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. 🙂

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.

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.

Having a non-committal relationship with a bookshelf

It’s that time again. It’s time for me to show the changes I’ve made to my bookshelf. This has inadvertently turned into a series. I didn’t know that rearranging your bookshelves was apparently a hobby.

The number one thing that was bothering me about my bookshelf was that I had my memoirs on the shelf. Ideally, I wanted to separate my memoirs from my fiction because I felt it was wasted space to have them on the shelf. Before, I had various books I didn’t know what to do with in between some bookends on a nightstand next to the bookshelf. I took out the books that were in there, moved some things around and put in the memoirs that I was the most interested in and put the rest in storage. For added interest, I added a Kenny Plush (from South Park) and a framed photo of two people looking at the Empire State Building that I bought off of Etsy years ago.



I had most of my YA fantasy books on the top of the bookshelf, which was fine but it was getting a little too crowded for my liking. I decided to split them, putting some on the top of the shelf and the rest on the shelf below. To fill the space on the shelf below, I added my detective novels. The top of the shelf was looking a bit empty to me, so I just put a pot I got from Etsy ages ago to fill the space for now. Yes, I already sense a bookshelf update coming soon. xD



On the next shelf, I have two piles of YA novels, with themes of mental illness and the like and next to them are,well, random assortment of things I like.

The next two shelves pretty much did not change. I just added a Lego police car to one and a NYC tour bus to the other to balance it out.



The shelf below is a shelf I like to call the “Shelf of Death,” simply because I never know what to put there. I like the current setup though. There’s a handful of books I’ve read that I liked, books I’m currently reading and assorted zines, poetry books and bookmarks. I do like how it’s not empty anymore.



The bottom shelf stayed more or less the same. I just added more books. Oh, and I, um, got another Lego boat hull because I wanted one in green so, um, yeah. I’m a collector. Sue me. =p

Desperately Seeking: Other Asians who have difficulty completing simple goals

Whenever I post about a new project of any kind, I feel kind of guilty because I know that there would most likely not be any progress on it, and I would not post any meaningful updates on it. Anyone remember Keeping Up with the Newses? No? Great. If only if it were possible for me to forget about it.

In a moment of brief insanity, I made a list of goals for the year. For those who know me well, I would make an attempt to accomplish the goals but would most likely cry in front of a pile of unfinished books.

As of right now, the only progress I’ve made is that I read five books. While that is quite an accomplishment for me given that I read five books LAST YEAR, a lot of people can finish five books in one month. I know. I know. I shouldn’t compare myself to others but it’s kind of difficult when you’re in the book community and you’re surrounded by people who can devour a 500 page book in one sitting as if they’re a lion eating a gazelle. As a result, I feel like I’m a squirrel trying to eat pigeon droppings, and failing.

Also, keep in mind one of my goals is to watch more TV on a consistent basis, and I’m not even doing that. It’s quite sad, really. I can’t finish a 50-minute episode of Breaking Bad in less than a year. And I’m not even joking.

While I am making progress in reading more books, I’m pretty much failing in everything else. Apparently I’m not a multi-tasker. Although, to be fair, it is quite early but I don’t really have a good track record with personal projects and goals. Learning another language, for instance. I wanted to learn sign language. That didn’t work out. I wanted to learn French. That didn’t work out. I wanted to learn German. That didn’t work out. I kind of sort of want to learn Spanish, for practical reasons because there is a large Hispanic population here, but I honestly don’t want to. I basically want to do everything but can’t seem to focus. Normally, I would blame it on me being Asian but I don’t think that’s the problem here. :p

Like with most things I do, I try and plan out how to tackle a goal or project but mostly I just say “screw it,” and I just wing it. I did want to have some structure though, so I came up with the goal of reading 30 books. If you break it down per month, that’s 2 books a month for 6 months and 3 books a month for the other 6 months. And it does help to have a quota a month that I feel is not unreasonably high.

So far, I have read two books a piece for January and February and a lone one book for March, despite having more days. Going into this, I knew I wanted to read a variety of books at one time. For example, I might read a YA book that’s funny and heartfelt, a YA book that’s sad and serious.and an adult detective novel. I do not want to be reading three different versions of the same book at any given time. I want to have a little bit of variety and experience different genres, themes and writing styles.

Unfortunately, this past month, I made a mistake. I chose three books that I knew would be difficult for me to finish in a single month: a YA historical fantasy novel that’s 400 pages long (A Bright and Burning Shadow by Jessica Cluess), a funny YA novel that’s 359 pages long (The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack and a book of short stories involving being in the military (Redeployment by Phil Klay). Um, yeah…I made the wrong choices, especially because I wanted to read three books that month, and it just was never going to happen with the books that I chose.

Because of this, I only finished one book in March. For the month of April, to make up for being one book short, I am going to try to read three books. With that said, I made a more appropriate selection. I am sticking with Redeployment because it’s relatively short and it’s the only book I started before the end of March, so I might as well finish it. In addition to Redeployment, I am also reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson and Paperweight by Meg Haston.

I wanted to read a memoir this month, especially because before I got into reading more fiction, that’s been the genre I’ve been reading, and I wanted something funny.I also wanted to read a YA novel with a female character. Paperweight was more or less in my wheelhouse, centering around a young woman battling with self-image issue. I love damaged characters.

We will see how well this pans out but so far, it hasn’t been a disaster, which is always a good sign to me.