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.

Help, a kawaii store exploded, and I can’t get up.

It’s been a while since I’ve made a kawaii stationery purchase. I, of course, went to my go-to source for kawaii goodness, KawaiiYa. This time I knew I wanted to make a large purchase but as usual, I didn’t want to take the plunge right away. Well, I finally did it. And, yes, I went big.

That’s right. 48 items. And that’s not including the 20 items they sent as freebies. I can imagine the woman putting together my order freaking out and having a nervous breakdown. “Omg. This Asian man is going to kill me. This is literally going to take me days. Ugh. Oh well. At least I have vodka.”

I don’t receive as many kawaii packages as I used to, so here it is still in the box. Needless to say, I was happy.

And here they are, in neat little piles on my dining table. Now, for those of you who are familiar with kawaii items, you may notice that I completely avoided buying one specific type of kawaii stationery item. I find mini memo pads completely useless, and I actually decided to get rid of most of the ones in my collection. They’re just too mini for me. I’m a grown man, and I need big memo pads for my big self.

These are the items I got for free with my purchase. I ended up putting a lot of the sticker sacks in my declutter storage. Yes, I have an area designated for items I no long want. I’m just too lazy to actually declutter, so I just designate a decluttering area. Clever, I know.

I wasn’t sure if I should have bought sticker sacks because I’m not a big fan of them now, but I bought a handful. I ended up accidentally buying a few I already had and then others I’m like, “Ew, why did I buy that?” Off to the decluttering area they went.

Yeah, I went a little crazy on the sticker sheets. Before this purchase, I had 80 something sticker sheets, and I wanted to get up to over 100. Goal completed.

No kawaii stationery order would be complete without a boatload of memo pads. I accidentally purchased one I already had. Oops. That one is heading straight to my declutter area, heh.

I only had one large kawaii letter set, so I had to purchase more. Did I have to purchase six? No. But why not?

I’m quite satisfied with my purchases. But ugh. I want to live in Japan, so I can get more of a selection for cheaper prices. Although I would most likely have to hire a 20-year-old Asian girl to go to the store for me to avoid being creepy. So I guess it balances out.

Hmm. Is it possible to have Hello Kitty wallpaper and not have a Hello Kitty themed room?

When you’re a collector of everything, it can be difficult to decorate. I struggle with the delicate balance of displaying the collectibles I want to display and my space looking as if it could be on an episode of Hoarders. I may be a collector of everything, but I do not collect dead cats.

Not wanting to completely overwhelm myself, I’ve been taking it one tiny step at a time. My ultimate goal for my space is to keep it functional and simple but, of course, I want to display my collectibles. My problem has always been I want to display everything. Over the years, I’ve streamlined my displays. Even though they are aesthetically more pleasing to look at it, it still makes my space look cold and empty.

I applaud people who are able to live a minimalist lifestyle. I am not one of those people. I enjoy collecting and if I need something, I like that I actually have it and that I don’t have to buy it. Collecting brings me joy. A room with a bed and a plant does not bring me joy.

On the other hand, I also admire those who clearly have a passion and have no regrets about proudly displaying it. I have a kawaii collection that I love, but am still slightly embarrassed of given that I am a man in my early 30s. I know. I know. You’re all going to be, “You like what you like. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed.” I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not displaying any of my kawaii collection. They’re stashed away in two storage bins in my closet. Most of my Kawaii collection consists of stationery anyway, and I would rather not live in a space that looks like an office supply store for 11-year-old girls.

For now, I’ve limited displaying my collectibles to two areas: the top of a small bookcase and a display cabinet. I love the display cabinet because it’s really the only piece of furniture that I have that I can display my collectibles. As usual, everything else has been taken hostage by my books. I’ve been bothered how dark the inside is and you can barely see my treasured Batman action figures.

I knew tap lights and Command strips was my best option. I had tried this years ago with another piece of furniture, and it didn’t work out. The tap lights fell within hours, and I just gave up. I was sick and tired of my display case looking like a black hole, so I bought new tap lights and Command strips and hoped for the best. It’s been a solid two weeks, and they haven’t come crashing down yet. Now I feel confident enough to finally install that Hello Kitty wallpaper I’ve had my eye on forever.

Much better. Let there be light for Batman.

Let’s play a game! Did Kenny buy a portable DVD player or a set of 100 gel pens? Oh, and he bought a lot of other crap too.

As an Asian American raised by two very traditional Asians born outside of the US, it goes without saying that we don’t celebrate many holidays. Actually, the only holiday we actually celebrate is Chinese New Year. I know many of you are not surprised by this.

Oddly enough, my father went out of character this past Christmas when he gifted me a wallet. He, of course, told me that he got me a wallet roughly a week before he gave it to me. He clearly doesn’t know how giving presents work. Funnily enough, I forgot that he told me, and I was pleasantly surprised when he just casually handed me the wallet saying, “here” and calmly walked away as if giving a gift to a co-worker he barely knows.

I have grown accustomed to buying my own stuff instead of relying on gifts. Sure, gifts are a nice gesture, but eh, call me a simple man for wanting to buy what I want when I want it.

Lately, I’ve been buying from Amazon excessively. What’s funny is that I’m trying to be more minimalistic and focused with my purchases. Yes, I can hear you snicker and silently mocking me as you read this. That’s OK. One tiny step at a time, I guess.

Now, needless to say, it’s Amazon, so of course, I bought a number of books. I don’t think any of you are interested in seeing pictures of random books, so I am merely showing the items that will shock and awe the majority of you. One of you possibly might vomit.

First, let’s start off with the mundane. Here are just some knives for my collection.

I’ve always wanted a fountain pen, but I couldn’t commit to a high-priced one, so I just bought a cheap one from a brand everyone should recognize, heh.

I like Breaking Bad, so…

Yeah…

I needed a body wash, and I wanted to try something that’s advertised for men just for kicks. I was drawn to this particular one because I thought it smelled of coffee due to it saying “COFFEE” right on the label. Turns out it’s made of coffee, but not scented with coffee. Yeah, what I got was the familiar combined scent of clean laundry, aloe and rubbing alcohol. It’s not a bad scent though.

I don’t really have a need for packing tape right now, but I wanted to pick up this six pack just in case. And, yes, I just used “six pack” in a non-alcoholic context. Booyah.

And, of course, everyone needs Claritin.

Oh, and I bought gel pens.

I look all around me, and all I see is a lack of deer heads

I may be a collector of everything, but I will be the first to admit that it is a pain to find what I’m looking for. Seriously. It took me five years to buy a compass, and it’s not even a part of a collection. I admire those who are passionate about one thing and collect over time. Me, I collect, well, everything. Figures. Coins. Stamps. I even have a knife collection. Yes, a knife collection. You can’t get any more manly than that. Well, except for deer head mounts, but that’s a little bit too manly for me.

I haven’t really added all that much to my existing collections lately, but I’ve slowly been going through my collections to see what I have. I will then browse online to see what’s available, and I may or may not buy something. How exciting.

I’m not a big anime fan, but I have watched a number of them over the years. I’ve been wanting to re-watch some of my favorites from my younger years such as Tenchi Muyo, Dragon Ball Z and Death Note (pretty much anything that was available on Cartoon Network 15 years ago, heh), but I really haven’t had the time. I have enough TV shows to watch.

For years, I’ve been wanting to collect anime figures, but I got too overwhelmed with where to buy, what to buy and whether or not it’s worth it for me given that I’m not a big Anime fan to begin with. So, I started small with key chains, cell phone charms and other small accessories.

I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, he has a lot of Sailor Moon stuff.” Yeah, I went a little overboard.

Oh, look. Death. How fun.

No anime collection is complete without some Naruto.

More manly anime to balance out the excess of Sailor Moon.

And just a bunch of stuff from various shows that I don’t watch. Sometimes I don’t know whether to call myself a collector or a hoarder. Sigh.

That awkward moment when you didn’t buy enough kawaii stationery

It should be no secret that I am a collector of everything. It says so in my bio. I am especially fond of kawaii items, and I have a rather large collection of kawaii stationery. I’ve been wanting to place an order from my favorite kawaii stationery store, KawaiiYa, for the past two years, but I just couldn’t take the plunge. Well, I did it. I dove into a virtual pile of kawaii stationery and grabbed myself a few goodies.

Here’s what I bought. I decided to place a smaller order than I have in the past and, honestly, I wish I had bought more. Sigh, and here I was thinking I was being financially responsible. Nope. I just deprived myself of getting more kawaii goodies.

Here are the memo pads that I bought. I chose not to buy any mini memo pads. I haven’t really been a fan of them, since they’re really too small to do anything practical with them anyway. Not that I actually use my kawaii stationery anyway, heh.

Sticker Sheets

Sticker Sacks

A Rilakkuma Letter Set

Deco Tapes

Oh, and oh look, some free goodies I got with my purchase. Yay for extras.

The Sound of My Hypothetical Wallet Crying: Ebay VS. Etsy

I love receiving packages. It gives me something to look forward to. Although I am largely happy with most of my purchases, there are some items that I regret buying. Just to give a few examples: A Naruto action figure, various craft supplies I never use, unused stationery and of course, the two cases of Big Bang Theory blind box figures that I bought during a brief lapse of insanity. I like collecting things. Sue me.

I do enjoy browsing for items, and I’ve gotten into the habit of browsing Etsy and Ebay without actually purchasing anything. I have good self-control, I know. For fun, I wanted to brows Etsy and Ebay to see what I can purchase from each site for $25 each, including shipping.

My general game plan was to stick with what I know. For Etsy, I chose mostly artwork because I love having a wide selection of artwork to choose from, as seen here. For Ebay, I chose items that fit with my current collections. Although this is hypothetical, now is not the time to try to start a My Little Pony collection.

This is what I came up with. All totals include shipping.

Etsy

Stitch on a Wrecking Ball 5×7 Print ($7.94)
Invader Zim and Gir 5×7 Print ($4.98)
4×6 Photograph of a Fence ($6)
Love to Highest Mountains 4×6 Postcard ($3)
Love to Ends of the Earth 4×6 Postcard ($2.75 with another purchase)
Total (Including Shipping to the US): $24.67

Ebay

Green Monarchs Playing Cards ($10.48)
Blue and Black Batman Returns Batman Action Figure ($5.23)
Cake (The Band) Promo Sticker ($1.99)
Album for Elongated Coins ($6.50)
Total (Including Shipping to the US): $24.20

I am mostly happy with my choice. I do regret not buying any practical items, but Ebay and Etsy are not the best places to shop for practical items anyway. Of the two, I much prefer my Ebay purchases. I’ve fallen in and out of love with Etsy over the years, and I’m currently in the “out” phase of our relationship. You’ll always find something to buy at Ebay that you wont regret. It may or may not take you 15 failed attempts. Don’t ask how I know that.

Update: It only took me three weeks to make a frivolous decision

A month ago, I posted about wanting to put up new artwork. After three weeks of agonizing thought and indecision, I’ve finally chosen and hung up new artwork. Now, I can move on to other important decisions, like which flavor lip balm I should buy. Yes, my life is very exciting.

I already had these illustrations up, and I wanted to keep them on the walls. They’re simple, but they just scream nostalgia to me, mostly because of the random stamping on the pieces. It doesn’t take a lot for me to find something nostalgic.

Some of these pieces might look familiar. I decided to go for a nostalgia type of theme, which is appropriate since I have a blog dedicated to it, heh. Nothing says “nostalgia” more than a falconer, someone in a cardboard box costume, a literary phrase and, of course, a fictional serial killer. I feel as if I’m living in 2004 again. Again, how appropriate for me.

I wanted to add some artwork on my desk, so I just chose an illustration of Totoro. It just adds a bit of whimsy and fun to the mess that is my desk.

And, of course, there’s this:

Yeah…Death Note. No other words needed.

Every woman in the entire world will fall in love with me. (Or my kawaii collection.)

One of my fondest memories as a child is when I would go to Chinatown in New York City every weekend with my family. My favorite place to hang out was at the Elizabeth Center, a mini-mall known for having kawaii shops. Unfortunately, times have changed and there aren’t as many kawaii stores. Also, if you’re a stickler for collecting licensed items like I am, you might have difficulty finding things. I’ve been there in more times, and I’ve always been slightly disappointed. I did love it there once upon a time though.

Although I had a small kawaii collection when I was growing up, I didn’t really start collecting until about two years ago. This is when I started buying kawaii things online. Now my collection is ridiculously large, especially for an adult male. But, hey, I’m Asian, so I have an excuse to collect kawaii things. Yay for being Asian.

Now, on to the photos. I do have a lot more than what’s shown in the photos, but this is the bulk of my collection. I know all of you are going to faint in amazement. I might as well call this porn for women.

Enjoy.

Sorting through a mountain of “artwork.”

It’s that time again. I am bored with the artwork on my walls. The good news is that I hve a number of picture frames and artwork already, so all I have to do is pick and choose. The bad news is I have a ton of artwork. That, and I’m extremely indecisive. Yay. What a fun combination to be dealing with.

I have a total of five frames of the walls. All of them featuring various pieces of artwork purchased from Etsy. The only pieces I will be keeping are these lovely illustrations of people wearing animal masks. Unfortunately, the seller is no longer selling on Etsy.

Did I say I have a ton of artwork? Or rather, things that can be used as artwork. Prints. Stickers. Greeting Cards. Stamps. Trading Cards. Post Cards. Basically anything that is flat. I am a collector of everything, after all. Most of these, again, came from various Etsy sellers. Yes, I used to buy from Etsy excessively. Sue me, but not for a million dollars please.

Yeah, you read right. I collect greeting cards. Here they are in their glory and, yes, there are two photos.

So, I went through everything, and I picked out some of my favorites. I put them in picture frames to get an idea of what they would look like framed. I am not sure which ones I will be using, but these just caught my eye. Since most of these were purchased quite some time ago, they might not be available anymore, but I am going to link where I got them from anyway.

“I used to be a heroin addict. Now I’m a methadone addict” greeting card. from Seas and Peas.

Dexter patch from Sage.

Mixed tapes greeting card from What the Rock.

“Unreliable Narrator” vinyl sticker from Book Fiend.

As you can see, there is a theme emerging: nostalgia and sarcasm. Yeah, that sounds about right.