo are not his forte.

5. You can never have too much tissue in your pocket. My jacket pocket is STUFFED. #soAsian I don’t trust the toilet paper in the toilets. Instead I take the tissue from the pantry once it’s newly refilled. True story.

6. Don’t trust the ‘free breakfast’ that the department gives out every morning.

7. I just cannot sit properly for too long. Y’all, don’t look under the table while I’m at the desk because chances are I have my shoes off and my feet stacked on the empty cardboard boxes under the desk. Sometimes I have my feet crossed, sometimes I have one knee propped up (only when nobody’s looking), sometimes I have my bare feet resting on the legs of the chair. Dunno how you ladies do it but you have my respect.

Aaand this post was written a while back. I’m back at school, whew. But trust me, I’ve learned lots from my time at the office.


Summer anime review: Barakamon, Free! Eternal Summer and Haikyuu!!

First off, I’ll have you know that some of the best anime I’ve watched were this year’s summer anime. Second, I planned on writing separate reviews but figured that would take too long and I want to write the reviews while the details are still fresh.

Barakamon barakamon2 Story: 10/10 This goes right up there with K Project, Darker than Black, Rurouni Kenshin and Natsume Yuujinchou. Absolute masterpiece of an anime and adapted from such a simple but beautiful manga.

This slice-of-life anime is about Handa Seishuu (aka Sensei as he is known to the village people), a talented calligrapher from Tokyo, who is sent off to a remote island after punching an art director in a moment of anger in to repent and in the process, try to find his own unique writing style. There he learns to adapt to the slow and laid back and bare country life. This is also where he forms new friendships and bonds with all the strange and crazy people in the tiny village.

It’s so beautiful, I cry. There’s character development in every episode and even though I can’t picture myself living in a town that small, it was all very interesting and I found myself thinking how amazing it would be to live in a town where everyone knows each other.


L-R: Kawafuji, Sensei, Hiroshi, Naru, Kousuke

Characters: 10/10 Naru might start out as one of those annoying kid characters but don’t be fooled. She is the most lovable anime kid. She’s mischievous and adventurous (she has this strange obsession with bugs) and is always bugging Sensei to play with her. Her relationship with Sensei is so heartwarming.

Sensei is the best. He is a goofball with a quick temper but a big heart. He is as handsome as he is old-school. After being told by the art director that his calligraphy is boring and unoriginal, he sets off on a quest to create his own style of calligraphy. He’s a determined guy but with a mentality set to ‘live by the basic rules of calligraphy’, he finds it difficult to break out of the mold.

Then there’s Tama and Miwa, the two 14/15 year old girls who love a good prank and are generally fun-loving. They are the ringleaders of the town’s kids and lead them into all kinds of mischief.

Hiroshi is the oldest ‘kid’ in town at age 17 or was it 18? He’s got a dry sense of humor but is fun to be around.

The other kids are Hina, Kentarou, Daisuke and Yutaka. Hina is a crybaby, Kentarou is a boy version of Naru and the other kids are just part of the gang. There are a few other interesting characters like the Village Chief, Naru’s grandpa and Tama’s brother.

Sound: 9/10 The OP and ED are perfect. I don’t know which I like better. The OP is Rashisa by Super Beaver (coolest band name since Goat Bed but that’s a whole different story). The ED is Innocence by Noisy Cell. I know, what absurd band names… until you listen to their songs.

The background music fit the mood but I don’t remember a particular score catching my interest. Hmm, maybe I’ll have to re-watch it soon.

The voice acting was amazing mostly because of Ono Daisuke’s talent but also because they actually hired kids to voice the children. Usually they get women to do the kids’ roles but Barakamon has real kids playing the characters. I think it felt a lot more raw because you can ‘feel’ the innocence of the kids through their voice acting.

Ono Daisuke as Handa Seishuu (aka Sensei), Hara Suzuko as Kotoishi Naru, Suwabe Junichi as Kawafuji, Uchiyama Kouki as Kido Hiroshi, Kaji Yuki as Kanzaki Kousuke, Furuki Nozomi as Yamamura Miwa, Okubo Rumi as Arai, Endou Rina as Kubota Hina, Tamako Sugino Tanuki as Kido Yuujirou, Kimura Seiya as Oohama Kentarou.

Art: 10/10 Handa Seishuu is so cute. <3 <3 I love his character design. Actually everyone’s character design fits their personality. Naru’s expressions are the bomb.

The calligraphy was brilliant – every piece was breathtaking!! The animation was smooth and I didn’t find any inconsistencies. Gorgeous setting and warm-toned colors – so inviting.

Overall: 10/10 Watch this. I love it so much. It’s heartwarming and a great feel-good show. Another classic example of simplicity can be beautiful.

Free! Eternal Summer


L-R: bottom row: Haru, Rin, Rei; second row: Nagisa, Makoto

Story: 5/10 So bad, seriously. I don’t know if more time between this season and the last would have resulted in a better storyline but I doubt it. The story is about Haru this time (sort of) and Rin and Sousuke(why). I don’t want to recount the story for fear that I might get riled up and go off track so here’s the gist:

Haru, Makoto and Rin are in their last year of high school while Nagisa and Rei are in their 2nd year of high school. They’re determined to go to the swimming championship this year but since it’s Haru, Makoto and Rin last year of school, they also have to concentrate on their studies and plan their future. But wait, before that, Sousuke who is Rin’s childhood friend, shows up in town and starts going to Rin’s school, bringing more drama in the process.

Most of the whole season focuses on Haru not knowing what he wants to do in the future (boy doesn’t want to go to college, doesn’t want to take up swimming as a profession, basically just wants to be ‘free’ whatever that means) and Sousuke being jealous of Rin and Haru’s relationship (boy needs to take a chill pill and realize that nobody is out to snag his boyfriend) while hiding a ‘secret’ from Rin.

I think the name Eternal Summer should have been played down a little simply because of the fact that they kept stressing the point of everyone not being to swim together after school ends. They made it sound like a sure fact – like oh no, this will be laaast time they get to swim together. Sorry, what ever happened to public pools and school holidays?? I mean, I understand that sometimes it is difficult to meet up after high school because everyone kind of goes their own way but the way they made it sound was way too dramatic.

Completely unrealistic story part: Haru FLEW TO AUSTRALIA with Rin in the middle of the school year after he fought with Makoto. Who even does that? Where does the money come from? Also, the episodes didn’t add up. The first half of the season was about each character’s troubles then halfway through the season, the story changed and well, it was disjointed from there.

Characters: 7/10 Haru’s character development was in the negative zone this season. He was a whiny, angry, ungrateful brat. Makoto should have just slapped him across the face. Instead of being a supportive friend, he has been holding Makoto back all this while with his indecisiveness and bratty behavior. So annoying. His catchphrase this season is ‘What future?’ instead of ‘I only swim free’. It got annoying after the first three times he said it.

Makoto probably had the most development. Like Haru, Makoto has always kind of been uncertain of what to do in the future but in this season, we got to see Makoto find his place in the world after teaching kids how to swim and realizing that that was what he enjoyed. It was pretty sweet. I am really glad that there was character development for Makoto since he is my favorite character. Makoto is everything – kind, gentle, handsome, affectionate, patient and CHECK THOSE ABS OUT.

Nagisa and Rei improved in this season too even though I’m sure their lines were decreased.

Rin was also surprisingly better this season too. I didn’t like him in the first season but I have to say, after his hissy fit in season 1, he seems to have matured/improved a lot. I like that. He’s waaay better than Haru in terms of character personality.

I did not like the addition of Sousuke’s character. It was painful to watch even though some might argue that he’s the best part of Free! Eternal Summer. Sousuke basically acted like Haru in season 1 except with an injury. His story didn’t feel relevant to the main story and why does everyone want to ‘swim with Rin once more’?? He and Rin’s relationship are like two emo high school girls. -_- ‘Because I knew you would cry’ is probably the poorest reason for hiding the fact that your shoulder is broken and you can’t swim anymore but you’re just forcing yourself so that you can swim with someone.

Kisumi was interesting though but we saw all of 30 seconds of him for the entire season. Oh well. We also got to see much less of Gou even though she’s one of the more interesting characters. Less Coach Sasabe but more Ren and Ran (Makoto’s siblings awww).

Momo is the cutest. I LOVE him and his sea otter impressions. He’s as hilarious and sweet as his brother Captain Mikoshiba Seijuurou (ah, my heart goes doki doki for this cutie). Minus points for the lack of Mikoshiba scenes. Okay, there were a few scenes but I love my Mikoshiba too much for those bits to be enough.


L-R: Sousuke, Rin, Ai, Momo

Sound: 9/10 If it’s one thing that they’ve kept consistent this season, it’s the music. The OP is by OldCodex again and somehow we managed not to listen to it at all. I don’t know, there’s a lot of screaming. The ED is Future Fish by Style Five (haha, yeah, Haru, Makoto, Nagisa, Rei and Rin) and it’s as catchy as Splash Free, maybe more. I love it. Neo Blue Breathing (who even comes up with these titles and what do they actually mean??) is awesome.

Makoto’s character songs are great but the rest are just okay. The background music is even better and I can’t wait for all the tracks to be released.

The voice acting was consistent. Old cast: Shimazaki Nobunaga as Nanase Haruka, Suzuki Tatsuhisa as Tachibana Makoto, Tsubasa Yonaga as Hazuki Nagisa, Hirakawa Daisuke as Ryuugazaki Rei, Miyano Mamoru as Matsuoka Rin, Miyata Kouki as Nitori Ai, Yanaka Hiroshi as Sasabe Gorou, Watabe Akeno as Matsuoka Gou, Yukino Satsuki as Amakata Miho, Tsuda Kenjirou as Mikoshiba Seijuurou.

New cast: Suzumura Kenichi as Mikoshiba Momotarou (as adorable as SuzuKen gets), Hosoya Yoshimasa as Yamazaki Sousuke was ehhh but I guess his voice fit Sousuke’s size??

Art: 10/10 What can I say? KyoAni’s best art and animation yet. Stop it, Makoto is infinitely HOTTER in this season. I melt.

I love that there were more clothes this season as in more outfit changes. I can’t get enough of everyone looking so good in whatever they’re wearing. Hah, there was tons of fan service so don’t worry, the swimming boys are still in epic shape and look better than ever.

The animation is wonderful!! Absolutely flawless. I love the attention to detail and the ending video topped the first season’s which is saying something because how can you top Rin splashing in water in the Sahara Desert lol? Makoto as a fireman. Makoto as a fireman. Makoto as a fireman. The end.

Overall: 7/10 I know this review sounds critical of Free! and while I am disappointed in the poor storyline and lack of character development, I have a love-hate-love relationship with Free. Everything about Free! is beautiful, just not the parts that are most important aka the story. I would probably say that I enjoyed the first season better (minus the betrayal of Rei part).


haikyuu1Story: 7.5/10 This is a story about high school volleyball. Most sports anime have the same concept: the high school team trying to win some kind of championship (except maybe Free! where there’s a lot of high school drama between boys lol jk). And how interesting can that get, you wonder? Actually, very. I enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke immensely.

The story is centered around Karasuno High School and its volleyball club. Kageyama (aka King of the Court) and Hinata, who were originally from rival junior high schools, transfer to Karasuno. They both join the volleyball club where they learn to put aside their old rivalry and play as a team. Because of their skill and talent, they become quite the duo but even then they soon learn of the importance of training and working together in a team.

Man, I don’t really know how to summarize the story but to simplify it further: The story is mostly about those two but then there’s also the challenges faced by the whole volleyball team and the main goal is to win the Inter High volleyball competition.

The episodes near the ending were a bit too far-fetched but luckily the ending wasn’t too unrealistic. The last episode was weird though… I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t watched. Haikyuu!! has 24 episodes but it sure didn’t feel that way. Everything went by really quickly, meaning there was a lot of action so no boring moments.


Teams: Karasuno (orange and navy), Aoba Jousai (white and green), Nekoma (red and black)

Characters: 8/10 Wow, there are too many to list. I’ll just give you Karasuno’s members. Kageyama Tobio, Hinata Shouyou, Tanaka Ryuunosuke, Sawamura Daichi, Nishinoya Yuu, Sugawara Koushi, Azumane Asahi, Tsukishima Kei, Ukai Keishin, Yamaguchi Tadashi, Takeda Ittetsu.

Kageyama is okay. I probably don’t like him as much as Kagami from KnB even if he did turn down the obnoxious ‘King of the Court’ behavior. Hinata is better. Maybe too enthusiastic but a better comic relief than Kuroko. I liked Nishinoya better than I expected to. Tanaka is hilarious. I just wish they focused less on Kageyama and Hinata since the other members got far less screen time. Coach Ukai is cool.

In terms of character development, it was there though I wouldn’t say there was a lot of it… Well, there’s probably going to be a season 2 so hopefully we’ll see more character development there.

Oh then there’s Kuroo Tetsurou and Oikawa Tooru. Because they are important. And so fine. You did not hear that from me ahaha.

Sound: 8.5/10 NICO Touches The Wall has gone into my music folder. They sang one of the three EDs and I love it. I don’t remember what the other EDs sound like so I’ll probably go listen to them later. The OPs were okay (better than OldCodex IMO).

Here we have some (fairly) new voice talent: Ishikawa Kaito as Kageyama, Murase Ayumu as Hinata, Hayashi Yuu as Tanaka, Saito Soma as Yamaguchi. Regulars: Hino Satoshi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Irino Miyu, Kamiya Hiroshi, Hosoya Yoshimasa, Uchiyama Kouki, Tanaka Kazunari,  Nakamura Yuuichi, Namikawa Daisuke, Kaji Yuki, Yoshino Hiroyuki… Everyone was great!

Art: 9/10 Nice art, great animation. The movements were fluid so the actions felt very real. The setting was nice – I liked the whole countryside feel to it… Kind of like Barakamon but not as small.

Overall: 7.5/10 Good show. It’s fast-paced and volleyball is an interesting sport so I recommend it. Prepare to be high strung on emotions while watching it.

And that’s it! We watched wayyy too many shows in such a small frame of time so my recollection of each show is jumbled up.


Driving around town and other highlights

Today was one of those chill days. And this is also one of those delayed posts that I finished but didn’t get around to posting. No idea why.


1. Skye was a passenger in my car. Er, I mean, my mom’s car. We went for a spin and I drove. Of course I picked the hour when traffic wasn’t too bad. I don’t think I could handle heavy traffic. My mom and Skye approve of my driving. ;)

2. We had an okay lunch then had a very brief walk around IKEA. Played around at the cutlery section where I found this HUGE metal serving bowl. When I say huge, I mean HUGE. I wish I’d taken a picture. If you have an IKEA nearby, go check it out.

3. Spent the afternoon writing and it felt really good.

4. I painted my nails. China Glaze – Exotic Encounters and China Glaze – Salsa. I looked into my folder of nail pictures the other day and felt really sad. I stopped doing nail art when I was in Vancouver. I should pick it up again. It was such a great creative outlet for me.

5. Went for an evening errand run with my dad and Skye. It was interesting. Dad says: learn how to sing some Japanese songs, it’ll help you to learn faster. That awkward moment when you have been having karaoke sessions in Japanese with your sister and your dad thinks you can’t sing a single Japanese song. Er, yeah, our neighbors can testify to us bawling Hikari by Fukuyama Jun at the top of our lungs.

6. And then I was a passenger in Skye’s car. Er, I mean, my dad’s car. Skye has been taking lessons from Dad. Wha, automatic car, you say? Nope, she’s learning how to drive a manual car first. And let me tell you, she’s a boss at that darned stick shift that I try to stay away from. I was impressed that she managed to get the car to move right away. I’m not too good at balancing the clutch and accelerator. I give her an A+ for being a boss at balancing the clutch AND changing gears without looking at the gear box. And this was her 3rd time behind the wheel. Like ever. Soon I’ll have a certified chauffeur to drive me around T_T I’m ecstatic.

How was your day?


My thoughts on Sengoku Basara

It’s a party and it’s a Sengoku Basara kind of party today. We watched SB early this year and couldn’t get enough of it.

sengokubasara6Story: 10/10 Sometimes the story doesn’t take itself seriously with the over-the-top fight scenes (mostly between Masamune and Yukimura) and laugh-out-loud lines but there is a plot and the story follows through till the end. The story and characters are based very loosely off real life events and people.

The story is about the clashes between the warring states of Japan. Er… did I take that line from Kingdom? Oda Nobunaga has plans to take over all of Japan and obviously he’s up to no good. He intends to use force to conquer the scattered states. Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, although from different clans, have the same intention to stop Oda’s despicable plans so they try to rally other states to join them in their counterattack.

Things get heated from there and lots of fun new characters are introduced. The story is epic but not hard to follow so you won’t find yourself lost in anything too complex. It’s supposed to be a fun watch, that’s all.

Characters: 10/10 Date Masamune aka Leader of Oshuu is one of the main protagonists of the story. He’s GREAT!! He’s charismatic and hot-blooded and cool as all heck. He’s got the best lines, hands down. I mean, he had us at, ‘ALRIGHT, ARE YOU READY, GUYS?’.

Katakura Kojuro, his right eye/right-hand man/advisor/strategist/bodyguard/loyal bff/father figure/babysitter/mom/cook/no 1 fan. Yes, Kojuro is all that and so much more. Kojuro’s soft spot is farming, specifically tending to eggplants and leeks. What a sweetheart. He is the one who can keep a reign on Masamune in his own surprisingly effective reverse psychology ways.

Sanada Yukimura aka Tiger Cub aka Young Tiger of Kai aka Oyakata-sama’s #1 fan. Yukimura is also overenthusiastic and hot-blooded but in a different way. While Masamune is independent and doesn’t care for people smothering him, Yukimura is still a kid and is really attached to his master, Oyakata-sama. He wields a pair of badass spears.

Sarutobi Sasuke. Kojuro is Masamune’s protector as Sasuke is to Yukimura. Takeda Shingen aka Oyakata-sama aka Tiger of Kai. He loves Yukimura like a son and wants to see him succeed him as the leader of his clan.

Maeda Keiji. Who can not love Keiji? He’s the gentlest, most peace-loving, most carefree and kindest one of them all. He’s the sweetest of sweethearts, he’s got a badass 7-foot long sword AND he’s got a little monkey friend called Yumekichi. You’re in love with him already, I know. NO, YOU MAY NOT HAVE HIM. He’s mine.

Other characters: Uesugi Kenshin, Kasuga, Chosokabe Motochika, Mori Motonari, Matsunaga Hisahide, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Akechi Mitsuhide, Oda Nobunaga, Ichi.

The camaraderie is, once again, enviable. Everyone’s got a best friend/mentor and they always have each other’s back. I love friendships like that.

Sound: 9/10 LOVED the opening credits scene with the dancing soldiers. So funny! The voice acting was top notch too. I accidentally mixed up the OP from the first season with the second. The OP is by abingdon boys school which is about my new favorite Japanese band because they also sang for Darker than Black (favorite show yet). The ED for SB was okay.

What a fun cast!~ Nakai Kazuya as Date Masamune – I don’t know if anyone else would have made a better Masamune especially with all the English lines; Morikawa Toshiyuki as Kojuro – tears of joy because Skye joined the Morikawa fan club after watching Sengoku Basara; Morita Masakazu as Keiji – YES PLEASE I LOVE MORITA MASAKAZU, NO I AM NOT AN OBSESSED TEENAGER… maybe… he’s just got an amazing voice and he seems like a likable guy in real life; Soichiro Hoshi as Sanada Yukimura – haha, it’s great, we didn’t expect him to be Sanada but he’s perfect as Sanada; Koyasu Takehito as Sarutobi Sasuke – another new favorite seiyuu of ours. Paku Romi as Uesugi Kenshin. Fujiwara Keiji as Matsunaga Hisahide – eeeeee! <3

Art: 9/10 Really consistent and clean lines. Great character designs too! Everyone is unique and whoever did the costume design should be applauded. The studio did a great job with the animation. The action scenes were breathtaking except for one fight between Masamune and Yukimura where it looked like they forgot to do some touching up for the art.

Overall: 9.5/10 Best samurai anime since Rurouni Kenshin but on a completely different level. If you’re looking for something highly enjoyable, I highly recommend Sengoku Basara. It is SO good.

Are you ready guys?! Here we gooooo!




I have a long overdue update of how things have been. Firstly, hello October! I’m seeing lots of excitement over the fact that it’s October.

While the excitement over pumpkin spice latte, October 3 which for some reason is of some importance because of Mean Girls (which I still don’t get why has to be a reference for almost everything) and Halloween everything are beyond us, we do appreciate beautiful fall foliage, cooler weather, and the pumpkin patch that we’ve seen in our neighborhood!!

Halloween is around the corner. We don’t celebrate it but it’s a big deal here, isn’t it? If you need us, we’ll just be here… hiding behind our computer screens LOL. We are wondering if any kids from the neighborhood will come around trick-or-treating. We’ll have to run out to Costco to get candy. Speaking of which, we just came home with a big box of chocolates. Because they were on sale and you know, because chocolate.

Anyway, on with the update:

1. I have a tan. I arrived all white and pasty after four months of winter in Vancouver. I’m approximately three shades darker. -crying in the corner- Even with copious amounts of sunblock and an umbrella, I still got tanned… Oh well. See, you don’t need to go to the beach to get a tan.

2. Girl power prevails. We’re miles away from home and we’ve had to do stuff that we’re not used to doing (read: have never done before).

We did okay, I think. I managed to get a decent phone plan for us, we managed to apply for internet and electricity service AND set up our own modem, I ordered a printer and set it up, we managed to ‘assemble’ our own furniture (okay, it was pre-assembled but we had to cut it out of the damned boxes because the tables were stuck inside), we’ve hauled stuff way heavier than ourselves, we’ve unscrewed bulbs and bought insect spray that we had to use on a cockroach (omg). That’s taken care of at home by our dad and in Vancouver, our brother. So this is all new to us.

Sometimes I am torn between thinking of myself as a princess who would much rather leave the ‘tough’ work and techy stuff to Dad and a do-it-yourself-and-depend-on-yourself kind of girl who takes interest in how Dad fixes the door. I guess that would make me a warrior princess? Just call me Xena. Lol jk. My mom has always told us that girls can do or be anything that guys can, sometimes even better (#badassmom/#ladybossadvice/#onlyfemalemanagerinherdepartment).

In short, you can do this, ladies. You are just as capable as a man. Except maybe for trying to lift a mattress by yourself lol.

3. I occasionally find myself thinking about the astronomy class that I took in my Vancouver uni. I still can’t believe that I finally took an astronomy class and what more the professor’s love and enthusiasm for the subject made it even better. I find nature incredibly fascinating and in part I have my mom to thank for this. We had quite a few books about things like volcanoes, wildlife and nature in general while growing up. Astronomy is one of those things I have marveled at since young and wanted to study even if it was only for the briefest four months in college. And I did it and I’m happy that I did.

I even learned about black holes which was something I have always been very fascinated about. I remember asking my dad how black holes worked (I think it was while we were watching some outer space show, maybe Star Trek) and he couldn’t really tell me. They seemed scary and interesting at the same time. Astronomy tidbit of the day: black holes are massive dead stars that collapse from the sheer weight and pressure exerted onto itself.

And one thing that I took away from the class is that astronomy is for everyone. Everyone can learn stuff about the universe from the internet or books or whatever. It’s not like chemistry where you have to memorize chemicals and stuff (ugh, why). I always thought that you had to be a super physics genius to get astronomy. Which is why I’m motivated to start reading up on astronomy stuff and subscribing to newsletters (if you know any, let me know). Did you guys read about the story of how the ‘Man in the Moon’ came about? The article came out a few days ago and apparently, the craters on the moon aren’t formed by asteroid impact but rather, a volcanic event. Very cool stuff indeed.

I am still upset that I didn’t get to go to at least one star viewing event but I know one day I will go (very Disney-like of me, I know… I’m thinking Rapunzel finding her new dream ahaha). And here’s what I also learned from astronomy which somehow isn’t ingrained into everyone’s well of common sense: there is so much more out there than meets the eye and you are just the teeniest tiniest most microscopic speck in the universe. The end. Infer for yourself.

4. My sister and I are taking an art history class this semester and the professor is HILARIOUS. He throws in the wittiest, driest, most accurate references all the time and we’re just rolling on the floor, laughing. Well, it’s more like trying not to burst out laughing so there’s more shaking and trembling in our chair than anything. The professor knows his stuff – seriously, he’s like the only person I’ve known so far who has endless general knowledge. I highly recommend his class and art history in general because it is such a fascinating subject.

5. The library is awesome. That is all. I am in love with Robert Crais’s Cole and Pike novels and was SO happy to see the whole collection in the library. I know I’ve said this many times before but Robert Crais is just a literary genius. I hope he has a book signing nearby so that we can go and tell him exactly that. Picking out The Watchman out of all the books on the thriller shelf two years ago… amazing. The appeal was mostly in Pike’s name though.

6. About the weather (because what’s a ‘lately’ post without weather updates?)… it was cool for a few days – like the 70s – and now the temperatures are soaring back up again (yay -_-). People showed up in full winter gear on the days when it was cool. That was amusing. It’s like they were just waiting to bust out the scarves, boots and heavy sweaters. Which would have been fine if it hadn’t gotten bleeding hot in the afternoon.

7. About food. We have a hangout spot that we love. We’ve been to a Korean BBQ twice and I personally rather like it. I know my mom loves it (hehe). We tried a Japanese place which is supposedly ‘the bomb’ and has lots of positive reviews on Yelp. Our verdict: a cramped and kinda gross place (and trust me, we’ve been to some pretty yucky places before) with a messy ordering system, no waiting area for takeout orders, abrupt and unsmiling staff, and dry, so-so food. We are on the hunt for better Japanese places.

We also tried a Chinese restaurant which had raving reviews on Yelp. Our verdict: nothing that special, nice interior but super salty food, and what the heck is General Tso’s chicken anyway? I’ve never even heard of it and we’re Asian. If you’re looking for authentic Chinese food and you see General Tso’s chicken on the menu, run. Chinese food tip of the day: chicken dim sum will never be as good as pork dim sum.

Cheesecake Factory was disappointing in terms of service and we discovered that we don’t fancy key lime cheesecake. Oh well, at least the pasta was good. We’ve also just recently discovered a Thai restaurant that’s cheaper and WAY tastier than the one we went to twice. The lady is also much friendlier. Score.

On the home kitchen front, we’ve been cooking like nobody’s business. The oven has been put to good use and I hope we get to roast turkey for Thanksgiving this year. The cooking is fun but the cleaning is another story. Who likes washing the dishes anyway?! Or scrubbing that damned pan with the burnt sides?? Please send kitchen help lol.

8. Oh, you know what we’re excited about for the fall? Fall anime. Ahaha, you totally saw this one coming, didn’t you? Well, we’ve got a lineup of shows to watch and we’ve already kicked one off the list. Hopefully I’ll have time to write some brief reviews of the summer anime we watched.

9. In other random pieces of Spud news: we have a cat (if you didn’t read about that); I am on Instagram (it’s getting lonely there, having only one follower); we are in LOVE with Antique Bakery – it is an excellent show with an opening theme we have been playing on repeat and I love the originality of the idea behind the story; checking the mailbox and seeing the parcels I ordered is always a highlight of the day especially when it’s all wrapped up nicely; we are thinking of getting some fall decor for our place (maybe a cute wreath) but have no idea where to look; and we are also thinking of getting plants since we have a little patio outside but we’re not exactly green thumbs so we don’t know what plants to get. Suggestions?

Pretty sure there are tons of other stuff that happened; they are just eluding me at the moment.

What have you been up to lately? Any plans for October?


Fabulous sequin dresses

It’s time for another installment of Fashionable Fridays. Feast your eyes on potential holiday dresses because seriously, if these dresses don’t make you the talk of the town, I don’t know what else will (except maybe embarrassing moments at family gatherings lol don’t we all know this):

Dress the Population Kim Purple Sequin Dress

By far my favorite color combination ever.

Dress the Population Tabitha Black Sequin Dress

This is classy without being too glitzy.

Dress the Population Mia Bronze Sequin Dress

And this right here is just subtle princess beauty.

Which one is your favorite?


T-minus 1.5 days to arriving

Our total travel time was between 38 – 40 hours. None of us remembers the exact length but it was loooooong and by the time we arrived at the hotel, we were drop dead exhausted.

What’s up with 40 hours of travel time, right? Let’s see. Our flight time was about 15-17ish hours. Normally I would know but this time I slept throughout almost the entire flight during the second leg AND I wasn’t wearing a watch. That is pretty impressive considering I usually don’t zonk out and just movie-marathon the whole flight through.

I was somehow really drained and just kept falling asleep. I was already out like a light BEFORE the wheels went up!! I know. I was disappointed about that because I usually like to view the outside camera and see the takeoff part. I missed the safety video and I didn’t even use the headphones… That’s some weird shit right there.

So let’s recount what I did on the second leg of the flight: I almost slept through dinner, barely even knew what I was eating (it was really good though… it was pasta that came with smoked salmon salad, Haagen Dazs ice cream and some other fancy stuff that I don’t remember), slept for hours and midway through, exchanged seats with my mom.

Oh well. I guess it was a good thing I slept a lot because I was sitting alone between a middle-aged lady and an old lady. My mom and sister were in the premium economy cabin since we managed to upgrade two tickets. I have never sat alone on a flight before and was kinda miffed about it but it wasn’t too bad. The old lady beside me was kinda friendly (even if I did have some trouble communicating with the lady in Cantonese lol) and she wasn’t annoyed when I had to get up to use the washroom.

My mom and I swapped seats but I didn’t even manage to make full use of the upgraded seat. I used the toilet, returned to my seat and continued zzz-ing. I woke up before breakfast and managed to watch a grand total of ONE and a half episodes of Veronica Mars before landing. Man, where can I continue watching Veronica Mars? It was promising! And Kristen Bell is soooo cute in it.

The first leg of the flight wasn’t too bad (I know I’m writing in reverse mode – second part before the first; bear with me). I managed to listen to some music – the selection was limited this time – and watch a Japanese movie called Oh! Father. I LOVED it; such a great show. Yeah, and that’s all I did.

We had a 10 hour layover in between flights (oh yay) – the longest layover we’ve had yet. So how was it? For people who haven’t had such a long layover or can’t imagine what one can do for 10 hours, I’ll just tell you that it somehow wasn’t as bad/boring as I imagined it to be. For one thing, we couldn’t find the food court and walked around 3/4 of the airport until we finally found it. Um, yes, we could have asked but each of us insisted that we knew where it was and was too stubborn to ask haha.

Found the food court where it was MADNESS. Finding a table was hard enough and when we did, our chairs almost got snagged by other travelers. That’s HKIA for ya. To be exact, that’s Chinese travelers for ya. We fished out some money and went to order our lunch. The food was delicious but we were quite tired from the flight so we couldn’t fully enjoy it.

That took about 2+ hours, I think. Then we went to have a drink. Coffee and juice at a neat little coffee shop with a great view of the planes outside. Don’t you just marvel at the sight of all the planes outside? Sat there for a little while then moved off to find some benches. We found an awesome stretch of seats without pesky armrests between them and settled ourselves there. I put a bag under my head, laid down and was out like a light for 2 hours. It was awesome.

I was awoken by a bunch of Chinese folks who decided to sit back-to-back to us even though there were TONS of other seats. ??? Typical Chinese behavior. This happens more than you think. Side story: Once upon a time in college, I found an empty classroom to do my homework in before class. A girl came in and out of the 50 seats in the room, chose to sit right beside me. ????????????? The end. You may come to your own conclusion. I’ll give you a hint: talk about invading someone’s personal space.

So these Chinese people started talking (read: yelling) and woke me right up. We were annoyed so we got up and left. We walked around some more and found other seats but they just weren’t as great. It had a charging station though so we charged the phone for an hour. I think a British family sat in the vicinity. They had 3 young kids so it was entertaining to watch them running around and using Frozen-themed playing cards to play Snap. Then there were some other Aussie travelers who sat down nearby…

Then it was time for dinner so we headed back to the food court and had the same thing that we had for lunch. Cheap, fast and delicious. How could we complain? Total number of hours killed by then: 6.5 to 7. Okay, we were doing good. And we were also tired as heck from lugging the bags around. We decided to just wait at our departure gate so that we wouldn’t have to move around so much.

The departure gate was quiet and moderately comfy so we just sat and waited. I was entertained by a woman who was video-calling a friend and talking at volume 100. You meet all kinds of people in an airport. When her call ended, I was bored again. Bored but ready to board and just zonk out again. Thankfully there was a pre-departure check at the gate forty minutes before takeoff.

“But you could have done so much more at the airport!” Some of you are thinking that, right? Haha, you’re not wrong. We could have. But we were just. so. damned. tired.

So that was 25+ hours there. We landed in LAX which was quite underwhelming. I expected it to be huge but it was really just a normal terminal. Unlike SFO which has tons of seats and is reasonably well-lit in the middle of the night, LAX was cramped and dark. We found a stretch of seats at the departure gate and hunkered down for the night. It was COLD. And the seats were terrible. Guess they weren’t built for overnight-ers like ourselves and the few other people who spent the night there.

I managed to sleep some more but we had to take turns to watch over our bags so I struggled to stay awake when it was my turn. I don’t know how we managed to last the night without freezing. We had to dig out random flannel shirts from our suitcases and use them as blankets. Yeah, that didn’t work out too well. It was still ridiculously cold. The tip here, friends, is to not underestimate the nighttime weather in LA even if it’s summer.

Morning came and we asked a lady what time the cafe downstairs opened. Six, she said. We were stunned. In SFO, the cafe folks come in at 4.30 and start setting stuff up. By 5.15, the coffee and pastries are ready. By 5.30, you can order grilled sandwiches. Not in LAX. We were hungry – the granola bars we shared throughout the night weren’t enough – but we waited till 6. At 6, we went down and found out that the cafe didn’t open till 6.30.

Okay. More waiting. We waited till 6.30 then got into line. We wanted to have paninis (our go-to airport food) but nothing was ready so we were forced to get pastries instead. Pfft. Yeah.

At 7.30, we went out to the bus stop to catch the bus to the car rental building. What a difference from riding the SkyTrain in SFO. Lol, okay, I’m comparing a lot but how can I not? We waited 30 minutes for the right bus to come. We were beginning to worry that the bus wasn’t going to come or that we were at the wrong bus stop but then thankfully the bus came along.

The bus driver was so great. He hauled ALL our suitcases with just one hand. Seriously. There we were, struggling and heaving and spraining our fingers. And there he was, picking them up like they were newborn babies. The bus ride was short and there wasn’t much to see from inside.

Here’s the even better part. When we got our rental car, we were a bit concerned. It was big but would it fit all our luggage? We were hmm-ing and haa-ing for a bit then we decided to Tetris our bags to see if they would go in nicely. Who should come along just as we’re struggling to shove the biggest bag into the trunk? The lady in charge of helping to unload the bags from the bus.

She strolled across the parking lot. We were oblivious to her until she said, “Need any help?”

Okay, we were embarrassed. Three people who couldn’t even get their bags into the car…

Then she said, “Let me try.”

And she did it. She shoved all our suitcases in effortlessly. She Tetris-ed our bags perfectly. I wanted to cling onto her and sob tears of gratitude and thank her profusely because I honestly didn’t think we would be able to fit all the bags inside and I was already beginning to feel anxious. Thank you, lady! We didn’t manage to get her name but know that we’re forever grateful for her help.

So we climbed (because it was wonderfully big and sturdy) into the car, adjusted the GPS and set off for our destination. Out of LAX and off we went. I thought I would remember what the roads were like when coming out of LAX but I don’t. I’m sorry but San Francisco roads seem to have a bigger impression on me. Well, in any case I don’t think we were on the roads for too long. I think we got onto the highway and were well on our way.

WHAT? You guys were in LA and didn’t even stop to see sights? Ah, no. Stopping to see sights with suitcases in the trunk wasn’t part of our plan. Maybe some other time? Maybe you guys have some awesome suggestions for us to visit/do/eat? We already did the Walk of Fame the last time we were here and it wasn’t all that interesting -_-

Anyway we reached on time and headed straight for the hotel which we were only too happy to dunk our stuff in.

Ta-da. The end. That was 38-40 hours right there, maybe more. There is more to come – tales of apartment-hunting, consecutive takeout dinners, apartment-hunting, trips to Walmart and Target and Costco, apartment-hunting, furniture-shopping, and settling into school. Oh, and did I forget to mention apartment-hunting?

Stay tuned.