Placing tacos on top a pile of books to lure people who do not read

Here in Nostalgicism Studios, we don’t often talk about everyday life. This is a blog about nostalgia, after all. It is difficult, however, not to bring up the topic that everyone is currently obsessed with right now: What exactly happened to Amanda Bynes and when is she coming back to star in a romantic comedy about a 30-something young professional finding love in the least likely place with a man who seems like her total opposite?

Ok. Not really, but it would have been more interesting than a widespread epidemic. Yes, we’re all talking, thinking and obsessing about the Coronavirus. Most of us are stranded at home, either not working or working at home. Thankfully, I’m an Asian introvert with a speech disorder, so I am quite comfortable hiding at home. I just wish I were more productive.

Luckily, I’m still reading consistently. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing much else. It’s actually kind of sad when you reach a point in life where it’s actually easier for you to read a book than to watch a TV show. Sigh. I guess it’s a good thing though. I’m genuinely interested in reading and I enjoy it.

Outside of the Internet, I don’t know a lot of people who read. In my family, I am the only person who reads on a consistent basis. Heck, I think I’m the only person who’s read a book in the last five years. And I’ve known very few friends and co-workers who read.

I had a former co-worker tell me that he didn’t read but was interested in reading. I gave him The Martian by Andy Weir, and as far as I know, he never ended up reading it. I understand that people are busy and finding the time and energy to read can be difficult. Well, now is the perfect time to read, don’t you think?

For the longest time, I’ve had difficulty reading on a consistent basis but now, I’ve gotten into the habit of reading a little each day. I have gathered a list of various books that I would recommend to people who do not read as a regular basis as a stepping stone. My number one tip for new readers: Don’t try to read Gone Girl.

I like to provide commentary when it comes to these kinds of lists but honestly, I’m tired and lazy at the moment, so I will just be providing a brief summary of each book. All of these books are more or less the same, really. They’re all relatively short with simple premises that can be finished in a short period of time.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

A teenage boy with autism is determined to find out what happened when he finds his neighbor’s dog dead outside.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan

A man gets a job at a mysterious bookstore and is curious about a small group of regulars who come in on a regular basis.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

A teenager with agoraphobia who is at home by herself for the first time befriends her next door neighbor.

For Sale On Amazon: Traditional Bamboo Torches to Chase Obese Asian Men With (and other necessities for older Asian ladies).

As with a lot of people, I have made quite a few purchases in my lifetime. I’ve realized that I’ve regretted a lot of them. However, I would rather not cry and have a nervous breakdown while writing about my many, many, many failed purchases over the years, so let’s focus on the items that I’ve loved and enjoyed. After all, here at Nostaligicism Studios, we like to focus on the positive, or at least we’re trying to. :p

USB Port Splitter

Despite being in front of screens pretty much my entire life, I do not consider myself a technological-savvy person. I am, after all, probably the only person in the world who does not have a Smartphone. Like seriously, there are 90-year-old Lithuanian grandmothers who have Iphones.

One day, I browsed amazon for something related to technology so I can stop feeling like I’m living in the 1800s. I stumbled across USB port splitters, which is a USB plug that has multiple USB ports. I don’t necessarily need it, but it helped to simplify my setup. It’s nice having everything in one place.

Tea Tree Peppermint Shampoo

I used to buy Dr. Bronners Peppermint Shampoo, but it wasn’t available to purchase on Amazon, and it did bother me that I was using a product that can double as a toilet cleaner. OK. OK. I know it’s supposed to be “natural” and “all purpose,” but I’m Asian, sue me. I’m naturally uptight. I found this as a substitute and I don’t have a lot to say about it since, you know, it’s a shampoo, and I’m a guy, but it’s lovely and no complaints from this uptight Asian.

Daredevil Action Figure

As with many collectors, I feel like I don’t own enough action figures as I should. I don’t know, it’s just I’ve been collecting for many, many, many years, and I only have a small handful. As much as I love action figures, I’m kind of a cheapskate, and I don’t like paying a ginormous amount for figures, especially because they might break or I might end up, you know hating them. Again, I’m Asian. :p

This figure, I absolutely love though, especially because it’s 12 inches. It’s a little bit hard to stand up, but as a person who has regretted many, many, many purchases, I will accept it. as a minor flaw.

Well, at least I ate a bagel for breakfast today (and other accomplishments)

I am not a big fan of making goals for myself because I know there is a strong chance I am not going to achieve them. If there is no urgency for me to do something, I tend to push it aside. I am, of course, trying to change that because I have an incredibly long list of things I want to do, and I can’t do them if I continue to avoid them. Yes, I just saved myself thousands of dollars in therapy. Go me.

Last year, I made
a list of goals for me to do for the year. I knew it was going to be difficult for me to complete them, so I made them as simple as possible. Well, needless to say, I didn’t complete any goals, but I made progress with most of them.

Read at least 30 books

Over the years, I’ve been wanting to read more but like with everything else, it was put aside. Lately, I’ve been having more success with reading, although I’m not reading as much as I want to. Last year, I read seven books, which is a tiny amount for the average avid reader. Honestly though, I’m just glad I read more than one book, heh.

Be consistently watching at least one TV show or movie at a time.

I’ve been watching a few TV shows and movies here and there, but nothing is really sticking and I haven’t really finished anything. The problem that I have with watching TV or movies consistently is choosing what I want to watch. It always seems like I’m choosing between options that all seem good, but not great. And, also, it’s difficult for me to watch something for long periods of time. You know those people who can binge watch an entire season of a TV show in two days? I hate those people.

Write at least one short story

This is the one thing that I haven’t done at all. I’ve attempted to write short stories, but nothing came of them. Honestly, I just lack the motivation and inspiration to write one right now. With most of the other things I want to do, I just have to do them. With writing, I have to be in the right mood at the right time and some day, I’m lucky when I’m in the right mood to make lunch, let alone write a 1500 word short story. Like no.

Complete the outline of my novel

For several years, I’ve struggled with just writing a simple outline for my novel. A few months ago I’ve made progress with it after focusing on the major things that happen in the story. I haven’t worked on the outline for a while, but at least I feel like I’m at a good place right now compared to before.

Spend more time on other hobbies

I haven’t done much here either. I’ve dabbled in a tiny bit of mixed media and I’ve done a little bit of HTML coding, but I still need to work on finding the time, motivation and inspiration for my other hobbies.

My goals for this year is going to be the exact same as last year. Honestly though, I just want to do SOMETHING relating to all five goals. I don’t have to read 30 books. I just want to do things consistently and not feel like I’m useless. Of course, listening to sad folk songs does not help, but hey, I like what I like.

The Bookshelf of a Confused Asian Man: Part 27 of 246

This might be too soon for a bookshelf update but I made a major change to it, and wanted to share it as soon as possible. Also, honestly, I’m too lazy to write about anything else.

So for the top and middle of the shelf, everything pretty much stayed the same.

As you can see here.

And here.

Here, we have some minor changes. I cleared the “shelf of death,” and just added a few books that I kind of, sort of want to read but aren’t a huge priority. It feels empty, of course, but it’s nice having an empty space in a bookshelf.

Now, for the major change. I took out all the Gundam kits and just filled it with my miscellaneous books and books that I’m not planning on reading for a while. Having the Gundam kits on the bottom shelf bothered me for the longest time, but I didn’t have anywhere to put them at the time. I’ve found a space for them, and it makes me happy to see my bookshelf mostly full of books. 🙂

A girl named Veronica Mars who’s a 24 year-old librarian in Iowa

If you’ve read my blurb, you might wonder why 2004 is a significant year for me. It’s not really significant, really. It’s just the year that I graduated high school but, for reason, when I think of a year that’s nostalgic to me, I think of the year 2004.

Now, as much as I would to do a single post about the various things in pop culture in the year 2004 that I’m nostalgic for, no one has the time to go through 25 YouTube videos and a post that would most likely be 17 pages long. When I’m nostalgic for the past, I almost always think of TV. I’ve always been a fan of TV. I enjoy having flashbacks of me watching TV shows that no longer exist, so let’s focus on TV.

Veronica Mars
A teenage girl is trying to solve the murder of her best friend while investigating various cases in her small town of Neptune, California.

Of all of the shows that premiered in 2004, Veronica Mars is perhaps the most influential and nostalgic. It didn’t get a movie and a fourth season a decade later for no reason, heh. Why and how did it become such a popular show? It’s just a standard procedural crime drama.

While it may be true that it’s just another “crime of the week” show,” it focuses on a bigger story line and highlights the characters and the relationships on the show. It makes the characters more relatable to the audience, despite the premise of the show not being realistic to everyday life.

Boston Legal
Two eccentric lawyers take on cases while trying to balance their work and personal lives

Procedural law dramas are typically boring,dramatic and they all blend together. Well, Boston Legal is quite different. There are some serious moments, of course, but the general tone of the show is light-hearted, fun and a little bit ridiculous. And, in the end, it all balances out to a well-rounded procedural law drama that stands out in a sea of stuffy law dramas.

Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
A middle school student shares his tips on how to deal with every day situations and dilemmas every student faces.

Originally, I wanted to discuss this wonderful gem here.

But I thought it would be too obscure to discuss, and I don’t really know how to summarize the show other than, “It’s a show about a girl dealing with life.” But it’s a catchy theme song, at least.

Instead, I’m going to talk about Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, which I view as one of the most popular live action shows from a children’s network. It’s a show with a simple premise and is extremely relatable, even for an older audience. It was quirky. It was fun. It was light-hearted. It was even thought-provoking. It was the perfect combination for a TV show aimed toward kids.

Surprise! I’m a 19-year-old White girl! Oh. Wait. No. I’m still an obese Asian guy.

This is the moment all of you have been waiting for. Yes, it’s the moment where I reveal that I’m a 19-year-old White girl pretending to be an obese Asian man in his early 30s. No, not really, but how exciting would that post be? It’s just another boring, uneventful bookshelf tour.

The bookshelf hasn’t changed that much from the last update, but the few changes I made really made a difference to how it looks.

The biggest change really is that I’ve since went on a book buying spree, and it looks a lot more like a bookshelf than a cluttered mess. The top shelf and the shelf below it holds fantasy and mystery books. I also took out the green pot and added my Dexter bobble head. Also just for fun, I added a Death Note clock. Even though I want to showcase mostly books, I do want to throw in a few other things as well.

The next shelf, remains largely unchanged. It just holds male coming-of-age YA novels, with a few random knickknacks. Hmm. I honest forgot the Stewie figure was there, heh.

The shelf below that, again, remains largely unchanged. I decided to split the books into hardcovers and paperbacks, then separated the by male and female protagonists. I then divided them by both color and genre, if possible. I know, it’s a complicated system but so far, it’s working. And, because I have a large selection of books with female Asian-American protagonists, I just added an Asian teacup just for a bit of fun.

The next shelf is more or less the same as the shelf above, but with adult books. The Lego police car is still there. but I also added a road sign.

Below that shelf is what I like to call the “shelf of death” I’ve just been putting books that I’ve either read before or don’t have a lot of interest in reading. And, I have some extra space just in case I need it. Well, let’s face it, I will need it soon. xD

For most of my updates, the bottom shelf has largely been left unchanged. In the last bookshelf update, Nancy kindly made the suggestion of piling the Gundam kits into two columns, instead of three, and it looks so much better now. I then put all of my miscellaneous books next to the kits, The boats more or less remained the same as they did last time.

Compared to other bookshef updates, I am quite happy with the result, and I don’t think I’m going to make any significant changes anytime soon. Small changes, however, well, yeah…I’ve already made some five seconds after I took the photos. I’m Asian. Sue me.

My Favorite YouTuber: A man who eats sandwiches and cries afterwards

Yet again, I was planning on doing a bookshelf tour, but I’m quite lazy right now to not only take photos of my bookshelf, but to also edit them, since the photos are of such low quality. And, honestly, I need to get out a post now before an angry mob of Asian moms chase me with bamboo torches.

I’ve been wanting to do posts about YouTube channels and videos that I enjoy watching, but I’ve just never gotten to it. Yeah, sure. Let’s add yet another thing for me to do on the giant list of things I want to do but probably never will.

Like with everyone, there are certain videos that I bookmark for later use, whether it be for a blog post or to watch it repeatedly. Of course, with me, I’m lazy so when I “bookmark” YouTube videos, I just like them and it gets saved to my liked videos list. It’s sufficient enough.

I went through my list of liked videos and I’m just going to compare and contrast the different themes and video styles and share why I saved these videos to begin with. I am going to focus on user-created content, so no music videos of Michelle Branch.

The Traditional DIY Video

Back when I had TV, I would watch home decorating and renovation shows all the time. Now that I don’t, I enjoy watching various people doing renovations and smaller projects on their homes. This particular video I was drawn to because of the combination of the music, the voice over, the helpful visuals and and the clear instructions. The end result is a cute, helpful video that anyone can watch.

An Informational Video With Humor and/or Sass

Now, humor and dry wit isn’t for everyone, but I quite enjoy videos that I find both to be helpful and funny. It’s a rare combination that not a lot of people can achieve. You wouldn’t expect that from a video about knives, but thus guy pulls it off. It’s unexpected, and doesn’t come across as trying too hard. It’s natural, and it flows. Err, wait…that’s not the best way to put it, but you know what I mean.

Something Amazing Someone has Done that Takes a Lot of Time and Skill

Although I try to be, I’m not a very artistic person, so I am always amazed when someone creates an amazing piece of art. This guy for example creates figures and statues from polymer clay, and I can barely draw a circle, despite my large array of art supplies. I’m also captivated by his voice because it stands out and he is giving clear instructions and commentary while not being technical.

A Video you Never Thought Anyone Would Actually Make

Lets face it. There’s not a lot of originality these days. We’re all seeing the same twenty videos being made by thousands of YouTubers. Once in a while though, comes a video that stands out. This one happens to be about a guy reviewing an Amish romance novel. Yeah. That’s different from “10 YA novels you should read before you die!” We have enough lists.

Web Designing 101: Choose a layout and color scheme that you will keep until you die

I don’t know how I feel about change. I feel like I can adapt to change once it occurs but for the most part, I am comfortable with things staying the same, unless my preference changes over time. This is why I have not made any changes to Nostalgicism for over four years. Well, it’s time for some changes. Subtle ones, obviously. Hey, let’s not get too crazy here. I’m still Asian.

The first thing I did was change the image for my domain page. The typewriter was cute and all, but the image was kind of boring, and I needed something more interesting. After browsing through dozens of pictures of vintage computers, I pretty much randomly chose one that I like. Hey, it’s an image for my domain page. I don’t need perfection. I just need something different.

Speaking of striving for perfection, choosing a different color scheme was a different story. I knew I wanted to change the gray background to a blue background. What I didn’t know was that it would take me three days and about 100 shades of blue to find a color that I can live with without wanting to slit my wrists and cry in a room with no windows. Choosing a new color for the menu was less of an issue, but I think it was only because I felt so emotionally drained picking the background color that I lost all hope and desire to find the perfect color. So here we are. A color scheme that I don’t absolutely hate.

I also updated the links on the sidebar. A lot of the links were broken, and I needed to add a few people.

Eventually, I want to change the entire layout and add content. The layout would be more or less the same as my current one: something simple and nostalgic. For my content, though, I’m not entirely sure. I was originally thinking about putting up lists of things I want to do, read and watch, but that’s more or less what my blog is, and I’m not sure if anyone would actually want to see lists of various things I probably won’t do. OK, fine.. You’re probably used to it from me by now. :p Ugh, and this is why it’s taken four years for me to even make a small change to my Web site. Welcome to my life.

Trying to communicate with people using only a broom and an unread copy of Jane Eyre

This post was originally supposed to be yet another bookshelf update video, but I am too lazy at the moment to take pictures, upload them to my computer, heavily edit them to make them look half-way decent and upload them to my Web site. And, let’s be honest here, I’m just going to make changes three days later anyway. So this will just be a random post of random things I’ve been doing in the past few months. Oddly enough, none of them involve crying, which is new for me.

Organizing

Now, this isn’t anything new, but I’ve been trying to be more organized, and I’m starting with rearranging my collections so it’s more functional for me. And I’ve also done a little decluttering, but I’ve just been putting things in “storage,” and by storage I mean certain areas of my house. I’m trying to figure out what to do with the items I don’t want which leads me to the next thing.

Selling on Ebay

I’ve always wanted to sell on Ebay, but I was hesistant because I do not have a printer. It turns out, not having a printer isn’t really an issue, especially for a casual seller like myself. I’m not going to be the Beyonce of Ebay Selling. I sold a handful of books and a DVD set, and it all went well. I didn’t make much, but the goal was more to get rid of stuff and not so much to make money, although the money is a bonus, obviously. I’m planning on selling my collectibles at some point, but right now I’m taking a small break from selling until I have time to go through my stuff and have a better idea of what I want to sell and for how much.

Working on Novel Outline

I have mentioned so many times that I consider myself a writer, even though I barely write. I’ve been slowly, very slowly, actually, been working on a novel outline for a novel I will probably never write. I know. I know. All of you are screaming, “Omg Kenny. Just write it. You don’t need an outline!” I don’t feel comfortable writing a 300 page plus novel without having a solid outline; otherwise, I’ll, you know, have a nervous breakdown and cry. I do that enough when I read.

The good thing is I’ve been making profess with the outline. The problem is finding a premise that I’m fully comfortable with and committing to certain details. Now I just have to, you know, write an actual story, heh.

Reading and Watching TV, the saga, part 12

I’m still continuing my quest to read and watch TV more often but, of course, not as much as I would like. Honestly, as long as I’m still reading and watching TV in some capacity, that’s progress in my books. Your life is officially sad if you want to watch more TV and failing. Ok. I lied. There’s a little bit of crying involved with this.

Learning American Sign Language

I’ve been wanting to learn another language for about half my life, but I haven’t made any significant progress. I took Spanish in high school and French and Mandarin Chinese in college. Yes, I’m Asian, but I don’t know much Chinese. I can understand a little of it, but other than that, I might as well be White.

I really had no interest in learning Spanish, despite it being the most practical. No, I wanted to learn a language that has little to no practical everyday use for me. I am Asian, after all. I tried learning French, German and ASL for the past 10 to 15 years with little to no success. About a month ago, on a whim, I decided to go back to learning ASL and while I still feel like I don’t know anything, I’m slowly progressing. Let’s hope I improve in the next 15 years.

Setting Fire to the Unfinished Books that Bored Me to Death

I have always considered myself a reader but like with writing, I don’t read s often as I want to. I have since gotten much better with reading consistently lately and honestly, I’m just glad I’ve read more books this year than last year. Of course, this wasn’t a huge accomplishment, since I only read like three books last year but still, I’m happy because I’ve read more books this year than the last three combined. This year will be less sad than usual, so YAY.

So far, this year, I have not DNF’d a book. DNFing for those who do not know is simply not finishing a book and not having the intention of ever reading it again, even with the threat of rabid squirrels throwing acorns at you. Seriously, life is too short to read horrible books. Live your life, girl. :p

As a person who is not really an established reader, I have DNF’d quite a few books given the short amount of books I’ve read. In my life time, not including in a school setting, I’ve probably read 50-ish books and DNF’D probably around ten books. I don’t really have a specific genre that I read. I read whatever sounds interesting to me and sometimes, it turns out that, well, I’m not that into it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A woman goes missing under mysterious circumstances and her husband is highly suspected of foul play

I read Gone Girl shortly after the movie came out. At the time, both the book and movie was getting hyped up and there were mixed reviews about both. Still, I was interested in both reading the book and watching the movie. I started the book before I started the movie. I liked the movie but never finished it, but I’ve been wanting to watch it again. With the book, it was fine but it was very difficult for me to get through it. It’s over 400 pages and the text is tiny. Even though I liked it and wanted to finish, I just wasn’t interested enough in the story to pick it up again. I know the movie and book are slightly different but I would rather just watch the movie and not read the book. I’m not going to be heartbroken not knowing specifics of the book.

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
A collection of essays heavily revolving around pop culture in the 90s and 2000s.

OK, to no one’s surprise, I was immediately drawn to not only the title but the cover as well. It just screams, “I might not be your type, but you know you want me.”

So, yeah, I read the first few essays, and I immediately knew the book just wasn’t for me because I felt I was a little bit too young for the pop culture references made in the book. Now, of course, I’m familiar with the pop culture references in question, like The Real World and The Sims, but I didn’t really experience either. I don’t play computer/video games and I really don’t watch realty TV. I like realty TV but more so realty TV competitions and to be honest, I was never really that interested in any of the realty TV shows on MTV in general.

I stopped reading after a few essays because I just couldn’t connect with the book. Oddly enough, I was listening to a podcast where someone strongly recommended the book and he’s only like three years older than me. I guess age isn’t really a factor, but I felt like I needed to be ten years older to understand the book.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
A shy and lonely teenager befriends two outgoing siblings and explores the aspects of life he’s been missing.

OK. OK. I know that this is a young adult classic that most people adore and respect, but it’s been difficult for me to get through it. There’s a lot of stream of consciousness in the book, and it’s difficult to follow the protagonist’s train of though. I just gave up reading it because it felt like a chore.