banner blog

Fall 2023 Journal

Warning: I do my best to reflect on things that makes me happy, but at times, I have my days when things aren't too well. I don't like lying to myself, so not everything will be butterflies and rainbows on this blog.

11.23.2024 Listening to winter cafe jazz music

cambodian fried chicken apple salad

Today is Turkey Day! Like the past few years, I've made a quiet dinner for two: just Bern and I. Ngl, I do miss having Friendsgiving potluck and the socializing, but at the same time, it's so easy to not have to worry about preparation because we can go by our own rules. Also,  for specific health reasons...I still have to socially distance from most of my friends (and family members). I didn't prepare anything too complicated, because: 1. We just need some leftovers to be our well-balanced foods for the next couple of days 2. Bern and I aren't really a big fan of roasted turkey 3. Less clean-up! 

We had graham cracker crust pumpkin pie, apple walnut stuffing, apple cranberry salad with mango dressing, Hakkaido dinner rolls, and Southeast Asian fried chicken. Definitely looking forward to dinner for the next days. I know with just two people in our place, they won't last forever. 

For those who celebrates the day, I hope yall are having a decent time with your loved ones.... I know not everybody are close with their folks, and if you're one of them, here's a *hug*.  Throughout my whole life, I've had different Thanksgiving dinner experiences. I've gone to dinner parties hosted by certain relatives that made me felt out of place, so I understand!  If you're truly close to your folks, just cherish it! I think family gatherings can be a great way to check up on your loved ones, keep each other on the same page.

Just the other day I was on a discussion forum space, a mom in her 60s talked about how her kids downloaded a few social media apps for her and taught her how to go through the mechanics. She nailed it! It opened doors for her, found online-comrades and broaden her horizon. I was happy that she allowed her kids (they're probably adults haha) to teach her and she was open to learning new things. To an extent, I can kinda see my mom trying new things. I thought the whole discussion was sweet. cinnamon roll

No Animal Crossing gameplay-errands this year, because I have other things to do, haha. I watched some highlighted bits of the M4cy*5 parade just to only see Monkey D. Luffy. ... I believe the parade got shut down overall?  It's for valid reasons, which I completely understand and support<3. Protests are meant to be disruptive, it would be self-centered to be upset at them.... and I'm saying this as someone who loves Snoopy and the holidays. There will always be parades every year, in different places, and with different special events, but the fact is, people's lives are irreplaceable. 

Other than food, Bern and I didn't do a whole lot today. I took an afternoon nap, and we spent some time together while Bern got this day off. We walked off our bellies by doing a night stroll. I'm grateful to have a person by my side.  Besides dreaming up a modest home, there's really not too much I want from life. I'm sure most people feel the same way... I think everybody deserves a nice permanent home.


11.11.2023 Listening to 70s/80s archived holiday commercials on repeat

 As someone who loooooves Halloween and creepy stuff, I have immediately packed up my October decorations away and decided to gradually put my Christmas decorations up. I wasn't really feeling most of the whole month like previous years because I've been feeling torn for the past weeks (& still am).  This artwork made by @ohmyghoulia pretty much sums it all.

I figured putting up a bunch of vibrant holiday decors was the best way to regain my energy, afterall, I'm lucky, well and alive. I have to be grateful for this time. The plus side to early decorating is you get to make sure that the Christmas lights are not broken or whether you need to replace any batteries with any kinetic/ light up objects.... so I guess decorating early is a great way to test them out. It's amazing how some simple bulbs of red and green lights can warm up a place. Having an incandescent lighting was a perfect band-aid for just the moment. 

Just for a wellness check, I decided to call my mom while I was organizing my place. She was taking care of my grandmother (she has dementia) and it seems like everyone else (like my dad) are in good health.  I was able to talk to my grandma for a bit, I don't think she remembers the adult-version of me... she actually asked why I was so far away. I told her I won't be for too long...which I think, could happen. It's possible Bern and I may have to move back to our other hometown within this state. 

living room christmas gif

11.7.2023 Listening to 70s/80s archived holiday commercials

 So I managed to not "doomscroll" this week while staying grounded to reality. I absorbed enough information that I needed to absorb... I basically ended up discussing the situation, posting twitter screencaps to my Instagram stories. One person in my social circle was really confused about what's actually going on when she saw my boycott flier for St4rbucks, McD0nalds, and D1sney.. I'm glad I was able to find some bookmarked sources to discuss it.  While I may lost a couple of friends with very discerning views, I'm happy that I lowkey remade a few new friends who actually care about people, not expect anything back and don't put on an edgy-facade to appear different.  I wish these new friends don't live far away. *cries* 

This year, I didn't do a whole lot for Halloween. Bern and I basically stayed home & dressed up with whatever items we already have in our closet.  Not exactly horror, but we both ended up watching Escape from New York with our homemade pizzas. I'm pretty grateful to be able to enjoy a quiet Halloween night. 

Anyway, here's a twitter thread of leaked recipes for popular St4rbucks drinks. They're super easy to make & I'm sure you can put your own spin to these recipes. 

gyaru girl and boyfriend watching tv


 This past week, I've been following a story, witnessing one of the worst atrocities directly committed to mankind (this has been building up for decades btw)...literally went up against the Geneva Convention. I don't feel surprised, but I do feel sad that it continued for so long. If you have been keeping up with current events, you probably know what I'm talking about. If not, then I suggest you crawl out of your bubble and check it out, hopefully you'll hop on to the right algorithm. (Obviously, be vary of mainstream, corporate media headlines and paid actors since they have been funding this bloody mess.) I've been feeling sick, angry and heartbroken just taking the news in. It's one of the reasons why I can't exactly shut myself from social feeds because it's one of the only ways I can keep tabs with reality, people have been killed, and it cannot be ignored. The dehumanization is very real. 

I feel as if some of the people in my social circle are probably irritated with me. It feels as if my surroundings are completely unfazed by this matter. At times, I feel like most of them dgaf or just completely dissociated, but are somehow absorbed with useless Alien conspiracies topics. Like will the Aliens help us with living rent, clean water, and healthcare? I wouldn't mind talking about that.

I would post stories, donation links, & valid twitter takes about the global affairs....and I would end up with one "like" each by a mutual I've  only met once (at least it's comforting to know that I'm not completely alone).  It's insane to see peers who've been vocal about numerous causes, sharing constant feeds but not this particular event. Like you know you have the platform to speak out against this, right?  I mean I guess I could pretend that everything is okay and put on a big smile as if nothing happened, oh yes humanity is safe and happy indeed /sarc. 

I don't expect my family and friends to be super sharp with details, like I would be fine with them asking questions, or just be aware of our world (also local) happenings. I loathe that bringing up an important issue such as this is treated as a mood-killer. All I want is to cry about it with my closest(?) friends, talk about it & not feel alone. I am not a fan of one upping anyone, we literally could research &  and perhaps find the full truth together.

One Piece Quote

Here's a quote to retain my sanity.

10.1.23 Listening to vintage autumn music

Happy Sunday, and happy first day of October! I hope you all are doing okay, and if not, well, here's a *hug*. Lately, I've been keeping myself busy with personal photography, drawing prompts, & basic housekeeping. I think I found a perfect ratio of ingredients for a hot chocolate. I find that the Market Pantry's pumpkin spice whipped cream adds a nice touch to my chocolatey oatmilk. I no longer drink caffeine, so was quite delightful for me to have! It was a pleasant way for me to experience autumn in a region that's mainly mild in weather.

So what are one of the artsy projects I've been talking about? Well, I've been working on these Drawtober prompts. One prompt was made by me, and the other was made by another artist on Instagram. I liked that their prompt was everything "witches", so it's very easy for me to follow through because I like to focus my drawings on ideas that aren't too abstract. This will be a perfect way for me to study poses & figures. 

So far, here are my Halloween critters:

Cute Bunny Woman
Alucard Bear Person
Night Witch

09.23.23 Listening to Cafe Jazz for two hours

I finally got most of my Halloween decorations up! It's not that different of a layout from the ones I made in the past years, I try to be better with balance and harmony when it comes to my festive decors. I think I am getting the hang of it. A lot of my Halloween items were purchases I've made from random places.... I started collecting them for the past seven years. I even kept all of my DIY projects and I made most of my "spooky" paintings. If you have things like simple craft paints, hot glue gun sets, & construction papers.... they're literally just $0 stuff.

I basically compiled stickers, postcards, zines, photos, and popular media that reminds me of fall. For instance, I saved my Vicent Price souvenir postcard for this season because he's iconic for October. If you ever browsed through my traditional art page, I'm sure you'll recognize some of my paintings.

I think I blame my dad for passing on the idea of collecting kitschy and novel (yet forever classic for me) items. My minimalist mother was quite the opposite, she was never a fan of tacky, vibrant things... so I have struggled with aesthetic choices between my parents. I see where both of my parents were coming from with their personal tastes and I don't question their preferences. At least in the curating department, I think I am better at displaying my novel decors. Also, Bern and I share the same tastes, I incorporated Bern's things for display.


Our work/ desktop stations. I'm surprised my boo lanterns held up for all these years.


More of my pokemon stuff & little trinkets. Not pictured: I also have Lady Boo floating above the plant corner. I'm not sure whether or not I will keep my displays how they are right now, but that's all I have for now. After my last DIY project forr this year, I know for sure I can't be collecting a lot more trinkets, since I have a small space...I'm pretty content with my collection, I think I am maxed out. I could use for something a lot more practical, like Halloween cookwares & dishes. Maybe couch pillows? Orrrrr I will sew one up. We shall see! 

DIY Project links:
1. The nutcracker, I actually used this idea for my Mr. Pumpkin nutcracker.
2. Halloween paper rolls, They're so versatile for everything! I've managed to use them for my faux melty candles. I even made my Toriyama-inspired bat garland with them. 

09.21.23 Listening to September by Earth, Wind & Fire

 This is another of my random, but typical reflection that I've been doing from time to time. These are just some personal life lessons I've accumulated over the years that have been helpful to me in health, lifestyle survival & spiritual sense. As someone who grew up in a predominately working-class household (if this matters in any way), they're like a list of reminders for myself. So here they are:

1. Always take care of yourself, listen to your body. 
In the past, I was pretty bad at making physical health check ups because I was the kind of person who used to be flexible for my old workplaces. It is quite easy to live with an underlining issue undetected. I may have been unkind to my bowels simply because my work hours didn't fair too well with my body. Please, please don't pass up on a medical appointments (if you are able to) and take your full break from work.  Just remember if you're off the clock from work, you are off the clock.

2. It's okay to crave for attention 
I grew up in a time & space where asking for positive attention were seen as a negative trait.  It probably doesn't help that I mostly grew up in a small town, haha. At times, there would be a couple of teens taking Myspace selfies at a public space and there would be some bah-humbug person in the corner making complaints to a random passersby as if the teens were in the wrong for doing a harmless activity. I had peers who literally shouts "poser" at everything. Luckily, after all the peer pressure of not letting yourself have fun, I was able to remove myself from people like that. I'm still a little sad that there are people around my age who still cling on to this attitude. We humans are social beings. I'm so happy to have my sis, Bern and a few friends who gives a damn & would hype at every little thing for me on social media. It's also nice to not feel alone.
Life is short AF, please let people live and also, at the very least, let yourself live. 

3. Kitchen pantry supplies
I find that keeping cream cheese, frozen veggies, evaporated milk, boxes of pasta noodles, and a jar of flour is soooo versatile for dinner ingredients. They're budget friendly, full of nutrients, and they don't go bad as easily.  Like for an example, I could have a box of cream cheese in my fridge and plan out broccoli pasta bake, a pizza bianca, & toasted bagels all in one week. If you got some powdered sugar and yeast packets in your baking pantry, you could even whip up a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting for a special day. 

4. Once in awhile, treat yourself
Ever since Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks suggested this, I've been looking forward to live for the smallest things. One of my favorite days happens to be a day at a local park and grabbing a takeout sandwich afterwards. Or the time when I ordered a Cookie Butter Latte from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  I'm going to have to find a non-caffeinated recipe for this, haha. 

5. Planner stuff & ADHD
If you're ever in need of a calendar, Sanrio got some cute print outs. I personally like having something physical to schedule my plans, especially cute stuff. I tend to remember things better when I record tasks with a pencil and paper. 


These past few weeks, Bern and I have been watching One Piece live action series. I was hoping the series would be entertainingly bad like the Mortal Kombat (1995) or Street Fighter (1994)  and that I would be content with it, but it turns out the series is actually a lot better than these movies. I was pretty impressed. I noticed they used some practical effects, so it was very interesting to see. Although super short, the martial arts choreography were fun to watch... I know these choreographs were not easy! I think they did a great job with the costumes and makeup. All the actors for One Piece live nailed it, especially the non-main characters in the show. 

Besides watching the OPLA, Bern and I have been quite busy as usual. So many projects to get done and soooo many hobbies to check off, I don't think I could ever get bored.  I'm hoping to get back to my LoZ:TOTK gameplay, because I'm not even done...gotta finsish finding all the lightroots. 

I know early September in California tends to be very hot, but I'm praying for a touch of brisk air to arrive... it will probably be weeks until we get the coolness (65-55° degrees). I'll probably just put on some autumn lofi & finish redecorating my home with Halloween-themed decors while I try to cool off during this heatwave.

Anyway, here's a drawing I worked on last week: 

I wanted to draw a couple of cafe critters. Before Bern and I moved in together, we both used to work long hours and our schedule would hardly align nicely. Going to quiet cafes and diners used to be our thing during fall season. We stopped going because, one, we got our own place AND ever since I became a stay-at-home-gf, I think I prefer my home-cooked foods over most restaurant places. Bern said I ruined takeouts