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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
Months ago, I posted about my bookshelf, and how I organized it. Well, shortly after, I, well, basically changed everything, and it’s completely different now. I predict this is going to be an ongoing series. I hope you don’t mind monthly updates on my bookshelf.
It all started with my obsession with book-related YouTube channels. I was inspired to read more often and, also, surprise, to buy more books. This was especially because I had mostly non-fiction books, and I wanted to focus more on fiction.
As you can see, it’s almost completely different from what it was before. I moved all my fiction books to the bookshelf and organized them based on genre. Of course, there’s more than just books on display but still, there’ a crap ton of books on the shelf.
First, at the top of my bookshelf is my young adult fantasy. I had the stewie figure on another shelf but I just stuck it in the space in the middle. I quite liked it, so it stayed.
The shelf below that is my memoir section. Even though I’m making the shift to reading more fiction, I’ve always enjoyed reading about other people’s real life experiences.
The next section, well, as you can see, hasn’t really been well thought out. It’s just a place to display random things. And, yes, that’s a metal ampersand. It’s supposed to be a bottle opener and, no, I don’t drink alcohol.
Below that is my young adult fiction. Until recently, I had only a few young adult fiction books, and then, well, I went nuts.
Next is my adult fiction books. I have a nice selection here, but it’s difficult to find adult fiction that I like because I found that I read best if it’s written in first-person narration. I know. I know. I’m missing out on a lot of good books but I’m having difficulty enough reading consistently as it is. If I read a 500 page third-person book, I would literally die. x.x
And then we have what I’ve been calling “the shelf of death.” The shelf I don’t entirely know what to do with. I decided this is where I would put my miscellaneous “book things” on this shelf. There’s a pile of bookmarks. There’s a random journal I bought from Amazon. Obscured by the journal is two poetry books that I bought because I wanted more variety in my books.
Since I took this photo, I have added my collection of zines to this shelf. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while but I was just putting it off for so long. I do feel like they belong on this shelf since they’re book-ish.
The last shelf remains largely unchanged from before. This is where I store my Gundam kits and some of my legos. In addition, I have my children’s books on top of my Gundams. I know it’s not wise to put heavy objects on ardboard but eh, when you’re low on storage, you do what you have to do. The Gundam kits will survive. :p
The shelf will go through many changes over time. Heck, it’s gone through some changes since I’ve written this post but I do like it’s more of a bookshelf than an everything shelf.
I am often jealous of people who are able to focus on one particular thing, specifically a specific interest or hobby. I am the opposite. I have the tendency to, well, collect everything. I’m not joking. I’ve collected books. I’ve collected DVDs. I’m collected Legos. Miniatures. Action Figures. Art supplies. Magnets. Keychains. TV memorabilia, New York stuff, Anime Stuff. Kawaii Stationery. Regular Stationery. Office Supplies. Stamps. Coins. Everything, really. Well, not quite everything. Even I have limitations when it comes to collections. Below are some of the items I simply have no interest in collecting. And, please, as always do not send out any angry Asian mobs to chase me down with traditional bamboo torches while shouting in various Asian languages I do not understand.
If a person were to come up to me and ask me what kind of music I like, I wouldn’t know what to say. In fact, I would not probably not be able to come up with anything and just stare at them for a few minutes while they slowly walk away from me, regretting that they ever asked me such a simple question.
It’s difficult for me to answer any type of question related to music since my music taste varies so much because it revolves around specific songs that I like and not so much specific artists that I like. And, yes, if you ask me to name what my favorite song is, I would shriek like a little girl and run away.
I don’t listen to foreign music in a regular basis. K-pop, especially, is not something I was ever interested in. It’s just not something that I enjoy because I am the type of person who would like to at least understand what a song is about. I know. I know. I can find a translation somewhere on the Internet. But no. I am lazy enough as it is. I will not hunt down translated lyrics for songs that I don’t love. I just can’t get into it.
Coincidentally enough, if I had to listen to a foreign song genre, it would clearly be sad French songs sung by sad French girls. What can I say, I like sad French songs.
In general, I don’t really collect music memorbillia. I have a few CDs. I have a number of guitar picks. But I am just not a music person. It’s weird enough that I collect guitar picks, and I don’t play the guitar.
OK. I don’t understand how this became a cultural phenomenon in the first place. It just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe because I know that if I use one, I would somehow chop off a finger. And. this is coming from a person who collects knives. Knives. I’m strange, I know. x.x
As a child, I played video games with my brothers and various cousins. As I got older, I still had an interest in playing video games but I didn’t really want to own a video game system of my own, and I just slowly lost interest over time. I did buy like a Wolverine video game like ten years ago but I have no idea where it is now.
I have tried computer games but I have a tendency to have my computer crash here and there. Don’t ask me what I’m doing on my computer, thank you. :p
Because of this, I have gotten into the habit of, gasp, watching other people play video and computer games. A lot of people are always wondering, “Why the heck would you watch people play games and not play them yourself.” Because it’s cheaper and easier, and I don’t have to throw a brick at my computer out of frustration.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.