It’s finally happening!!! A post to celebrate Asian ladies all over the world. Oh, and I have updates too.

It’s been very quiet here at Nostalgicism. There are cobwebs on the walls. The crickets are chirping. The relentless mobs of angry Asian moms have discovered Green Tea Frappuccinos and are now taking their bamboo torches to Starbucks. If you live in an area with a large Asian population and you like getting Green Tea Frappuccinos, I strongly suggest that you make your own if you want to avoid getting tofu thrown at you by angry Asian ladies.

And, yes, I chose a video uploaded by an Asian woman because I like supporting Asian ladies. Go Asian ladies. :p

Given the nature of my blog, I have posted about a wide variety of different subjects. TV. Books. Music. Movies. Technology. It varies. I don’t really talk about my personal life outside of pop culture that often, and that’s fine by me. Despite this, I do have a lot of updates that are a bit on the personal side. Brace yourself.

I have started my next project

I’ve been wanting to start a new project, but was having trouble figuring out what exactly. I finally decided to build a Lego replica of the Big Bang Theory apartment. I’m making a little bit of progress. At this point, I have not used the official Big Bang Theory apartment set, but I will eventually use it for props. I’ve just been using parts from my collection and bought various parts online and pretty much building my own version of it.

I am eventually going to start writing again, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to go about it. Like with everything, it’ll happen…eventually.

I still don’t have a Smartphone, and I have no regrets.

I’ve talked about not having a phone right from the very beginning. Hardly anyone calls me, and I literally use my phone, at most, twice a day, and that’s only to call someone for a specific reason. I wasn’t lying in my bio when I said I still think I’m in the year 2004.

They now make Dark Chocolate Twix.

Roughly 12 years ago, I discovered Dark Chocolate Twix at a college bookstore. At the time, it was limited edition, and shortly after, it disappeared.

Now, in a world where even Tropical Sour Patch Kids exist, and every brand is expanding their flavor, Dark chocolate Twix is now available widely.

Surprise, I still don’t keep up with the news.

For a while, I wanted to keep up with the news because I did not enjoy feeling like I was out of the loop on current events. Needless to say, I failed.

Now, I haven’t been trying to keep up with the news, but I do make more of an effort to read the headlines on Yahoo. And it helps that I listen to podcasts, so I can at least gets news from people who are more imformed than I am.

I’ve officially given up on Twitter

Besides a FaceBook account I barely use, I don’t use social media but I wanted to start socializing and networking and thought Twitter was a good place to start. Ultimately, I realized Twitter wasn’t really my thing and quickly gave up.

I’m still maintaining my on-again off-again relationship with television

I sometimes find it silly that one of my main goals right now is to watch more TV. I do think that being a massive TV fan that I am, I’m just not watching as much as I used to. Right now, I’m in a TV slump right now, and I’ve been watching a little TV here and there, but I haven’t been committing to anything right now.

I’ve been reading again…sort of.

Finding the time and energy to read the endless tower of books I’ve been meaning to read for years has not be easy. In fact, it only took me over two years to finish one book.

Once again, I’m trying the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, but my own variation of it, and I have since finished one book. And, yes, I know it’s the end of June. But, hey, it’s progress, and I have since been reading on a semi-regular basis. At this pace, I might end up finishing another book in just eight months. Hooray.

Nostalgia Battles: No, not all Asians watch Korean dramas (Crime Procedurals VS. Comedy Dramas)

If you have read my blog for a while, you might have picked up a few recurring themes. My love for collecting everything. My fondness for Michelle Branch. My tendency to be chased by Asian mobs, mostly consisting of angry Chinese and Korean mothers. Not having cable.

It’s very difficult for me not to mention my love for television, and how it’s been difficult to catch up with new shows and trends because I don’t have cable and can only rely on streaming services that are not always reliable when it comes to new content. I know I can just look them up and research them, but it’s just not the same. As a result, I heavily rely on my nostalgia and my love for TV shows from 10+ years ago.

My number one complaint about television is that there hasn’t been a lot of hour-long comedy dramas in the past ten years. Unfortunately, most comedy dramas don’t last long. To my knowledge, there are currently three hour-long comedy dramas on the air: This is Us, Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Jane the Virgin.

I prefer comedy dramas that are mostly serious with a splash of comedy, like This is Us. It’s more realistic. That’s the problem with comedy. It makes a show more interesting and amusing, but if there’s too much of it, it’ll turn into an episode of Scrubs.

I’m not watching comedy dramas for the comedy. I am watching comedy dramas for the storylines, for the relationships, for the heartfelt moments. The comedy and humor is an extra layer, not the main feature.

Comedy dramas weren’t really in the spotlight until This is US came out in 2016. Of course, when the previews came out, I was immediately drawn it, and I was like, “Finally. A TV show about a group of people and their various issues and relationships.” It sounds like a simple premise, but we have been drowning in crime procedurals for a long, long time.

Most successful comedy dramas revolve around families. I prefer groups of friends because it’s more relatable to me, and I tend to enjoy the bond between two friends more than I do with any familial relationship.

We need more comedy dramas featuring groups of friends, and it looks like I’m getting my wish this Fall.

Some of you might wonder what’s the difference between a comedy drama and a drama, and the answer is simple. The tone and atmosphere. Comedy dramas tend to be more heart felt and have more realistic storylines that might occur in real life: cancer, heartbreak, depression, etc. While dramas tend to be more along the lines of, I don’t know, sabotage, espionage and finding out the son of the man your recently deceased father worked for who hates you for no apparent reason is your half-brother.

For years, I have watched crime procedurals and at the time, I was more interested in the cases and not so much the storylines of the main characters. It didn’t even occur to me to care about ongoing storylines with main characters in crime procedurals until I was a member of a forum of a certain crime procedural and everyone was obsessed with the main character storylines. Me, on the other hand, I was obsessed with the cases of the week.

Sure, seeing a different version of the same thing each weeks get boring, but I like crime procedurals and mysteries because I enjoy puzzles, and there’s something about a group of people solving a case or a mystery that appeals to me.

I was at my dentist a month ago, and there was an old episode of CSI on, and I immediately felt the nostalgia and I thought, “Damn, I miss the good old days.” And, yes, I felt like a 80-year-old man at that moment.

Of course, it gets boring when we find out, SURPRISE, the victim was killed by their significant other, relative or friend. So to make things interesting, we’re now getting supernatural crime procedural shows. I guess things are slightly more interesting, when the killer turns out to be a werewolf.

And then there are crime procedural shows that are slightly different because not every case involves someone dying and, in fact, not every case involves a crime. A crime procedural without crime. Yes, it exists. Gasp.

Although I was a fan of crime procedurals longer before I was fond of comedy dramas, I am just more interested in character enriched storylines. I do not want to know that it was the husband who killed the wife. I want to know why the main character is having panic attacks and how is she going to deal with them. I have watched enough TV characters killed in crime procedurals to last a life time. I want to cry, damn it. And I want to cry now.

It’s official: I need a life coach, or at least someone who is perfectly OK with making decisions for me.

I wish I could say that I’m a very focused individual. I tend to jump around from one thing to another. On this blog alone, I have talked about trying to catch up on the news, trying to watch more TV, trying to read more often and, oh, how I have like 50 different collections. I am truly all over the place, and I am often jealous of people who are able to focus on one thing.

And, surprise, I collect Legos, but seldomly build with them, want to read books but struggle with finding the time and focus and have the desire to be artistic but lack the skills and confidence to not want to scream every time I try to draw a stick figure.

I’ve made a little progress with reading. I finished a book a few months ago, so at least I can say I read a book this year. I have also been working on watching more TV, but nothing really consistent so far. It is a work in progress though. I have been thinking about starting a project of some sort. A project that has an end to it, as opposed to “Oh, just read more often.” I want to work on something over time and be finished at some point. As always with me, there was a long list of things I wanted to do. Miraculously, I narrowed it down to three projects that are feasible for me to do over time with the eventuality that it will be finished in the next 25 years.

Add Content on Nostalgicism

When I started web designing over 5 years ago, I started out with personal Web sites that had a lot of content and pretty much no blog. Now, it is the reverse. I have a blog with no content. Well, except for a slightly sarcastic bio page with a photo that is seven years old. I’ve been wanting to add content to Nostalgicism, but I’ve never really had a firm idea of what I wanted. I was thinking maybe a progress page for my book reading and television watching, but I don’t know if either warrants its own separate page when I can just blog about either. But, then again, it would be more accessible if they had their own pages. I don’t see anyone thinking, “Huh, I wonder if Kenny finished the fourth season of The Wire yet?” But I do worry just having a standard blog is not enough.

Write More Short Stories

Despite having a pretty thin writing portfolio and not being a professional writer of any sort, I have always considered myself a writer. In the past year, the only writing I’ve really done has been for Nostalgicism. Well, I am working on an novel outline that’s been a work in progress…for 7 years. Sigh.

A few years ago, I did write a bunch of short stories with the intention of working on the novel or a bigger writing project. Surprise, nothing ended up happening. All I have are several short stories that I am unsatisfied with. Most of the short stories came from exercises from a book of writing prompts. Here’s a quick sample. The original writing prompt was to write a story about two extremely close people consisting mostly of dialogue. I naturally chose two best friends of the opposite gender who have absolutely no possibility of hooking up, ever. I am writing a short story here, not an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

I stare at my cards. I have a two of hearts and seven of spades. Out on the table is a two of spades, five of diamonds, jack of spades, queen of diamonds and ace of clubs. All I have is a lousy pair of twos. I have no idea what my next move is. Theresa glances at me as if she wants to kill me. I glance at her back as if I would rather stab myself in the leg than to continue this poker game.
“ I call,” I finally say while dropping the chips into the pile.
“Great, and I want to know more about Rachel.”
“Theresa…”
“I know. I know. It’s none of my business, but you know it’s my duty as your…”
“…best friend to know everything. You will never let me forget that. Will you?”
I lay my cards on the table solemnly, knowing Theresa will win. I don’t really care.
“No, I won’t, and I have two pairs,” She says while she lays her cards, a queen of spades and an ace of hearts, on the table. She then reaches her arms out to get the chips from the center of the table and puts them in her pile.
“You win. Now let’s stop playing.”
“No, we’re not done yet with this game, or with talking about the girl you’re currently in love with,”

I, of course, cringed while quickly scanning the story and immediately edited it. And I didn’t even read more than what I posted. Sigh. Now I know why I stopped writing. And. God. The poker references. Someone who is more familiar with Ppker than I am is shaking their head at me in disappointment.

Build a Replica of the Big Bang Theory Apartment Out of Legos

Yes, it’s very specific. :p

I have been obsessed with Legos recently, despite having only built two fairly simple sets and have done nothing custom on my own before. I have the Big Bang Theory living room set, and I haven’t really been inspired to built it. Well, after seeing a video of someone modifying the set to make it larger to include the kitchen, I’ve been racking up ideas in my head for a larger, more accurate replica, using the set as a base of course.

I don’t know if I’m ready for it though. I only start buying lego pieces outside of sets because I wanted a miniature table, I’ve been unsatisfied with dollhouse tables. I know what you’re thinking. I’m a man in his early 30s, and I want a miniature table. Ugh. I like miniature tables. Sue me.

If anyone has any opinions of what I should pursue next, do let me know. I need help. x.x.

He’s a self-obsessed video game developer with a hand fetish. She’s an obnoxious waitress who cries in the shower. …and they fall in love.

With the popularity of Netflix, Amazon Video and other streaming services, people have been watching TV more than ever. We no longer have to wait for our shows to come on or have to record our shows in advance. The downside is not all of the TV shows we want to watch will be available for streaming and if they are, we would have to pay extra for them (on top of a subscription fee). Because of this, I often watch TV shows that are either not currently on their air or about to be canceled. Thankfully, as a person fond of nostalgia, I don’t mind so much. I do find it annoying, at times, that I’m not usually current on what’s currently on the air at all times, like I used to be. Sigh. I miss having cable.

Even without a TV, I have a basic understanding of what’s popular. It’s interesting now because a lot of them are from streaming sites. Davedevil. Stranger Things. House of Cards. No longer are we chained to our TVs. There are still, however, many popular shows on traditional TV networks. Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead. Supernatural. Basically, shows that everyone short of a 95-year-old Lithuanian woman should be familiar with. Believe it or not though, there are quite a few shows currently on the air that are not well known. Of course this does not mean that these shows are not as good. They’re just not as well known or often watched. Why? If that was possible to know, we wouldn’t have to worry about our shows being canceled. Yes, I know. We should be worried more about starving children in Africa, but unless you have an army of billionaires providing unlimited resources, it’s really an impossible task to stop global starvation. But that’s just my opinion.

You’re the Worst
Two conceited, selfish people fall in love, despite being strongly against conventional relationships.

On paper, you wouldn’t think the concept of two horrible, selfish people falling in love would make a good TV show, but the combination of well-thought out characters and compelling recurring storylines makes the show stand out from other half-hour comedies. Actually, it’s more like an hour-long comedy drama condensed into a half-hour comedy with a bit of drama thrown into it. It’s a bit intense and vulgar at times but there is also some heartfelt moments, which is surprising for a show about people you’re not supposed to like and care about but, really, you do.

iZombie
A medical student becomes a zombie while at a party, and is now a coroner helping solve cases with her new abilities.

An odd combination of the Walking Dead, CSI and Crossing Jordan, this is one of many variations of the standard procedural crime drama. It offers a new prospective on crime dramas and ups the stakes. This isn’t a regular world with regular crimes. It’s a world of regular crimes that’s also in the brink of a zombie apocalypse. Well, I guess someone didn’t want to write a crime drama about an eccentric journalist teaming up with a non-nonsense detective although, honestly, I would watch it.

Blindspot
An FBI agent is called in when a freshly tattooed amnesiac is found with his name on her body.

Another variation of crime dramas, it focuses more on mass casualty crimes and global terrorism than your standard murder of the week premise. Being a TV nerd, the number one thing that stood out to me when it came out was how similar it was to The Blacklist, another TV show on NBC. A mysterious person who shows up out of nowhere. An FBI agent who has some type of connection to this person but has no idea who they are. A list of crimes or/and suspects. Although there are other storylines that set it apart from The Blacklist, it was just too similar for me to not compare the two. Granted, there are literally a million versions of crime dramas but, alas, they will never stop making crime drama after crime drama. I mean, if there are no more crime dramas, what are the actors who play the one-off victims going to do? There are only so many McDonald’s commercials an actor can be in.

Nostalgia Battles: Does anyone want to see a daily vlog of an Asian crying while blogging at the same time? (Blogging vs. Vlogging)

As a person who’s been web designing since the early 2000s, I’ve always been familiar with the concept of personal sites and blogs. Although I blogged a little bit here and there back then, the sites I had were more personal sites than blogs. I focused more on having content. Not so much now, heh.

In the mid 2000s, I stopped having Web sites. It was a combination of lack of interest and the change of landscape of the Internet at the time. A lot of the people I knew back then stopped updating their sites regularly, and a lot of the forums I was involved in closed down or had a lack of activity. Years after, I tried going back to having a Web site, but it didn’t work out for more than a year a time. Yes, I was one of those people. And, yes, I can hear your passive aggressive traditionally-minded Asian mother judging me.

Although I was trying to get back into Web design again, the reason why I started Nostalgicism was to have an outlet for writing. I needed a platform to write on a regular basis, and a blog was my best option. I knew I was taking a big risk due to my previouss failed attempts on starting a Web site. Although I tried blogging a few times, I wasn’t really into it because I honestly didn’t have anything to blog about. Back then, all of the blogs I was familiar with were personal blogs of people sharing their daily lives. This was pretty much my downfall when I first tried blogging. I don’t have a problem with sharing things about my personal life. I just don’t think people will care because I never have anything going in my life. There’s just really nothing to share when you’re watching Scorpion and eating pizza. This is why Nostalgicism is a pop culture blog with small pieces of my life thrown in here and there. I’ve found I’m best in small doses anyway.

It is no secret that, over the years, blogging has been slowly dying. There are just too many options for people to share their thoughts and connect with people. There was actually a time where people actually had conversations on tag boards. Yes. Tag boards. God. I feel old.

Over the years, vlogging has been more popular. Me, personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable vlogging because I’d be too worried about whether or not I’m allowed to film in certain places. I really don’t want a McDonald’s employee to tell me, “Sir, you can’t film in here.” Heck, I’d be self-conscious just taking a photo, and that’s a lot more discreet. That is why I like blogging. It’s a private endeavor, and I can do it in the comfort of my own home. Now, it is possible to vlog in one’s home but, unless you have a specific theme or focus, I don’t think daily vlogs of you eating breaking and watching TV would be the most entertaining.

Most of the vlogs I’m familiar with are mostly couples in their 30s with young children. Honestly, they all blur into one super vlog, and I’m like when does one vlog end and another begin? I personally like vlogs that are not the norm, like ones that focus on a specific job outside of filming/making videos, a specific disease or disorder, etc. Now, with these types of topics, I prefer watching vlogs than reading blogs. I would rather watch a 15 minute video of the daily routine of a person with a health condition as opoosed to reading a 1,500 word essay on it. This isn’t high school, and I’m not a teacher grading you.

I, however, do prefer blogs overall. I’ve always been familiar with them. I prefer coding Web sites over editing videos. And, oh yeah, I have a blog, so blogs win. :p

“Mom, why is this angry woman screaming and throwing a goat out the window?” “It’s just a music video, honey.”

Before YouTube, I would watch music videos on TV sporadically. I remember three specific occasions. The first was a Michelle Branch music video on Nickelodeon. The second was when I was in high school and didn’t have cable yet, and the only thing that was on at five in the morning was when they showed music videos with a sidebar showing what the weather forecast was. The third was when I was still in my country music phase, and I was watching music videos on CMT (Country Music Television.) Yes, I have a very complicated relationship with music in general. Like seriously. I like Green Day. Enough said.

When I was younger, even when I was in my 20s, I didn’t really pay attention to song lyrics or music videos. I just thought, “Oh, this song is catchy,” or “Hmm. The girl in the bathtub must be sad.” Now that I’m comfortably in my 30s, I do have stronger thoughts and opinions about certain songs and music videos. I’m like, “I feel like I shouldn’t like this song, but I do,” or “I can’t believe a group of older Asians didn’t gather their bamboo torches and form an angry Asian mob.” Although with some songs and music videos, I still think, “Eh, it’s a nice and catchy, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this song.”

Criminal – Fiona Apple

I only discovered this song recently, and when I saw the music video, I had two immediate thoughts. This song is too sexy for me to listen to, and I felt like I was watching a mini-episode of Criminal Minds. Whether Finoa is the victim or the serial killer is still up in the air. The song has a sexy, sultry vibe, but the music video verges on the line of creepy. I honestly felt like I was watching something I wasn’t supposed to watch, which is how I feel every time I watch Gilmore Girls. Not quite the same thing though.

Follow Me – Uncle Kracker

I used to listen to this song all the time in the early to mid 2000s. It was just a simple nice and catchy song. What I didn’t realize was that it’s about a man who is trying to convince a married woman to be in a relationship with him. Someone then told me what the song was about, and I honestly didn’t know. I guess I was a sheltered Asian, heh. I still like the song because it’s cute and catchy, but I have a little bit of a problem listening to it. Although, I have to say, a song about cheating is actually not that high on the “Worst Things to Write About in Songs” list.

Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds Five

Although this song sounds extremely light-hearted and upbeat, it has an angry undertone that makes you slightly uncomfortable. Only slightly though. It’s quite fun and catchy, but if it came out today, instead of the early 90s, there would be angry mobs everywhere. And not necessarily only Angry Asian mobs.

Nostalgia Battles: “OK, so my dog did not eat my homework. I watched Death Note and SpongeBob all night. Bite me.” (Cartoons VS. Anime)

As with most people who grew up in the 90s, I was raised mostly by my television. Even though I was a child, I watched pretty much everything. Dramas. Sitcoms. Talk Shows. Game Shows. And, of course, cartoons and anime.

Doug. Gargoyles. X-men. Animaniacs. Recess. I watched quite a few of them back then, and this was back when we didn’t have cable. Any cable shows we watched were watched at a cousin’s house. Needless to say, we visited quite often. On top of this, I also watched cartoons on those Saturday morning blocks they used to have on basic networks. They have all now disappeared and now in order to watch cartoons, you either have to have cable, at the minimum, hope that it’s on YouTube or stream your heart out.

It’s to no one’s surprise that when we finally did get cable in the early 2000s, my cartoon watching skyrocketed. At this point, I was 15. Because we didn’t get cable until I was a teenager, most of my cartoon watching happened when I was well into my teens and 20s. I watched a little bit of Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon when I was a child but I didn’t get into watching Anime until I started watching Toonami on Cartoon Network.

I wasn’t into anime as much as I was into cartoons. I’m only familiar with a small handful of anime shows, and it’s mostly because of Cartoon Network. Zoids. Death Note. Tenchi Muyo. I wouldn’t have heard of any of these if it weren’t for Cartoon Network. I’ve been meaning to watch more anime, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I really need to watch more anime. I’m tired of only being familiar with five anime shows. Seriously, every time I see someone talk about anime, it’s like they’re speaking a different language. Oh, well. I will get around to it. Meanwhile, I will cry. Figuratively, of course.

If you had asked me five to ten years ago, if I preferred cartoons or anime, my answer would be cartoons simply because that is what I’ve been the most familiar with. Now, though, I would say I’ve pretty much lost all interest in cartoons and while I do miss Saturday mornings as a kid watching cartoons, I am more intrigued by anime. In fact, I’ve been more nostalgic for them than cartoons. I’m interested in both, but I feel I should watch more anime because I’m not as familiar with them and, honestly, the cartoons I’m interested in watching are the ones from my youth. This time, I’m going to go a little outside my comfort zone into the unknown and say anime wins over cartoons.

Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just ripping the pages off these books to use them as toilet paper.

I recently finished reading a book after over two years of trying. Even though it’s a very minor accomplishment, I honestly considered it to be a miracle. I guess all I needed was a little faith.

After some mild success from doing the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge, I decided to do the Book Riot 2016 Read Harder Challenge. Needless to say, I failed miserably.

I decided to do a reading challenge again, but this time it would be choosing 24 different types of books from all four of the Book Riot Challenges. Some might consider this cheating, but my goal of doing the reading challenge was never to diversify my reading. It was to actually start reading and actually finish books. So, yes, I’m making it easier on myself because I would rather not torture myself with Jane Eyre.

Now, because I attempted to do two of the Read Harder challenges, I already have a number of books that I bought for the challenges. On top of this, I happened to have books that I did not specifically choose for the challenges that happened to fit a category or two. Actually, of the 24 books I chose, I only need to get seven of them. I don’t know whether I should be happy that I don’t have to buy as much or ashamed that I have so many unread books. I think I’d go with a little of both.

While I was deciding which books I wanted to read, I knew I wanted to go a little outside of my comfort zone and pink as many fiction books as possible, as my comfort zone is with memoirs. That is largely because I do not like reading in third person narration, and memoirs are always going to be in first person narration. At some point, I will start reading third person narration, but I decided to stick with first person narration for now, and go from there. Of the 24 books I chose, 15 are either novels or collections of short stories. That’s pretty good for me.

As you can see in the list below, I did not choose any of the more complicated categories. Again, the whole point of me doing this is to start reading again and not take two-and-a-half years to finish one book. So I, more or less, stuck with my comfort zone, although I did take a few risks. It’s nothing I can’t handle though. I am Superwoman.

To make it easier for me, I ordered the list in the order I’m planning to read each book. I have already started on the first two and, although, right now, I’m not close to finishing either, I’m way ahead compared to previous attempts. Ugh. I seriously need to hire someone to slap me every time I procrastinate.

Read a book of social science – Confessions of a Bad Teacher by John Owens (Memoir)
Read a romance novel – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Novel)
Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better – The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (YA Novel)
Read a book you’ve read before – Chase Us by Sean Ennis (Collection of Stories)
Read a book about war – Redeployment by Phil Clay (Collection of Stories)
Read a nonfiction book about science – Working Stiff by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell (Memoir)
Read a book about books – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Novel)
Read a collection of essays – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (Collection of Essays)
Read a book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) – The Round House by Louise Eldrich (Novel)
Read a travel memoir – Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche (Memoir)
Read a food memoir – The $64 Tomato by William Alexander (Memoir)
Read a book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) – Lamb by Christopher Moore (Novel)
Read a book about nature – The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley (How-to/Instructional)
Read a horror book – Forever Odd by Dean Koontz (Novel in a Series)
Read a book that someone else has recommended to you – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Novel)
Read an essay anthology – Goodbye to All That: Writers on loving and leaving New York by various and edited by Sari Bottom (Collection of Essays)
Read a microhistory – The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever by Alan Sepinwall (Critical Analysis)
Read a debut novel – Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan (YA Novel)
Read the first book in a series by someone of color – Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older (Novel in a Series)
Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative – Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (Memoir)
Read a book with a cover you hate – This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Collection of Stories)
Read a collection of stories by a woman – The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith (Collection of Stories)
Read a fantasy novel – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Novel in a Series)
Read a nonfiction book about technology – Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford (Nonfiction)

Nostalgia Battles: No, this is not your parents’ traditional Chinese music. (Cold War Kids VS. Florence + The Machine)

I have the tendency to not finish tasks that I’ve started and, well, I’ve decided not to do any more Born in 1986 posts. I am still fascinated with people born in the same year as me, I just don’t think other people are going to be fascinated enough to read the posts. I tried writing a post a week ago, and I just had a feeling no one is going to be interested in reading about posts about random people born in a specific year. Seriously, I kept having this image of all of you going to my blog and quickly exiting my blog. As a result, I had to shift gears, but I still wanted to do a series of some kind. Because no one wants to see me posting about wearing the same t-shirt and athletic shorts day after day after day, I opted not to do Fashion Fridays. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the subtle sound of a girl cheering uncontrollably that she doesn’t endure any fashion posts from an Asian man.

So here is my new series: Nostalgia Battles. I will put two similar things against each other and choose a winner. How original, I know. To me, it’s better than doing a “Born in 1986” post because it would at least cover a variety of topics instead of one. Plus, I don’t have to write about something that has no interest to me anymore, which is always a bonus.

Of all pop culture categories, I am probably the least knowledgeable in music. Music wasn’t really nostalgic to me up until like ten years ago. I listened to mostly country music when I was a teenager and didn’t start listening to other genres until I was well into my 20s. I have since developed my music taste, but I still have a long ways to go compared to the average person. So now that I can finally name more than five bands, let’s compare two of my favorites: Cold War Kids and Florence + The Machine.

I’ve been listening to both bands for several years now. I, of course, don’t remember which band I heard first or when I first heard of either of them’ My whole relationship has been one big blur. I’m surprised when I can even name one song by a well-known artist.

Cold War Kids is a mixture of rock, blues and soul. They have a down-to-earth sound to them that takes me back to a simpler time. It’s a similar feeling I get whenever I listen to Michelle Branch. It makes me forget about life for a moment.

A lot of their songs can be intense, but they’re still easy to listen to. You can’t help but be drawn in.

Florence + The Machine is a pop band that has a diverse sound. They range from the simple to the intense. You can see how completely different these two songs are. One is a cute song about the dynamics of a relationship. The other one is an intense spiritual journey.

You can also see how much they have changed over the years. It’s like they’re two completely different bands.

Oddly enough, I found out Florence + The Machine did a cover of a Cold War Kids song. My first reaction was “Huh. That’s interesting.” Cold War Kids isn’t a bad that gets covered a lot, so it was refreshing to see.

I, myself, prefer the original version because I like how the extra instrumentals and lyrics add to the depth and character of the song. It just doesn’t have the same feeling to me as an acoustic song. Plus, I much prefer the piano over the guitar.

It’s difficult to say which artist is better because they’re of different genres and they each have their own style and identity. There is no question in my mind which, to me, is the most nostalgic, and that’s Cold War Kids. Hey, when something reminds you of Michelle Branch, it’s difficult not to go with it.

Currently Hiring: Someone to silently and not-so-silently judge me when I’m sitting in front of my computer not doing anything. Some slapping required.

This is the moment all of you have been waiting for. The moment I’ve finally accomplished something so amazing, so time-consuming, so mind-blowing that it would impress even the strictest of traditional immigrant Asian parents. I’ve finished a book.

Yes, it’s been a long, long journey when it comes to me and reading books. I’ve always considered myself as a reader and lover of books. Unfortunately, if you looked into my reading history, you can’t really classify me as a reader. It’s very similar to me and writing. I consider myself as a writer. Too bad I haven’t written as much as I would like. I might as well smear some eyeshadow on some girl’s face and call myself a makeup artist.

After a decade or so of struggling to read books, I finally made progress in the end of 2014, when I finished the memoir We Hope You Like This Song by Bree Housley. By May of 2015, I had finished over 20 books. A big part of this major accomplishment was the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and, surprise, I ended up reading nothing. As 2017 was getting closer and closer to an end, I had one goal for myself: to finish at least one book by the end of the year. There were a few books I started, but I wasn’t really making progress with any of them. Except for one: Loud in the House of Myself By Stacey Pershall, a book I had chosen for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge. What’s funny is that the reason why I managed to finish the book before the new year was because of this blog post. Gasp.

I wanted to do a “Born in 1986” post, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was planning on doing a post about finally finishing a book before the end of the new year, then I realized that I had less than two weeks to finish the book AND write the blog post. Needless to say, it was a good motivator, and it only took me two years to read one book.

Originally, I was just planning to read random books and hope for the best that I can finish a book before I turn 70. Now, I’m planning on doing a modified version of the BookRiot Read Harder challenge. Seriously, I need to hire someone to assign me books to read and give me looks of disappointment when they’re not satisfied of my progress. Anyone want to apply for the job?