I am the kind of person who…

1. Listens to Aitakute – Monkey Majik on repeat in the library/at home and attempts to sing it with dramatic hand gestures. It’s embarrassing but I don’t care. Sometimes I think I would make a great singer… then I realize I can’t hum more than 2 lines before going out of tune. Oh well.

2. Associates Fridays with new episodes of Donten Ni Warau and Garo then gets excited.

3. Puts my phone on silent mode so you shouldn’t be offended if I don’t pick up your calls. I prefer not to be reached at my phone but apparently society expects you to be on standby by your phone.

4. Prefers to be reached by instant message. Seriously, why do people not IM? And please don’t say: there’s fb chat because not everybody wants to be logged into fb while chatting (jeez why can’t people get that). Apps like Whatsapp (which apparently isn’t big here because text messages are free) are such a bother to use because, duh, it’s on the phone and the keyboard is only thaaat big.

5. Is kind of old-school and outdated and feels that people make me feel bad about being either one. Am I supposed to feel bad for not being on Instagram or all sorts of social media?! No. Am I supposed to feel bad for not knowing the latest movies/music? No. Am I supposed to feel bad for not getting whatever crappy new age reference (eg. bae which is such a stupid word, where do I begin?) there is? No. But then those judgmental looks come out and make you feel bad. ‘Have you been living under a rock?’ So what if I have?? My preference lol.

6. Finds social media bothersome and often wonders how people can even juggle so many accounts. I’m tiring of my Instagram account already and I only follow like 15 people! Let’s not even talk about how stupid I think Fb is (oh wait, I did) and how I had to make one for school purposes.

7. Has recently been going back and forth between wanting to have bangs but is too afraid of looking weird with bangs.

8. Occasionally thinks way too much of what people think of me but eventually thinks, who the eff cares?! It’s a struggle.

9. Has been sporting Christmas nails two weeks in a row and is loving the current design. I did the design in two minutes. You wanna see?

10. Is attempting to build a reasonable amount of self-esteem. So. hard.

11. Was asked yesterday what fb means. Um, Facebook, if you were wondering…..

Happy Friday.

Raine

Springing into fall with pretty skirts

I am well aware that it’s already midway through fall but I couldn’t help being cheeky about the title. Springing into fall instead of falling to spring, geddit? I’m lame haha.

Anyway, since I’ve been meaning to talk about my interest in skirts lately. I stopped wearing skirts for a few years because well, I don’t know how people can feel comfortable wearing skirts back home. Since coming to California, I’ve been wearing skirts more than ever. It’s awesome to wear skirts and I’ve been on the hunt for more (don’t tell my bank account lol) so today I’m sharing a few that I’ve got my eye on.


Billabong Fading Too Soon Red Print Skirt

I know I’ve mentioned feeling too short for maxi skirts but I really think I could work this. So breezy and beautiful. Beachy fall look anyone?


Rhythm Polka Daisy White Print Skater Skirt

This is such a cute skirt! I have never owned a white skirt before so I think this would be a great addition. It’s California so the weather is still mild now so I think it’s wearable in the fall!


Baroque and Roll Black and Ivory Bandage Skirt

Oh my, how I love prints. The registers on this skirt class it up and since it’s black and white, it’d be pretty easy to style.


Jacquard Shark Fuchsia Jacquard Skirt

Give me all the jacquard prints, please! I LOVE this print and color. I probably need this…


Glamorous Long-Stemmed Pose Wine Red Mini Skirt

Nothing screams fall outfit more than a wine red skirt. I don’t see myself doing high-waisted anything but the model is rocking it. The subtle flare gives this skirt an elegant spin, don’t you think?


Here for the Jacquard-ty Black Jacquard Midi Skirt

Oh here’s another jacquard skirt. LOVE. I’m usually not one for overlays but this is gorgeous. So much class in one piece of clothing and I love the black-on-black thing going on with the model.

Which ones are your favorite? What is your go-to skirt length? Tell me I need at least one of these skirts.

Raine

Some thoughts about anime and stuff

1. I really like Yamaguchi Kappei’s voice. He voiced Ranma -throws in lots of thumbs-ups and smiley faces and heart emojis- and now he’s voicing Kuroba Kaito in Magic Kaito 1412.

2. I feel like re-watching all the shows we’ve watched so far. Having to wait for a new episode every week and doing a completed anime marathon are two whole different things. I think I prefer marathon-ing all the episodes. It just keeps the rhythm going, you know?

3. Sakurai Takahiro is in everything this fall which is great, Fukuyama Jun is in too few which sucks (he was barely in any summer anime and I was waiting to see more of his roles this fall).

4. The fall anime so far has been, dare I say, pretty good. I’m especially enjoying Donten ni Warau (even if it is going a bit too fast for my liking), Garo (everything that a good mystery/thriller/dark fantasy anime should be), Nanatsu no Taizai (go adventure animes!) and Magic Kaito. Name one fall anime that is proving to be disappointing: Psycho-Pass 2. Kogami needs to show up and that annoying newbie Inspector needs to be kicked off the team.

5. I re-watched a few episodes of Full Metal Panic today and remembered how much I love it. Sagara Sousuke is such a lovable doofus and Chidori is just downright awesome (blue hair and badassery all wrapped in one).

6. A friend of ours asked us what is our most-played song the other day. I couldn’t answer because the only answer flashing in my head was Hikari by Fukuyama Jun. It’s my most-played song in 2014 for sure. But since refreshing my Winamp this summer and discovering Darker than Black, my most-played song is now From Dusk Till Dawn by abingdon school boys. Can you tell how many English songs we’ve listened to this year…? -_-¬† #embracingyourinnerasian

7. Monkey Majik has amazing music. They are one of my favorite Japanese bands yet. I listened to them ALL WEEK while trying to get through a whole week of midterms and a barrage of assignments. My favorites so far are Sakura, Futari and Pretty People.

And that is all from our otaku life so far.

Raine

Screen protectors and its delicate process

screen protector

My screen protector arrived the other day. I’d been needing one since I had yet to peel the default sticker off the screen of my new phone. I awaited the arrival of the screen protector after I ordered it from Amazon so needless to say I was excited when I tracked the package and saw that it had been delivered. I pinched out to the mailbox sometime in the afternoon which is the time I am most likely not to step out at and collected my little package. I ripped the parcel open and emptied the contents out.

By the way, I got the screen protector package for a pretty sweet deal. I looked at a $9.95 set which included 3 screen protectors, one microfiber cloth, one squeegee, some dust stickers and an antibacterial wipe. I told my mom and she said it was expensive so I looked some more and found an exact same set for $3.95. Can you say #winning? The reviews were not bad so I decided to try it. I have never bought anything tech-y online before. Usually that job falls to my brother who knows way more about this stuff than me but this time I had to do it myself.

I went to T-Mobile the other day for some other reason but had the brilliant idea of asking the guy to help me apply the screen protector. The guy (let’s just call him H) who attended to us the last time was so helpful and surprisingly a lot more cheerful (maybe he was just having a bad day that day). Feeling like a bimbo who can’t even apply her own screen protector, when H asked me if he could help me with anything else, I asked him if he could apply the screen protector onto my phone. He was more than happy to help and did it like a pro.

Seriously, who knew that putting on a screen protector required so much? You have to dab tape/stickers to pick up all the dust/dirt on the screen then wipe it down multiple times with a microfiber cloth then peel the sticker off the screen protector, align it super carefully (which I would have failed at because I don’t have steady hands), slowly lower it then squeegee it to make sure there are no trapped air bubbles. Oh, then wipe it down a few more times. Honestly, I’m just glad I didn’t have to attempt it myself. H was pretty nice about it too, telling us that the first few times some customers asked him to apply screen protectors onto their phones, he had to get someone else to do it because he was afraid of messing up.

Side story: I have a reason for going to the T-Mobile that is at least fifteen minutes away from our place instead of the one around the corner. One time when I wanted to reload talk time onto my phone, I went to the T-Mobile store nearby. I went in thinking I’d just pop in and be out in five minutes because it’s such a minor thing. I went up to the counter and asked the guy to reload $10 of talk time. And you know what he told me? He said he couldn’t do it.

I was like, ??? The guy at the other store did it for me so what’s the problem? And this guy just looked up my phone plan and immediately told me that he couldn’t do it for me and he didn’t know what ‘the other guy’ did but it’s impossible. His tone of voice wasn’t very pleasant either. He was really rude about it and the way he phrased his words made it sound like it was my problem. My mom tried explaining to him that it could be done but he just insisted very rudely that it couldn’t. I was really ticked off about his behavior – customer service, my foot – but unlike him, I remembered my manners, thanked him and left.

I’ve worked in a customer service department before back home and I’ve seen the way the staff speak curtly and rudely to customers because they want to send the customer off quickly so that they can carry on playing Farmville on their computers (which the customer obviously can’t see from behind the desk) or whatever (ie. slacking and chatting with their colleague at the next desk) and I find that kind of behavior appalling because you’re representing the company at the front desk so you’d do well to be courteous to your customers. But no.

This guy reminded me of the crappy customer service back home so I took my business and went elsewhere. I went back to the original T-Mobile that I first went to which is where ‘the other guy’ who managed to load the credit onto my phone (who was the manager, by the way, so suck on that, rude guy) works. The manager, B, wasn’t in but the guy who attended to us, J, was perfectly nice and efficient. Even though he looked uncertain about whether it could be done, he didn’t tell me he couldn’t do it right off the bat. Instead he looked into it and then managed to do it. And you know what J said? ‘Well, I learned something new today.’ So there.

Have you encountered bad customer service lately? What do you about it?

Did you apply your phone’s screen protector by yourself? How did you find it? If you didn’t, who did?

Raine

And they said…

I wish that I could be like the cool kids.

Cool Kids – Echosmith

Guys, we have discovered our first and new favorite English song of 2014. So going to a volunteer center does have its benefits aka involuntarily listening to the radio. We heard Cool Kids on the radio and when I came home, I Googled the song. That is how we found Echosmith, my friends.

The lyrics of this song is pretty spot-on too. I think everyone at some point in their lives has had that ‘I wish I were in the cool clique’ moment. And it depends on how much that thought actually affects them because I have seen some friends go to a ridiculous extent just to try to fit in. It’s sad but true. I suppose I wish there was some kind of conclusion in the lyrics like telling kids that ‘cool kids’ are not everything (which they are not) but I guess it could be a cliffhanger ending.

It’s a catchy song with a cool beat. We’re not really into indie but nowadays we don’t go for labels. We like what we like whether it’s heavy metal or synth pop or indie folk (is there even such a genre?). So… are we in on the loop again? I haven’t gotten ANY references to recent music in the past 2 years so I think we deserve some kind of award ahaha.

Can I have hair like Sydney’s? Lol. Sydney reminds me of Mandy Moore. A lot. They’re both gorgeous and talented.

We will be keepin’ an eye out for more music from Echosmith.

On a side note…

Kids out there, ‘cool kids’ in high school are not everything. They may look like they’re having the most fun or ‘having it all’ but trust me, you’re pretty cool without trying to be like them. Be grateful for what you have and know that you are unique even if you’re clique-less.

I knew a ‘cool girl’ in school – we attended the same elementary and high school – and I remember coming home one day and telling my mom that she’s the ‘cool’ type.

And this is how our conversation went:

Mom: who says she’s cool?

Me: well, she’s popular and hangs out with the other cool kids.

Mom: pfft, who is to say who is cool or not? So she’s popular. So what?

Me: -thinking my mom doesn’t get it because um, obviously cool kids are different- she’s very uppity-up, you know… just because she’s cool. She doesn’t talk to me because she’s too cool for me.

Mom: wait, hold on, what exactly does ‘cool’ mean in the first place? What qualities deem a person ‘cool’ or not?

Me: @_@ -stumped-

Mom: well, I think you’re cool so now that makes you just as cool, doesn’t it? Don’t pay those ‘cool kids’ any mind. Just do your thing. So what if she doesn’t talk to you?

This may seem like just another ‘my mom thinks I’m cool’ story (there is nothing wrong with that because your mom’s support should mean the goddamned world to you) but it helped me move past that ‘omg I’m not a cool kid’ phase. It’s not to say that I didn’t still get those feelings around popular kids but it was usually a touch-and-go feeling. Nowadays I sometimes still do wonder why I’m not in a clique and it’s only normal when you’re around people who are in groups but at the end of the day, I’m me so yeah.

When I first heard Mike Posner’s ‘Cooler Than Me’, I immediately pictured this ‘cool girl’ and have since associated with her every time I hear it. Um, the irony being that I heard it on the radio right after Echosmith’s ‘Cool Kids’.

Funny thing, this ‘cool girl’ who didn’t speak to me for many years now follows me on Twitter and we occasionally have conversations. Haha. So there you have it. High school is tricky, believe me I know it, but you’ll get through and maybe after you’re done, you’ll look back and be like, WHAT? I was bothered by such trivial things?

And how did this post turn into a long rambling one about high school and popular kids lol?

P.S: Who else thinks that Cool Kids is reminiscent of Jodi Watley’s I’m Looking For a New Love?

Raine

Things you first need when moving into an apartment: student edition

Since moving into our new place, I’ve realized that I wish I had known a few things about moving across continents to study. Precisely why I’ve put together this post for students who are just as clueless about moving into a brand new unfurnished apartment in a country completely foreign to them.

I do feel the need to point that this post is US-oriented so you might have to improvise a bit if you’re elsewhere and there is no Target or whatever.

1. Antibacterial wipes

Go to your nearest Target or Walmart or Costco (if you’re like us and are always needing to wipe something down with and need half a dozen bottles of Lysol wipes) and pick up a bottle of Lysol wipes. You will not be sorry. They’re good for everything.

No doubt the apartment will clean your apartment before handing you the keys (though it’s really hard to say whether they do a good job of cleaning or not) but you should really consider wiping things like the toilet bowl, door knobs, counter tops, light switches and just about any surface that you will be touching quite often.

2. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, towel)

So you may have packed these and brought them with you or you might have accidentally left out something or you were thinking of buying these upon arrival – it doesn’t matter. As long as by the end of the day you got your stuff, you’re good.

You’ll be needing this before you turn in for the night and when you wake up, right?

I know they sell toothpaste at dollar stores so you might want to check that out. Or if you’re thinking long-term, go to Costco and get the 6-pack (or was it 4?). Target had this awesome selection of towels and they were going for a good price so I got one.

3. Bed sheets and pillows

Hopefully you move in AFTER you buy your bed. If you don’t and assuming you don’t have a couch, I’d probably recommend getting an airbed. Airbeds are not too bad in terms of comfort and they come in handy if you ever go camping or stay over at a friend’s place.

So you’ve got your bed, now go get your sheets and pillows. Target has some really cute options especially around August when they have College/Back to School selections but if you’re going for something more affordable, Walmart is the way to go. Tip: if you don’t like ‘hairy’ bedsheets (because I don’t), get the sheets with a higher thread count.

4. Chairs/table

No table, no problem. Chairs are probably what you need more than a table since they are easier to load into a car and you can actually sit on it. We got 4 chairs from Target for $20 each. I know. Why are chairs so expensive? But wait, you have even seen the office chairs? They go for about $80-$150.

I would also recommend getting a dining table first so that you can eat at it. And here’s a tip from me to you, just get a sturdy six foot long table instead of a fancy dining table set. If only IKEA delivered. We planned on going down to get some furniture but then we remembered the fiasco we encountered at Canada’s IKEA where we couldn’t even LIFT the box from the warehouse onto the cart. Yeah, so that was out. I also read reviews that it’s always madness in the IKEAs.

But who needs IKEA when you have Costco delivery?! We ordered two tables from Costco and they were delivered SUPER fast. I literally got the second table the next day!! Kudos to you, Costco. The only problem we ran into was trying to get the dang table out of the box. It took 3 people to do it. Anyone know any tips for getting a table out of its box?

5. Adapters

Let’s just assume that you’re coming from a country with different battery adapters. It’s such a hassle to have to get different¬†adapters for different countries but thank goodness for universal battery adapters.

6. Clothes hangers

We got a bunch from The Dollar Tree but then Target also had great back-to-school sales on household items so we got another bunch. You should see our closet. They are a range of bright pink and green clothes hangers. I was against buying so many but seriously, they’re useful for everything. I will buy more if I see them on sale.

7. Plastic bags

I feel like plastic bags are so necessary whenever you are. They are good for garbage, collecting clean and dirty laundry (if you haven’t already got a laundry basket), keeping all the small things, as an alternate for gloves, wrapping stuff…

Um, who needs those kitchen trash bags with drawstrings when you have plastic bags that you get from grocery stores that you’re going to throw away anyway? #theasianwayisthegreenway

8. Water

Bottled water to be specific. If you’re like us and don’t drink tap water, get yourself a crate of bottled water to last you the first few weeks before you settle down in your new home. You’ll be so tired from running around and moving furniture and going to school that you won’t have time to boil water or even wait for it to cool down.

~

I personally would rather go to Target because Walmart is, well, Walmart but things are cheap so sometimes it’s just better. But here’s something I learned: shop online from Walmart. Stuff gets to your doorstep and you don’t even have to set foot in there. Awesome? I think so.

Any questions on where to buy other stuff? Let me know, I’ll be more than happy to send you in the right (read: affordable) direction. If you have any tips or know of any more affordable options, feel free to list them in the comments.

Raine

Books I grew up reading

I can’t tell you the exact age I read these books but let’s just say between 8-14. I just thought this would be a fun post to put together. I get to recall my childhood while thinking back and writing about these books.

Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys

515PGTP899L

CF010We went to a book sale once and emptied the shelves quite literally. I think we went home with 50 books from the Nancy Drew series. I devoured them. Nancy Drew was my hero while I was growing up. No investigator came close to Nancy Drew. I adored Carolynn Keene’s stories and they served as inspiration for the future mystery stories that I so loved writing.

One of my very first few fictional crushes while growing up were Frank and Joe Hardy. Haha, seriously, you can’t deny that they look pretty darned cute in your head. I even remember folding the very first page of a book where the brothers are introduced. Their stories leaned more to the supernatural and I didn’t have nearly as many books in the series but they were still really good.

Then one day there came an epic mash up – a Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys combined story. I was over the moon. I still have that book and I treasure it.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

61hr1YhQwIL._SY300_On a separate occasion, we attended a book sale and emptied the entire section of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. We were obsessed. The books are written by various authors so there are different writing styles. There were some that we liked more than others but the stories were always fun and refreshing. I particularly liked the book in which Sabrina was transported to ancient Greece. Tidbit: I was a Greek mythology nut for the longest time.

The Sabrina the Teenage Witch series is perfect for intermediate readers of both genders. They have a bit of everything – adventure, mystery, history, friendship, romance. I LOVED them. The covers were fun too – Melissa Joan Hart is so pretty!

The Three Investigators

557116Jupiter is my favorite – starry-eyed tween- because I found his name fascinating and in my head he was really cute. Then there’s also Pete and Bob who are also great characters. Correct me if I’m wrong but Bob is the nerdy one, right?

We only had ONE book from the Three Investigators series but it was all I needed. I discovered it by chance on the bookshelf one day and fell in love with it. It was the pirate story and I could NOT put it down once I started it.

Can you tell that I grew up as a mystery genre lover? At some point I even wanted to be a detective (haha) and we got a ‘how to be a detective’ book. Yeah, what great ambitions I had.

Harry Potter

harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban-book-coverI love Harry Potter but not in the obsessive way some people do (somehow feel the need to say that). When Harry Potter first came out and they were 99 bucks (no joke), I tried reading them but I was a bit too young to understand much of what was going on.

When I read them at a later age, I was enraptured! They are so good! My favorite out of all seven books is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban because Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Lupin and Sirius are, hands down, my favorite HP characters. Seriously, who doesn’t like Sirius Black? He is the most fascinating and wonderful character especially because he takes care of Harry like his own son.

Least favorite is probably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I await bashing from those of you who love book #4. I just feel like it wasn’t as relevant as the rest and it wasn’t that exciting. I know a lot of people who still haven’t read all the books so I won’t spoil the story for you. Besides, if I tried to summarize the story, I’d probably have myself a 50 page thesis lol.

I would personally recommend reading the books before watching it because you get to let your imagination run. I imagined quite a few things differently than the way the movie portrayed stuff so yeah.

Roald Dahl 889439If you’re not letting your kid read Roald Dahl or if you have never read Roald Dahl, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. Roald Dahl is brilliant. The illustrations are wonderful and the humor delightful but the storytelling is what kept me going. Some of the humor might be a bit ‘dark’ for kids but they probably won’t get the ‘dark’ parts until they’re older.

Some of my favorites include The Vicar of Nibbleswicke – a hilarious story about a pastor who has some strange form of dyslexia; The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me – a whimsical story of a boy who wants to open his own candy store; Fantastic Mr Fox – absolutely cunning; The BFG – because Sophie and the Giant are the cutest duo ever to meet the Queen; James and the Giant Peach – boy gets away from cruel aunts in a flying peach where he meets tons of new friends, who doesn’t like a story like that?; The Twits – laugh out loud awesomeness in pages.

St Clare’s school series by Enid Blyton

557249Oh, these were amazing. My mom actually read the St Clare’s series when she was around our age at that time and she had kept them. The pages were brittle and yellowed but I think that was what made us love them even more. I don’t know about you but getting to read the same book that your mom read years ago gives me a special feeling.

The story is about a bunch of girls who attend St. Clare’s boarding school for girls. All the midnight feasts and trouble the girls got into was fun to read about. There was always so much going on at the school which kind of made our school seem boring since we couldn’t have midnight feasts in the music room or run out to town to attend the circus or whatever.

~

What I love about most of these books is that you can’t put a specific label on them. They are comprised of multiple elements and even though in the bookstore they are classified in specific genres, I like to think of them as ‘open genre’.

Have you read any of these books? What did you read while growing up? Bookworm – yes or no? Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys? Favorite Harry Potter character? Book recommendations?

Raine

Our different writing styles

Hey guys! Today’s blog topic was inspired by Skye’s review of Psycho Pass. After I read it, I was blown away and also I felt like I’d been socked in the gut by overwhelming inferiority… nothing new here – I always feel like that after reading Skye’s posts.¬† Why? Well, by now, you should be able to tell that Skye and I have different writing styles.

If it’s one of the many things and people I’m proud of, it has to be Skye. She is amazing. And I’d also be lying if I didn’t say I’m not envious of her. I mean, wtf is up with that writing style? She’s so detailed and methodical and precise, you know? After reading her stuff, I always wonder if I’ll ever be able to write like that.

In my head I have SO many things to say but when I try to write them out, I usually end up with a big chunk of disorganized thoughts and opinions and sometimes I can’t even put my thoughts into words. I like stating my opinion on things and throwing in ‘haha’s and emoticons (where would I be without emoticons?) and just being casual and simple. And then there’s Skye… who manages to put my thoughts into words in such a beautifully descriptive way.

But then Skye tells me that she likes my writing style and I’m like… why lulz? She says that I write out stuff better and that she’s too technical which is why I can describe things more accurately. According to her, I write in a more relatable and natural manner. ???!!!

It’s true though. I’m so not technical which is probably why I think I suck at writing papers because I’m sure people like seeing big technical words and long, complex sentences. I think it comes with being an INFP who likes to de-jargonize stuff. Sometimes I think, oh wouldn’t it be nice to throw big words and complex sentences into my writing? Then I usually always end up putting things simply.

Well, that’s not really the point of this post – to argue who has the best writing style. What I’m trying to say in this post is, this is why we’re so awesome. I just find it so cool that both of us have different writing styles and that we can describe each other’s thoughts through our writing styles.

Does your writing style differ from your siblings’ or someone you look up to? How would you describe your writing style?

Raine
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