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

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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
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A look at how my Wednesday went

This post was written while I was still in Vancouver and this is actually a good summary of what a normal day in school looked like for me:

1. Was the first to reach the bus stop. A guy came five minutes later. The bus arrived. He got on first. I was NOT aware that you don’t have to queue up at the bus stop. RUDE!

2. The bus driver, who looked a bit like Albert Einstein, was friendly and said, ‘have a good day’ when the bus arrived at school. That lifted my mood. He probably doesn’t know how much his words mean to people who find school a drag. It’s nice when people are friendly.

3. Reached class early, threw open the windows because it was so stuffy, snapped a few pictures of the still-snow-carpeted grounds, sat down and brought out my stuff.

4. A boy walked in. Said hi to him more energetically than I planned. He said hi back.

5. The girl I’ve spoken to a couple of times and is probably the only nice person on campus entered and joked about us always being the first two in class. Managed to have a conversation with her about another class we take together (I only found this out last week).

6. Class started. Was put into groups to discuss a topic. Not the friendliest people in my group but come on, I’ve come to realize that it’s a big deal when you actually find friendly people. Still, the girl beside me was nice and we managed to exchange a few words and she even said, ‘see you next week’ which I took as a good thing.

7. I did tell her that I liked her shirt and she seemed kind of confused/surprised. I guess people here don’t really compliment others..? In all other places I’ve been, I’ve always been the surprised one when people compliment me because the culture I come from was not built on compliments. I grew to accept compliments easier when I was in the US where complimenting people is part of the norm.

8. After class, I went to look for an empty study booth but remembered that I needed to collect my bus pass so I went. Headed for the library after that, remembering my Weekly Wish to seek out fiction books.

9. Surprise! The library sucks. Capital S for Sucks. Disorganized, dingy and disappointing. I didn’t know what I expected but all libraries I’ve been to have been impressive if not well-lit and organized. It was dead quiet but I’ve learned that the college culture here is non-stop studying.

10. Roamed around the library, found the art section, the word ‘impressionism’ caught my eye. Plucked the huge book off the shelf and perused the works of Degas, Monet and Pissaro for a few minutes. Amazing stuff.

11. Roamed down more aisles, found the religion section, studied the titles of a few books, moved down the narrow walkway until the word history caught my eye. There were about 20 aisles of history books… Looked through the European history section for a while then stumbled upon the US history section.

12. Ah, beautiful book spines and coarse covers. Then I found The Oxford History of the United States and flipped through it. Last borrowed: 1980 something. Wow. Well, they have electronic scanners now but still, seeing a 1980 date was quite impressive.

A glance at my watch told me I had 20 minutes to spare before my next class so I found a booth and sat down to read. The familiar terms and names took me back to my history classes. I adored those classes. The book started out really well and reminded me that I don’t only need fiction to sustain my love for reading. Any kind of material will do.

13. Sadly I had to put the book back on the shelf and leave for class. I felt surprisingly lighter after stepping out of the library. I’m glad I sat down to read.

14. Arrived outside the lecture hall early and after a few moments, I decided to pick up a copy of the school paper. I swear I am possibly the only person on the entire campus who even bothers with the school paper… and that’s also kinda only because newspaper comes in handy for things like soaking up oil while frying stuff and cutting nails over and wrapping fragile stuff and other miscellaneous things.

They have a new edition EVERY week which I think is too often because 1) nobody actually gives a crap about the paper (so much so that the editorial people have to promote themselves continuously), 2) nobody picking up the paper means a waste of trees and money (aren’t we trying to be green here? I sure hope they put the stale copies of the paper to good use… hey, why don’t they donate the paper to restaurants to wrap takeout food?), and 3) how much school-related content can you possibly collect in one week?

Nothing new this week in the paper – the usual ‘catchy’ image on the front page, poor content and crude language. I am stunned at the use of foul language in the paper. How is it even professional to drop f-bombs and c-words in articles? I guess that’s why nobody takes the paper seriously…

15. Anyway, class was the usual. There was more rambling than usual but I got through it alright.

16. Hopped onto the bus, found a seat (score) then headed home to ravioli waiting for me on the table.

How did your day go?

Raine
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Lately

welcome-pumpkin1

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?

Raine
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Some book bags that I’m loving!

I found these book bags and couldn’t resist sharing them with you. The bookworm in you will flip!

Bookshelf Bandit Tote in Caterpillar from ModCloth

I loved reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar when I was young. The illustrations were great. This bag is perfect!


Bookshelf Bandit Tote in Jane from ModCloth

For the classic lover in you.


Bookshelf Bandit Tote in Jo from ModCloth

The very first classic I ever read – Little Women. Loved it. This print is so dainty and I believe most of us love tomboy Jo.


Bookshelf Bandit Tote in Jay from ModCloth

Once upon a time, I read The Great Gatsby in a clubhouse library but didn’t manage to finish it. I did watch half of the movie though. Haha, but I know lots of people love it. This bag will reflect your love for The Great Gatsby!

Also I like to think that bags which speak a lot like these book bags are great conversation starters.Β  πŸ˜‰

What do you think?

Raine
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The Sunshine Award #2

Sunshine-Award

We love Britt! Yes, we do. One, because she and her blog are awesome. Two, she nominated us for this blog award which means blog content. I’ve been cracking my head trying to figure out what to blog about. Oh, what’s that? There are more than 20 50 drafts? Who told you that?! No, no, no such thing… maybe 75 sounds about right.

Anyway, let’s get down to this post.

Rules

  • post 11 random facts about yourself
  • answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you
  • nominate 11 bloggers
  • write 11 questions for them
  • inform the 11 bloggers that you nominated them for this award

11 random facts about me:

  1. I’m grumpy in the morning so don’t talk to me for at least 15 minutes after I get up.
  2. I love big cats. Tigers, leopards, cheetahs, lions, panthers, you name it.
  3. Die-hard Backstreet Boys fan.
  4. I recently fell in love with Uniqlo and I would like to buy up all of their 3/4 lounge pants. Their Heattech shirts and leggings were what helped us survive winter with minimum layers. This is not an ad.
  5. I am currently obsessed with okra. Can’t.get.enough.
  6. I would rather not play board games. Growing up playing with people who always win/never give you a chance to win makes you a sore loser. True story.
  7. I don’t get New Girl (do you want to read my post about it?).
  8. I think I would enjoy teaching a language class and would like to at some point in my life.
  9. Cola-shaped gummies are my favorite. Try to take me away from them, I dare you. But I don’t have them as often as I would like. Probably once every 5 years.
  10. My new favorite flavored tea is apple.
  11. I could probably never eat a picture bento (those bentos that are decorated elaborately and styled to look like characters/buildings/nice things). It looks nice but I would find it too disgusting to eat. You?

If you wanna know more, you can also go here or here or here.

Here are Britt’s questions:

1. skinny jeans or palazzo pants?

Palazzo pants ALL the way.

I mentioned it in a previous post – me and skinny jeans? Probably never. Can you see me in these?

levis-skinny-jeans-2013

No, I really don’t think so. And come on, even if I could wear skinny jeans, I’d still go with palazzo pants because comfort over trying to squeeze into skintight jeans.palazzo-pants

And look at dem prints. LOVE.

2. one color that completely sums up you personality, and why?

nail_purpleglitter_1

Purple. Because royalty. Just kidding. Why do I feel so sassy today? It’ll probably wear off after I watch a few more episodes of Kingdom because feeeeeeels. Am I doing Tumblr talk?

Purple because what the heck, this is basically me. I don’t know how true any of that is but yeah, that’s just me in a nutshell.

3. yoga/pilates or zumba?

snoopy-pushups1

I have always wanted to try Zumba but have never so I’m gonna have to go with yoga.

4. favorite author/book?

Um, off the top of my head: The Watchman by Robert Crais. Joe Pike needs to be my bodyguard. Such a great book. I’ve read it so many times.apebbleforyourpocket

If it’s non-fiction that we’re talking, probably a Buddhist book I read when I was a kid. I just went to Google it and I actually found the title! A Pebble For Your Pocket by Thich Nhat Hanh.emotionalintelligence

Another good non-fiction would be Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Emotional intelligence is SO important. If we were all a bit more sensitive towards others, things would be much better, wouldn’t they?

5. early riser or night owl?

Early riser. Well, I like to think of myself of kind of in the middle. Bedtime is 10pm, sometimes 11, sometimes 9 (not kidding). Waking up at 6 in the morning is okay with me but if nobody disturbs me, 9am is fine too. Is waking up at 9 late??

6. favorite homemade meal?

Potato anything. Anything my mom makes. My mom’s lasagna, probably. Mmm… sooo good.

7. control freak or controlled chaos?

A bit of both, if I’m being honest. I think my controlling nature comes from wanting to make sure things are done right/efficiently. I feel like I can’t trust people to get things done properly or fast enough so I just take it upon myself to do what needs to be done. Wait… that’s not really categorized under being a control freak, is it?

At the same time, I’m a generally messy person. Not even gonna deny. Wish I were a bit more like Skye (she’s so organized and disciplined, dammit) and while I do try to be a bit tidier, I embrace the hurricane in me. Heh.

8. favorite pin on your board?

Food, definitely. But this too. You should go check out my boards because so. many. pretty. things. Two reasons why I don’t use Pinterest as much as the next person: 1. Lots of pretty things and awesome tutorials but I’m more of a Tumblr kind of person and Tumblr is easier to use! 2. All my time would be spent trawling the food tag aka counterproductive.

9. best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Oh man, I never quite know what to put when I see this question. Er, don’t talk to strangers? Except on MapleStory and Tumblr. Just kidding. Hmm, I can’t just pick one. My mom has always given us great advice over the years. The best advice she’s given me lately, ‘Who’s stopping you from being you?‘ That kind of woke me up a little.

Or maybe something the monk at the temple told me. Let go of your anger, let go of your hatred, be good to your parents. Basic but vastly important pieces of advice.

10. favorite drink at the bar?

Sky… juice? Lol. Um, can we go for coffee instead?

11. tupperware or mason jars?

Tupperware. We don’t have mason jars here, boo.

Aaaaand I’m done. That was fun~

I nominate:

Seriously, all these ladies are fabulous. Just looking at this list makes me happy that I found their blogs. Thanks for being awesome and for visiting our tiny corner of the blogaverse (that’s what the blog universe is called, right?).

Here are my questions:

  1. When did you learn to drive?
  2. Do you still watch cartoons?
  3. Have you watched the latest X-Men? If yes, what did you think of it? If no, are you a fan of X-Men or not?
  4. Are you the kind of person who can laugh at yourself?
  5. Are you a keychain collector? If yes, what’s the oldest one you have/remember having? (because I totally am and I just found my pencil box from 8th grade still strapped with my old keychain collection)
  6. What are some movies you can watch over and over again without getting bored?
  7. Can you change a light bulb by yourself?
  8. Favorite song at the moment?
  9. What is one language you would like to learn?
  10. A phrase/word you always use?
  11. 3-5 words you would use to describe yourself
  12. Bonus: Do you wanna have bulgogi and Samgyeopsal-gui with us? It’s Korean and it’s tasty, trust me. (you don’t have to answer this but I have a new found love for Korean food so I wanna know if you’d go with us)

And apparently I ran out of pictures to google lol. Have fun with this.

Raine
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Why sleeves were invented; things that move me to tears

This post idea came up while listening to a track off the Rurouni Kenshin album. I was just so overwhelmed by nostalgia, specifically the memories of both of us watching RRK every single freaking day non-stop (think 6/7 episodes back-to-back between lunch and dinner), and it almost made me cry for no reason. Okay, so the reason is that those days were so blissful and I wish I could relive them for even just a short while. But we all have those days and moments, don’t we?

Anyway, I also thought about something else that made me want to bawl my eyes out and thus this post was created. I’m a sentimental person who does NOT need tissue paper when watching a sad movie because my sleeves and pillow work just fine for absorbing tears. Ewww. I’m not kidding. Here are some things – some general, some specific – in no particular order that make me cry.

FrozenFrozen – No joke, I cried from start to end. The whole concept of a bond between sisters struck a chord inside of me and I basically just bawled throughout most of the show. Except of course when those rock thingies were singing and the snowman was doing his happy dance. I listened to Kristen Bell sing ‘Do You Wanna Build a Snowman’ live the other day and I just wanted to cry my eyes out. But I didn’t because Skye was sitting beside me and even though she wouldn’t have laughed at me because basically nowadays I cry openly when watching sad parts of a movie, I would have been embarrassed anyway.

Ratatouille – Well snap, I think this made us all cry. I cried in the cinema while watching Ratatouille and cried while watching it at home for the second time. My mom and I were just a pile of sobbing messes though she probably doesn’t remember this haha.

Rom-coms and Disney movies – Just yes. I can’t just name one rom-com or Disney movie. All those weepy romantic parts? Yes. Oh, I definitely cried loads while watching The Terminal and even more while watching Waitress. Tarzan? I cried. Tangled? Yes. Peter Pan? Yes. Mulan? Yes. Hercules? Yes. Okay. You name it.

Reading or watching animal stories, sad and touching alike – I refuse to read stories about animals rescuing their owners or waiting by their injured owners sides or animal accident stories in public because I’ll probably be a hot mess and nobody wants to see that! Or, you know, they might ask me what’s wrong and I’ll show the article to them and we’d all be hot crying messes.

harry-potter-booksBooks – Let me be honest. When I first cried after reading a sad part in a book, I thought something must be wrong with me. I was like, come on, it’s a book. But what the hell was I even thinking when I thought that? It’s not just a book. It’s a story and it touches my very core and those tears are valid.

I think I cried bucketfuls when I read the part where Sirius died (in Harry Potter, if you didn’t get that reference; shame on you for not getting it – no, I’m kidding, I’m not judging). Oh, and more bucketfuls when Lupin and Fred died. Sirius and Lupin are my favorite Harry Potter characters, by the way.

Rurouni_Kenshin_v28_000_CoverRurouni Kenshin manga – Oh dear me, I didn’t think a manga would make me tear up. I relate to Nobuhiro Watsuki on so many levels and when I read RRK, it felt like I was reading my own thoughts. The principles and values found in Rurouni Kenshin are things that are important to me and things I didn’t know someone else could feel and describe so well. Rurouni Kenshin is definitely one of those stories I wish I’d written but I’m happy Nobuhiro Watsuki wrote it because he’s brilliant.

Natsume YuujinchouNatsume Yuujinchou manga and anime – Like Frozen, I cried throughout most of the manga. At every chapter end, I was sobbing into my pillow. Is it even possible to write chapter after chapter of deeply moving stories? Yes. The simplicity and beauty of Natsume Yuujinchou is what makes this one of my all-time favorite mangas AND anime. There’s nothing complex about the stories but the central theme of someone being caught between two worlds and trying to find a place between both worlds is crafted so well by the mangaka that you can’t help but relate to everything Natsume feels. Every character plays a role in shaping Natsume’s life and helping him understand where he belongs. Just, hands down, amazing.

Looking through a photo album – All.the.memories.

Why sleeves were invented

And I don’t know about you but sometimes when I’m really happy, I feel like crying. I guess that’s what they call tears of joy??

Seriously, just writing this post is making me close to tears. I need to stop right here.

Are you the kind of person who cries during sad parts in movies or are you one of those tough folks who just doesn’t? What moves you to the verge of tears?

Raine
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2013 in review and Weekly Wishes #18

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Hi everyone! Hisashiburi! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I guess it’s only been a week but it seems like forever because within last week, we had a major transition. Can’t do the picture prompt for this week because things are a little hectic right now but thank goodness for having a spare picture in my folder somewhere. That’s me and San Francisco in the distance.

Last week’s post was rather quiet but oh well, we’re in the next week already and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve!!

Have we really reached the end of 2013? This year seemed to fly by. I may say this almost every year but the days this year have really seemed to peel by faster than ever. As usual, I’ll be doing my obligatory end-of-year annual reflection which will also serve as this Weekly Wishes post.

In 2013,

I learned a lot about myself. At some points, I felt like I lost myself a bit but I think it’s good to lose sight of yourself sometimes because you discover things about yourself that you never knew existed within you. How philosophical and cliche did that sound? I have my philosophy class to blame but it’s true. Confidence and strength are two of the countless things I’ve gained this year. I guess it’s true that as you grow older you care less about what people say about you and you do things that once upon a time would have made you uncomfortable. I mean, come on, I dance on escalators now, haha.

I learned many new things and picked up a few things that I’d left hanging. Drawing is something I picked up again. I never thought I would pursue my interest in art because I always thought you either had talent or didn’t and clearly I thought my talent was nil. Haha, my lack of confidence is a bit disgusting and embarrassing but I’m glad I’m getting better at it. Now I believe anyone can do anything as long as they put their heart and best effort into it so even I may one day be a bona fide pro artist one day. Even if I don’t, I think I’d just be happy that I started drawing again. I’m glad Skye convinced me to draw again. ^__^

I also lost more weight than I ever have and I feel pretty good about myself. -insert proud emoticon- I have been working out consistently and I’m actually enjoying working out. I used to dislike exercising mostly because I had to haul myself out of bed every morning to follow my mom to the gym which wasn’t the greatest of places. The air-conditioning was always switched off, the staff was nasty and the people who frequented the gym do not know how to follow simple gym etiquette (talking loudly on cell phones, hogging all the equipment, leaving their stuff everywhere, being generally unhygienic, stuff like that). Well, eventually my mom and I stopped going and after weeks of convincing ourselves that we would work out in the comfort of our home, we finally did and now we’ve got our own gym corner. It’s fun and just shows that we don’t need a gym with fancy equipment to work out.

Skye and I finished a first rough draft of a fantasy novel. I think that calls for a HECK YEAH! It’s always been our dream to write something together. You know how sometimes you write something, forget about it along the way, find it again some time later, read it and think omg what was I thinking that is so freaking cheesy?! Yeah, well, we reread our draft and it’s actually pretty solid and we still like it. πŸ˜€ We also wrote a thriller together – so much fun and such a nice change from all the romance I was writing, haha.

Watched a whole bunch of new shows, got hooked on anime again, in the process fell in love with Japanese songs. Hmm, yeah, you can already tell by our previous posts. πŸ˜‰ I think we have Skye’s classmate to thank for our revived interest. Here are some of the best animes we’ve watched so far: K Project, Nurarihyon no Mago, Rurouni Kenshin. And here are the good/decent ones: Hakuouki Reimeiroku, Full Metal Panic!, Spice and Wolf, Shingeki no Kyojin. Undecided on whether or not to continue these animes: Magi and Durarara!. I am sure there are way more than these few but I just can’t seem to bring them up in my mind.

I also read some excellent mangas this year: Rurouni Kenshin (first rate manga though the ending was more bittersweet than I would have liked), Natsume Yuujinchou (I only found out the manga is ongoing after I reached the supposed last chapter, haha; beautifully written and I shed a tear at almost every end of a chapter), K: Memory of Red (oh, the emotions while reading this manga… indescribable; beautiful relationships and great short stories that co-relate with the anime and novels). Currently reading: Kuroshitsuji, Natsume Yuujinchou and K: Days of Blue (Munakata Reisi is unexpectedly funny and the Blues have a strange bond). Reading mangas is different from reading books but both are great. The difference is reading mangas is like piecing your own anime together.

As for other movies, TV shows and music, it’s safe to say that we’re outdated… We only watched a couple of movies this year, are keeping up with fewer TV shows – only Person of Interest, Arrow, Elementary – and we’re completely lost on what the radios are playing these days. Yup, marching to our own beat is who we are. Seriously though, apart from Overnight by Parachute – which is a really good album – we have no idea what’s down and awesome. Even if we did, we probably wouldn’t find them awesome. We pretty much stopped listening to the radio two years ago. The ‘new’ music these days isn’t really our cup of tea. Hmm, yeah. I wrote this part a week ago and after spending a good 3/4 of a day on a plane and surfing the music folder, it’s safe to say that we are completely outdated………….

In terms of other reading material, we didn’t buy many new books but the ones that we did were really good. Mostly all thrillers. I can easily count the books we bought on both hands. Why are books so expensive?? And why does reading from a screen suck so much?

Languages. Skye and I tried learning Italian for a while. It was alright. We thought we’d be the next voice actors for Assassin’s Creed if they ever set the game in Italy again. Then we lost interest (what is this, right?) because we started watching anime again and were like, OMG WE ARE HALF-JAPANESE WHY CAN’T WE SPEAK THE LANGUAGE? I may or may not be kidding about being half-Japanese. πŸ˜‰ Yeah, so we left our Italian hanging but one day we’ll be back. Who knows, maybe in 2014?

I also turned 20 this year. It was a quiet affair… like seriously quiet. I didn’t even remember it was my birthday and after that I didn’t really get that post-birthday excitement that I usually get. But it was fine. I still can’t believe that I’m in my second decade now, haha.

I also learned more about life. Life is… strange. That’s pretty much all I can say about it. I wouldn’t know how to put my other thoughts into words. There were some turning points in my life this year – some trying, some relieving, some just strange – but I’ve learned a lot from all of them.

Some other highlights of the year: my last semester in college (yeeeaaaahhh!! so glad I’m done with that school), summer in California (I MISS IT SO MUCH AND I WANT TO GO BACK AGAIN), Skye finally graduating from high school (hallelujah!!) and getting accepted to college, me getting accepted to uni (after an arduous process), finding new places to eat (always a highlight) and… and okay my highlights may not be as exciting to read about so I’ll just stop.

I suppose there is one main regret that I have for this year – I wish I learned to drive. Well, I do know how to drive but I probably need a few more hours on my clock to be a certified driver, hah. I dropped out of my driving course last year because the instructor sucked big time and there were more than a few complications with the driving school. Can anyone be a driving course dropout? Yes, they can. Me, apparently, haha. Being a passenger and seeing the crazy vicious drivers on the road really put me off though. I couldn’t see myself behind the wheel at all. Sigh. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to make my debut on the road as a driver. πŸ˜‰

This about sums up 2013 for me. How was your year? Link your ‘annual reflections’ (or New Year resolutions posts) when you leave a comment. I’d like to read about 2013 from your point of view. I have loads more to tell you all but until then, Here’s to 2014, let’s meet next year!

Thanks for being awesome to us! We appreciate every one of you and promise to be better bloggers. πŸ™‚ Have a safe and wonderful Happy New Year wherever you are!

zr1

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