The New Asian Standard: Read one book a year and just be happy goddamnit

If you haven’t noticed already, it’s been quiet here at Nostalgicism Studios. This, of course, doesn’t mean that I’ve been productive. No. No. No. You should know me better than that. 😛 But there’s been a splash of productively here and there. Mostly in the reading department. Kind of.

I have maintained my usual two books a month, up until May and it’s not starting to look good for June and the coming months. It’s a little disappointing, but as long as I’m reading at least a sentence per year, I’m fine.

Here is a brief overview of the books I’ve read so far.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
An Atheist teenager befriends a group of misfits when he is forced to go to a Christian school.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan (Re-read)
A programmer finds a new purpose in her life when the two owners of the restaurant she frequents suddenly leaves her with a mysterious sourdough starter that seems to have a mind of its own.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Long
An orphan with unbelievable abilities has a significant impact on the lives of the people he encounters throughout his life.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Re-read)
An autistic teenager is determined to find out who killed his neighbor’s dog
A List of Cages by Robin Roe
A teenager struggling with both his school and home life reconnects with his foster brother.
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo) by Rick Riordan
Apollo continue on his journey to regain his powers and save humanity (if he absolutely has to, of course).
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
A girl who is hiding her bipolar disorder from her friends tries to reconnect with a friend she had a falling out with
The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack
After being nearly expelled for a harmless prank, a slacker becomes the mentor of an awkward Norwegian student.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
After a teenager witnesses a police officer shoot and kill her old childhood friend, her life slowly unravels as she struggles to deal with it and the other aspects of her life.

Ideally, I would like to read at least 24 books this year. Actually, pretty much every year. But I’d honestly be happy as long I’m reading consistently, or maybe at least one book a year. I’m a man with very low standards. 😛

How many Asian men does it take to organize 5 billion books?

The last time I organized my bookshelf, I switched out some of the books for my video games and most of my DVDs. I just got tired of looking at a top to bottom wall of books.

Instead, I opted for a smaller wall of books. I simply put the excess books on the shelf where the DVDs used to be. And Voila.

There was really no type of organization with this shelf. I just shoved everything in there. Well, there was a little organization.. The books I want to read are on top, the books I don’t want to read as much are below and the bottom shelf stayed the same with my non-fiction.

I actually do like that this shelf is full of books. It just appeals to me much more on a smaller scale rather than what I had. Now, if I had multiple bookshelves side by side, that would be a different story. But when you only have one tall bookshelf, you need to display more than just books.

In the typical Nostalgicism fashion, I added a few knickknacks because what’s the point of having knickknacks if you don’t display them? Clearly two items were not enough because it looks quite empty and cold to me. To be transparent, right before I took these pictures, I did have random clutter on it, which was why I refrained from going overboard with the collectibles and knickknacks. But, right now, the shelves look sad. Almost as sad as a Miley Cyrus song.

But it’s a work in progress, much like my main bookshelf or my life, really, heh. Sigh.

Is it still a bookshelf if it’s not full of books? :o

Well, it’s that time again. No, not for a mob of angry Asian moms to chase me with torches made from traditional bamboo. It’s time for a bookshelf update. And this time, there are some major changes. Gasp. 😮

But, first, more or less the same. Let’s be honest, you weren’t surprised. The same old books. Mystery. Fantasy. The Dexter bobblehead. Blah. Blah. Blah.

The same books. The same photo. The same Chinese teacup. (Although, I’m honestly surprised that I kept the teacup there on the shelf.)

And here is where I decided to burn the rest of the books on the bookshelf and start putting other things on it because I got tired of looking at a wall of books. And I’m only partially joking.

Whenever I would look at the shelf, I don’t know, I just wanted to see more than just books. So I moved half of the books to another shelf in another room and replaced them with my DS/3DS collection and most of my DVDs. Oh and, of course, random figures and stuff. Because I’m not enough of a maximalist already. :p

It just made more sense to move the video games and DVDs to this shelf because I am more likely to actually use them if they’re in this room. I was barely using them when they were in the room they were in. It’s working out much better. 🙂

As with all of my bookshelf updates, I am liking this setup for now. I wonder how soon I will change it, heh. :p

The light shall shine on Wolverine, and everything shall be fine.

The one thing I’ve always wanted was a bookshelf. I would dream about having a bookshelf to display all of my books and various collections. Well, I got one, and I’ve realized that one bookshelf is clearly not enough for me. What a surprise, heh. Unfortunately, I do not have the space for another bookshelf and, honestly, I’m too lazy right now to move things around. So, for now, I am working with what I have.

One of the things I’m working with is a display cabinet I got from my brother. I love it, but it has a black interior, so it’s difficult to see inside. To fix the issue, I put in some tap lights.

I liked them but after a short while, I took them down. I can’t remember exactly why I took them down. Maybe I just wasn’t feeling it. Or, perhaps they just stopped working one day. or I was staring at them one day, and I was like, no, I don’t want boob lights in my cabinet. I don’t know. So, for years and years and years, the inside of the cabinet was shrouded in pure darkness, and I was barely able to see my figures.

Then, one day, while I was at Walmart, I went through the lighting aisle and looked at my options. Not surprisingly, I didn’t have much choice. I ended up picking up a light that was basically a rectangle with a simple push button. I knew I needed more than one, but I wasn’t exactly sure how many, and I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to spend on this. Now, it was $6, which is not much, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, so I only bought one at first. I took it home, put batteries in and absolutely loved how much light it gave. The problem was figuring out how many lights to buy. I not only have the display case, but also two media stands. I was suddenly envisioning having lights everywhere even just on a table just in case I need extra light for something. I bought two more, but only ended up using one of them. The other one, oddly enough, is sitting on my night stand. There’s no specific reason why it’s there. It’s just there. It will be moved somewhere more useful, eventually. :p

The only thing I am not a big fan of is how difficult it is push the button, especially because one of the shelves is not secured and can be easily moved. It should be OK though because I am not going to have the lights on on a regular basis. I just have to be careful…ish.

I don’t know how long this setup is going to last since, you know, I have the habit of changing things frequently, cough. But it’s much better than what it was before. And that makes me happy enough. 🙂

2021: The year of watching Netflix and trying not to gain 500 pounds

I don’t like the idea of making resolutions for a new year. In the beginning, you get hyped up and you feel like you can accomplish anything, then your enthusiasm and motivation slowly fades away as each month passes, and you’re nowhere closer to your goals. And then you somehow end up in the shower with your clothes on and you’re crying while eating a hamburger.

I avoided making resolutions for the longest time because I knew in the end, I wouldn’t accomplish much. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. Well, two years ago, I made
a list of very, very, insanely broad goals just to see what happens. Needless to say, it didn’t really work out. I did a little reading, a little TV watching, but not much else. So, I made the exact same (very, very broad) goals for this year. I did surprisingly well, for an underachieving Asian.

It was more or less the same as the previous year, except I did a lot more reading and TV watching. My ultimate goal was to read at least 30 books. I knew this was a long shot though, especially because I only read 7 books the year previously, so I aimed more toward a range of 24 to 30 books. I ended up reading a total of 25 books. Yes, I know. I’m shocked too. 😮 And the angry Asian moms are so shocked that they have decided to not chase me with bamboo torches for at least a few weeks. Yay.

It was all fiction, mostly YA fiction, because I’m definitely not an over achiever, and it’s easier to find YA fiction that have first person narration than adult fiction. (For those who don’t know, right now, I read only first person narration because it’s a lot more captivating and interesting to me than third person.) There was some comedy. There was some drama. There were some re-reads. All of them were pretty much fairly easy reads because, again, I know my limits, and I’m not going to set up myself for failure on purpose. And, overall, I am quite happy with the results.

Now, TV watching was significantly less successful, but I feel a lot more accomplished this year compared to last year. Now, I do not know whether I watched more TV in 2020 compared to 2019, but what I do know is I feel I was more prepared. My problem with TV watching in the past is I do it so inconsistently that I tend to either not know what I want to watch because, well, I want to watch everything or when I do want to watch a specific show, I don’t remember where I last left off. Now, I’m more focused. I have a small selection of TV shows I’m watching at any given time. The key is to have enough TV shows to watch so I don’t feel like I have to find a new TV show to watch every time I want to watch something but also not too many to the point where I feel overwhelmed. I’m still not watching nearly as much as I want to, but I feel a lot better about it now.

Needless to say, all of my other goals/resolutions have been pretty much ignored (writing, getting into other hobbies, etc.), although I have been into action figures more than I used to, but that’s not really saying a lot, lol. So, right now, I am going to focus on reading and watching TV more and everything else, well, it will just happen when it happens.

The Ugly Stepchildren of Bookshelves

Anyone who is a reader would know that it is impossible to keep all your books in once place. I basically have three spaces for my books. All of you are already familiar with my main bookshelf where I put all of my fiction. I then have a small bookshelf where I put my non-fiction books, and then I have another small bookshelf where I put my mangas and children’s books. And, then, of course, there are the random piles of books scattered around the house.

I haven’t posted photos of my other book areas because, well, when you have an actual bookshelf filled with books, that’s the one you want to take photos of. And, honestly, because of how dark the shelves are, you can barely see the books anyway. And, oh yeah, I have a crappy camera. I know, it’s very difficult to tell with my superb photo editing skills. :p

Not surprisingly, when I took the photos, they were too dark for me. I was like, “Ugh, I have a lot photo editing to do.” Then, I was like, “Oh, wait. I can just open the blinds. And the photos turned out so much better.

As always, with all of my various shelves and surfaces I display my collectibles on, they will get changed around like a million times, but here you go. Enjoy. :p

And an up-close photo because of my crappy camera and poor editing skills. Hey, I try. :p

I used to read mostly non-fiction, but I decided to focus primarily on fiction about three years ago. So, I haven’t been buying a lot of non-fiction and I’ve went through them and got rid of anything I knew I wasn’t going to read in the next fifty years and this is the end result. I’m quite happy.

Luckily, I don’t have enough children’s books and mangas to fill an entire shelf, so they are sharing a shelf with my DS and 3DS games, along with my DS’s. A separate post will be made about them, eventually. I need content. Sue me.
I don’t know if the Star Wars figures will stay on this shelf, but I like they fill an otherwise empty space. Here at Nostalgicism Studios, we say NO to minimalism.

:p

Reading 173 books in a row, but struggling to watch one episode of Friends

For many, many, MANY years, I was struggling to read on a consistent basis, even when I was in a period of my life where I had no major commitments or obligations. I basically had no life. Yet, I was still struggling to do things I want to do.

Now, here’s the thing about me. if I absolutely have to do something, I will do it. If there’s a problem, I will absolutely want to fix it as soon as possible. If I, however, want to do something that is not required, like watching TV or reading a book, I usually just push it to the side with the intention of doing it on another day and, surprise, I end up not doing it. What is a surprise, though, is I’ve actually gotten into reading on a consistent basis. Omg, I know. All of you are cheering up and down and throwing confetti in the air while singing “Everywhere” by Michelle Branch.

Yes, it is quite an accomplishment for me. I’ve been consistently reading roughly two books a month, which is astonishing, given the fact that I only read like seven books last year, heh. You would think because of this minor miracle, it would be easier for me to watch TV now. No. Just no.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just can’t sit through an entire episode of Breaking Bad start to finish and binge 25 episodes in a single day like most people can. I tend to watch a few minutes at a time and just procrastinating doing nothing.

Lately, I’ve been having some mild success with watching TV because I am finally focusing on watching a selection of specific TV shows, as opposed to going back and forth between 12 TV shows, and ultimately being frustrated that I can’t remember what I’ve already watched.

Right now, I am actively watching six TV shows, or trying to at least, heh. Of course, there are the usual suspects that I’ve talked about repeatedly on this blog: Breaking Bad, Awkward, You’re the Worst. And then there are the shows I’ve just started watching.

After Life

An unhappy man is trying to deal with the recent loss of his wife with the support of his friends and colleagues.

What We Do In the Shadows

Based on the movie of the same name, a camera crew follows a group of vampires in Staten Island in their everyday lives.

Legion

Based on the Marvel character of the same name, a man who always thought he had schizophrenia finds out he is a powerful mutant.

As you can see, there’s a mix of dark dramas, light-hearted comedies and dark-hearted comedies. Yes, I created a whole new genre. When I was in my 20s, I used to watch a lot of crime dramas where someone dies every five minutes. While I don’t mind a little dying here and there, I mostly just want to watch a group of friends hanging out and dealing with their every day lives. I mean, I won’t watch a guy doing his taxes, but I will watch him having a nervous breakdown while trying to do his taxes after finding out his mom is in the hospital from a heart attack. Hey, I am a writer after all. :p

I am a man with very low expectations, and by now I know not to expect much from myself, so I’m not planning on finishing any of these TV shows by the end of the year. I am, however, expecting to at least get into a rhythm of watching at least some of them consistently. Yay for achievable goals. :p

Where are they now?: Bookshelf Edition

So…it’s been a while since I’ve given an update on my bookshelf. Actually, it’s been so long that I actually had to go back to the last bookshelf update because I completely forgot what it looked like before.
It has been more or less the same. It just has more stuff in it, which honestly makes the bookshelf look so much better than it did. It no longer looks like I just moved in and just threw random stuff on it.

I mostly organize my bookshelf by genre. To add personality,I like to sprinkle in a few of my collectibles, but at the same time I don’t want it to look too cluttered, and I want easy access to the my books. I don’t want to move around everything each time I want to pull out a book.

As usual, the top two shelves look more or less the same. They’re still fantasy and mystery. I just moved around some of the figures and collectibles.

Here, I had a little space for a couple of figures, but I just decided to fill the space with more books and, again, I just sprinkled miscellaneous collectibles throughout my bookshelf. The books here are a selection of some of my favorite YA books and YA books that I want to read.

Below that, I have the rest of my YA books. My organization system is a bit weird. I generally organize by genre, then color. With YA books, I also organize by the gender of the protagonist. I know it’s weird, but I like separating my YA books that way. I’m weird. Sue me.

My adult fiction shelf stayed almost exactly the same.
The shelf below, I just added more books. It is no longer the shelf of death.

And this, again, remains pretty much the same and, as you can see, I haven’t bothered organizing this shelf since it’s just the place I put books I don’t know where else to book. My book junk drawer, if you will. :p

I like this setup so far, so it may or may not be a while until I post my next bookshelf update. It depends on whether or not I can come up with something better. Or rather, how lazy I am. :p

There’s cake on the table, Michelle Branch is playing and the angry Asian moms are not chasing me.

Um….so…it’s been five years since I’ve started Nostalgicism. Now, I normally do not celebrate Web site anniversaries but it’s, by far, the longest I’ve had a Web site, so it’s a time to celebrate. With nostalgia.

So…way, way, way back in the early 2000s, I got into web designing. Of course, I was self taught and I pretty much sucked. I mean, it was the early 2000s, so that automatically means I started with Geocities. Yes. Geocities. What a shocker. Back then, there was a large community of young self-taught web designers. Personal sites run by teenagers were literally everywhere. It was nice to feel like I was a part of something, a member of the teenage web design community.

I quickly moved from Geocities to being hosted on various personal domains to having my own personal domains. But as the years went on and the teen Web design community quickly faded into oblivion, I lost interest in web design. For years, off and on, I tried to get back into Web design, but I didn’t have any of my Web sites for longer than a year or so, and I just stopped web designing all together.

Then came 2015. Now, you might have thought I started Nostalgicism because I wanted to go back to web design. Well, you would be wrong. I wanted to get back into writing. I needed a platform where I can write on a regular basis and getting a domain and setting up a blog was the best option.

My life is quite uneventful. If I were to blog about my life, it would literally be filled with posts that are more or less like, “Today, I mindlessly browsed YouTube for two hours, and I was eating potato chips.” I immediately knew I wanted to focus on nostalgia and pop culture. Now, like with everything, there are pros and cons to blogging about things that make your nostalgic. The good is it covers a long and broad list of different topics and there would be something for everyone. The bad is some of the topics would be so specific that no one would know what the heck you’re talking about. Topics, like I don’t know…Public Service Announcements no one remembers or TV shows from a decade ago that were quickly canceled and forgotten about.

The posts were fine, but it wasn’t the right vibe for me. This is a personal blog, not a magazine, but I still didn’t want to focus on writing about my personal life, so I’ve tried to combine the two and there’s been some success. I’ve been writing about my bookshelves, my personal goals and my nostalgia for Michelle Branch. It still needs work, but there’s just not a lot of stuff to write about when you’re mostly home and procrastinating to do stuff that you want to do, but don’t have to do. It’s the story of my life.

I’ve been wanting to add more content, but I don’t know what exactly, so it’s been just a simple blog and basically nothing else. I’ve also pretty much kept the same layout for five years. I just changed the colors slightly. Again, I want to change the layout at some point, but don’t have a clear idea of what I want.

If you have any suggestions for, well, anything, please let me know. I need them, damn it. :p

So…we will see what happens, if anything. Honestly, it’s a mriacle that Nostalgicism has lasted this long. Horray. :p

The Library: It’s like an Internet cafe, but with books and no coffee

When I was younger, I used to go to the library all the time, specifically the one downtown because it had a much better selection than the smaller branches. Also, I didn’t havemuch of a life at the time, and I needed the excuse to go out.

Slowly, I came to a realization that I didn’t enjoy going to the library as much as I wanted to. There are four main groups of people you will always see in a public city library: students studying, parents with kids, employees, of course, and people who are either homeless or look like they’re homeless. And the majority of them are in front of computers because apparently going to the library to browse books for fun has been out of fashion for 20 years.

Because of this, I felt largely out of place whenever I would go to the library. For some reason, I always expected for other people in their 20s to browse the library bookshelves with me. I know, how unrealistic of me to expect that. Instead, I found myself literally the only one going through the bookshelves. I know. I know. It shouldn’t have bothered me, but it just felt strange being the only one browsing through books in a library while everyone else was just either sitting around, going through the DVDs or on a computer.

Also, I’ve slowly realized over the years that it is impossible for me to finish a stack of books and DVDs in three weeks. I always end up renewing three times and not finishing anything anyway. The closest library from me is only a ten minute walk, yet it always feels like I’m climbing Mount Everest every time I have to return them. Or being forced to go back to work after having heart surgery. I’m not sure.

I prefer having a collection of books and DVDs. Yes, I have to pay for them and, yes, they take up space, but I like having the choice to watch whatever I want whenever I want and not feel suffocated with the idea of finishing it and returning it. And they’re nice to look at. 🙂

I don’t see myself going to the library on a regular basis again. It’s just much easier and satisfying to watch DVDs and use streaming services. Heck, I’m only ever at the library when I need to print something, which is hardly ever anyway. I’m just not a big fan of going to the library as much as I used to be.