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

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.

Update: I am no longer crying in front of piles of unfinished books. I am now crying in front of tuna sandwiches.

As all of you already know, I am not the most productive person. I am so unproductive that one of my goals is to watch more TV. Yes, I am so unproductive that I have to make Watching TV a goal in order for me to actually do it.

I usually skip making New Year’s resolutions because I know I’m not going to complete them, or even attempt to do them, so what’s the point? Well, in an effort to be slightly more Asian, last year, I decided to set some. . Well, not surprisingly, it didn’t go so well.

Despite having little success, I decided to have the same exact goals. Partly, because I still have an interest in completing them. Partly, because I wanted to see if there’s any chance of me actually doing them. Well, it’s almost the middle of the year, and I wanted to give a brief update. Spoilers: There was very little crying.

Read at least 30 books

Believe it or not, I have read 12 books, and it’s only June. Usually at this point of the year, I would stop reading, unintentionally, of course. Well, not this year.

I have since reduced the goal from 30 to 24 because I feel that would be more feasible and realistic for me. But honestly, I’m just happy I read more than I did last year. I am a man of very low expectations, I know.

I’ve also been updating my GoodReads account. Yes, I have a GoodReads account.

The good thing is I am no longer crying in front of piles and piles unfinished books. I’m just crying over everything else.

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

I still find it difficult to watch something for a long period of time, but I’ve been making progress with a few shows and movies. Very slow progress, but it’s progress. The good thing is I have a number of shows and movies that I want to watch, which was a problem before. Actually finding something to watch. That’s not an issues anymore. The problem now is to actually watch them, heh.

Write at least one short story

I’ve been trying to get started, but my motivation and inspiration to write is pretty low right now. I know I will eventually write but at this point, it may be on my deathbed, heh.

Complete the outline of my novel

Now, I have done a little work on the outline this year, but again motivation and inspiration is low. There is hope for something resembling ovel outline at the end of the year though.

Spend more time on other hobbies

I’ve done a lot of reorganization of my bookshelf and my other display areas. I’ve also been working on my action figure collection. I haven’t done much else, but obviously I have been wanting to do something crafty, especially because I have so many craft supplies. I’m not trying to start an art supply collection. Ugh.

TV pitch for the year 2020: A couple goes shopping for a new stove and finds one they like at a reasonable price and buys it

When I was in my 20s, I used to watch crime dramas all the time. Dexter. Criminal Minds. All the CSIs. All of them. But, I don’t know, at some point, I just got tired of them. I was bored of watching people getting killed literally every episode. We get it. It’s a crime drama. People die. I just wanted something different.

So, lately, I’ve been more into shows where, you know, several people don’t die in every episode. I’ve realized after all those years of drowning my soul in gritty crime dramas filled with murder that I much prefer light-hearted feel good shows filled with love and laughter. Oh no. One day, I might end up with a Live Love Laugh sign hung in my living room. Well, I still watch shows like Breaking Bad and Mr. Robot. I just don’t want to surround myself with fictional dead bodies at all times.

I have gathered a selection of my favorite TV shows, movies and books where no one dies. OK. OK. There are a few deaths in Parks and Rec, but it’s all off screen, and it’s not like an episode of Fringe where there are shapeshifter assassins wreaking havoc. Yes, they’re a thing. :p

I have suggested some of these in previous posts, but they also fit here, so I;m them in this post as well. If I can post a Michelle Branch video in seven posts, I can suggest the same thing more than once. :p

Parks And Recreation
A mockumentary about comings and goings of the Parks and Recreation department in the city of Pawnee, Indiana.

Awkward
When a girl accidentally injures herself shortly after receiving an insulting letter from an unknown person, everyone thinks she tried to kill herself.

Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
A group of high school students vow to take revenge on a secret society of pranksters when they were framed for an act of vandalism they didn’t do

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
A young man who works at a 24-hour bookstore is curious about a group of regulars who come in to check out various books from a mysterious collection.

Brittany Runs a Marathon
A woman decides to start running after realizing she needs to make changes in her life.

Bad Words
A man decides to enter a children’s spelling bee.

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.

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. 🙂