Nostalgia Battles: Hmm. I wonder if Beyonce ever cries about not having the time to read Harry Potter. (Reading VS. Writing)

I like to classify people into one of four categories: People who are into reading and writing, People who are into math and science, People who are into neither reading and writing or math and science and, of course, the magical unicorns who are just good at everything and we should just worship them as if they’re Beyonce.

Hey, I’m the one who does the crying around here, Beyonce. If you want to cry and talk about your problems, start your own blog.

For many years, I have struggled with reading and writing consistently. I don’t really consider myself a reader because I just don’t feel likebI read enough. At the same time, I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I barely write. It’s funny how that works, but I just feel more connected as a writer than a reader.

It’s actually difficult to define my relationship with reading. I’ve always loved books, but I don’t remember reading a lot as a child. I would go to the library a lot and checkout books but wouldn’t actually finish or even read a lot of the books. As I got older, the problem got worse. I was still borrowing books, but I wasn’t reading them. Now, there is no need for me to go to the library because I’m crying over stacks and stacks of unread books that I own.

And, yes, if you are one of those people who can read 100 books in a year, I hate you. I respect you, but I hate you. :p

I enjoy reading for two reason. One, is for the nostalgia factor. It just takes me back to a simpler time and makes me long for the past. Second, whenever I read a book, I feel like I’m transported into someone else’s life and getting a glimpse of their life. It often gives me inspiration for my own stories. I often get inspiration from movies and TV shows but I feel more accomplished when I finish a book as opposed to a movie or TV show. I know, what a surprise. How dare me for feeling more accomplished finishing Beloved than Mean Girls.

I am a man of very few talents. I know useless TV trvia from TV shows that others have stopped watching seven years ago. I can organize your office within a reasonable amount of time. Oh, and I can write, I guess.

Like with reading, I don’t remember much about how I got into writing. I guess I always had an interest in writing, but I didn’t realize it was a passion until I was in my teens. I didn’t really write outside of a school setting until I was well into my 20s.

When I do write for fun, I often get frustrated because my writing never comes out the way I want to. I guess I should write more often, heh. I do consider writing as the main passion for me because I just can’t think of any other way to best express myself. I guess I could try interpretative dance.

OK. Maybe not. I’m not Asian enough.

It’s difficult for me to choose a preference. I love writing, but every time I write, I want to throw something out the window. Reading is far easier, but it can still be difficult. For the sake of nostalgia and my sanity, reading is the winner.

Nostalgia Battles: No, not all Asians watch Korean dramas (Crime Procedurals VS. Comedy Dramas)

If you have read my blog for a while, you might have picked up a few recurring themes. My love for collecting everything. My fondness for Michelle Branch. My tendency to be chased by Asian mobs, mostly consisting of angry Chinese and Korean mothers. Not having cable.

It’s very difficult for me not to mention my love for television, and how it’s been difficult to catch up with new shows and trends because I don’t have cable and can only rely on streaming services that are not always reliable when it comes to new content. I know I can just look them up and research them, but it’s just not the same. As a result, I heavily rely on my nostalgia and my love for TV shows from 10+ years ago.

My number one complaint about television is that there hasn’t been a lot of hour-long comedy dramas in the past ten years. Unfortunately, most comedy dramas don’t last long. To my knowledge, there are currently three hour-long comedy dramas on the air: This is Us, Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Jane the Virgin.

I prefer comedy dramas that are mostly serious with a splash of comedy, like This is Us. It’s more realistic. That’s the problem with comedy. It makes a show more interesting and amusing, but if there’s too much of it, it’ll turn into an episode of Scrubs.

I’m not watching comedy dramas for the comedy. I am watching comedy dramas for the storylines, for the relationships, for the heartfelt moments. The comedy and humor is an extra layer, not the main feature.

Comedy dramas weren’t really in the spotlight until This is US came out in 2016. Of course, when the previews came out, I was immediately drawn it, and I was like, “Finally. A TV show about a group of people and their various issues and relationships.” It sounds like a simple premise, but we have been drowning in crime procedurals for a long, long time.

Most successful comedy dramas revolve around families. I prefer groups of friends because it’s more relatable to me, and I tend to enjoy the bond between two friends more than I do with any familial relationship.

We need more comedy dramas featuring groups of friends, and it looks like I’m getting my wish this Fall.

Some of you might wonder what’s the difference between a comedy drama and a drama, and the answer is simple. The tone and atmosphere. Comedy dramas tend to be more heart felt and have more realistic storylines that might occur in real life: cancer, heartbreak, depression, etc. While dramas tend to be more along the lines of, I don’t know, sabotage, espionage and finding out the son of the man your recently deceased father worked for who hates you for no apparent reason is your half-brother.

For years, I have watched crime procedurals and at the time, I was more interested in the cases and not so much the storylines of the main characters. It didn’t even occur to me to care about ongoing storylines with main characters in crime procedurals until I was a member of a forum of a certain crime procedural and everyone was obsessed with the main character storylines. Me, on the other hand, I was obsessed with the cases of the week.

Sure, seeing a different version of the same thing each weeks get boring, but I like crime procedurals and mysteries because I enjoy puzzles, and there’s something about a group of people solving a case or a mystery that appeals to me.

I was at my dentist a month ago, and there was an old episode of CSI on, and I immediately felt the nostalgia and I thought, “Damn, I miss the good old days.” And, yes, I felt like a 80-year-old man at that moment.

Of course, it gets boring when we find out, SURPRISE, the victim was killed by their significant other, relative or friend. So to make things interesting, we’re now getting supernatural crime procedural shows. I guess things are slightly more interesting, when the killer turns out to be a werewolf.

And then there are crime procedural shows that are slightly different because not every case involves someone dying and, in fact, not every case involves a crime. A crime procedural without crime. Yes, it exists. Gasp.

Although I was a fan of crime procedurals longer before I was fond of comedy dramas, I am just more interested in character enriched storylines. I do not want to know that it was the husband who killed the wife. I want to know why the main character is having panic attacks and how is she going to deal with them. I have watched enough TV characters killed in crime procedurals to last a life time. I want to cry, damn it. And I want to cry now.

Nostalgia Battles: Does anyone want to see a daily vlog of an Asian crying while blogging at the same time? (Blogging vs. Vlogging)

As a person who’s been web designing since the early 2000s, I’ve always been familiar with the concept of personal sites and blogs. Although I blogged a little bit here and there back then, the sites I had were more personal sites than blogs. I focused more on having content. Not so much now, heh.

In the mid 2000s, I stopped having Web sites. It was a combination of lack of interest and the change of landscape of the Internet at the time. A lot of the people I knew back then stopped updating their sites regularly, and a lot of the forums I was involved in closed down or had a lack of activity. Years after, I tried going back to having a Web site, but it didn’t work out for more than a year a time. Yes, I was one of those people. And, yes, I can hear your passive aggressive traditionally-minded Asian mother judging me.

Although I was trying to get back into Web design again, the reason why I started Nostalgicism was to have an outlet for writing. I needed a platform to write on a regular basis, and a blog was my best option. I knew I was taking a big risk due to my previouss failed attempts on starting a Web site. Although I tried blogging a few times, I wasn’t really into it because I honestly didn’t have anything to blog about. Back then, all of the blogs I was familiar with were personal blogs of people sharing their daily lives. This was pretty much my downfall when I first tried blogging. I don’t have a problem with sharing things about my personal life. I just don’t think people will care because I never have anything going in my life. There’s just really nothing to share when you’re watching Scorpion and eating pizza. This is why Nostalgicism is a pop culture blog with small pieces of my life thrown in here and there. I’ve found I’m best in small doses anyway.

It is no secret that, over the years, blogging has been slowly dying. There are just too many options for people to share their thoughts and connect with people. There was actually a time where people actually had conversations on tag boards. Yes. Tag boards. God. I feel old.

Over the years, vlogging has been more popular. Me, personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable vlogging because I’d be too worried about whether or not I’m allowed to film in certain places. I really don’t want a McDonald’s employee to tell me, “Sir, you can’t film in here.” Heck, I’d be self-conscious just taking a photo, and that’s a lot more discreet. That is why I like blogging. It’s a private endeavor, and I can do it in the comfort of my own home. Now, it is possible to vlog in one’s home but, unless you have a specific theme or focus, I don’t think daily vlogs of you eating breaking and watching TV would be the most entertaining.

Most of the vlogs I’m familiar with are mostly couples in their 30s with young children. Honestly, they all blur into one super vlog, and I’m like when does one vlog end and another begin? I personally like vlogs that are not the norm, like ones that focus on a specific job outside of filming/making videos, a specific disease or disorder, etc. Now, with these types of topics, I prefer watching vlogs than reading blogs. I would rather watch a 15 minute video of the daily routine of a person with a health condition as opoosed to reading a 1,500 word essay on it. This isn’t high school, and I’m not a teacher grading you.

I, however, do prefer blogs overall. I’ve always been familiar with them. I prefer coding Web sites over editing videos. And, oh yeah, I have a blog, so blogs win. :p

Nostalgia Battles: “OK, so my dog did not eat my homework. I watched Death Note and SpongeBob all night. Bite me.” (Cartoons VS. Anime)

As with most people who grew up in the 90s, I was raised mostly by my television. Even though I was a child, I watched pretty much everything. Dramas. Sitcoms. Talk Shows. Game Shows. And, of course, cartoons and anime.

Doug. Gargoyles. X-men. Animaniacs. Recess. I watched quite a few of them back then, and this was back when we didn’t have cable. Any cable shows we watched were watched at a cousin’s house. Needless to say, we visited quite often. On top of this, I also watched cartoons on those Saturday morning blocks they used to have on basic networks. They have all now disappeared and now in order to watch cartoons, you either have to have cable, at the minimum, hope that it’s on YouTube or stream your heart out.

It’s to no one’s surprise that when we finally did get cable in the early 2000s, my cartoon watching skyrocketed. At this point, I was 15. Because we didn’t get cable until I was a teenager, most of my cartoon watching happened when I was well into my teens and 20s. I watched a little bit of Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon when I was a child but I didn’t get into watching Anime until I started watching Toonami on Cartoon Network.

I wasn’t into anime as much as I was into cartoons. I’m only familiar with a small handful of anime shows, and it’s mostly because of Cartoon Network. Zoids. Death Note. Tenchi Muyo. I wouldn’t have heard of any of these if it weren’t for Cartoon Network. I’ve been meaning to watch more anime, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I really need to watch more anime. I’m tired of only being familiar with five anime shows. Seriously, every time I see someone talk about anime, it’s like they’re speaking a different language. Oh, well. I will get around to it. Meanwhile, I will cry. Figuratively, of course.

If you had asked me five to ten years ago, if I preferred cartoons or anime, my answer would be cartoons simply because that is what I’ve been the most familiar with. Now, though, I would say I’ve pretty much lost all interest in cartoons and while I do miss Saturday mornings as a kid watching cartoons, I am more intrigued by anime. In fact, I’ve been more nostalgic for them than cartoons. I’m interested in both, but I feel I should watch more anime because I’m not as familiar with them and, honestly, the cartoons I’m interested in watching are the ones from my youth. This time, I’m going to go a little outside my comfort zone into the unknown and say anime wins over cartoons.

Nostalgia Battles: No, this is not your parents’ traditional Chinese music. (Cold War Kids VS. Florence + The Machine)

I have the tendency to not finish tasks that I’ve started and, well, I’ve decided not to do any more Born in 1986 posts. I am still fascinated with people born in the same year as me, I just don’t think other people are going to be fascinated enough to read the posts. I tried writing a post a week ago, and I just had a feeling no one is going to be interested in reading about posts about random people born in a specific year. Seriously, I kept having this image of all of you going to my blog and quickly exiting my blog. As a result, I had to shift gears, but I still wanted to do a series of some kind. Because no one wants to see me posting about wearing the same t-shirt and athletic shorts day after day after day, I opted not to do Fashion Fridays. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the subtle sound of a girl cheering uncontrollably that she doesn’t endure any fashion posts from an Asian man.

So here is my new series: Nostalgia Battles. I will put two similar things against each other and choose a winner. How original, I know. To me, it’s better than doing a “Born in 1986” post because it would at least cover a variety of topics instead of one. Plus, I don’t have to write about something that has no interest to me anymore, which is always a bonus.

Of all pop culture categories, I am probably the least knowledgeable in music. Music wasn’t really nostalgic to me up until like ten years ago. I listened to mostly country music when I was a teenager and didn’t start listening to other genres until I was well into my 20s. I have since developed my music taste, but I still have a long ways to go compared to the average person. So now that I can finally name more than five bands, let’s compare two of my favorites: Cold War Kids and Florence + The Machine.

I’ve been listening to both bands for several years now. I, of course, don’t remember which band I heard first or when I first heard of either of them’ My whole relationship has been one big blur. I’m surprised when I can even name one song by a well-known artist.

Cold War Kids is a mixture of rock, blues and soul. They have a down-to-earth sound to them that takes me back to a simpler time. It’s a similar feeling I get whenever I listen to Michelle Branch. It makes me forget about life for a moment.

A lot of their songs can be intense, but they’re still easy to listen to. You can’t help but be drawn in.

Florence + The Machine is a pop band that has a diverse sound. They range from the simple to the intense. You can see how completely different these two songs are. One is a cute song about the dynamics of a relationship. The other one is an intense spiritual journey.

You can also see how much they have changed over the years. It’s like they’re two completely different bands.

Oddly enough, I found out Florence + The Machine did a cover of a Cold War Kids song. My first reaction was “Huh. That’s interesting.” Cold War Kids isn’t a bad that gets covered a lot, so it was refreshing to see.

I, myself, prefer the original version because I like how the extra instrumentals and lyrics add to the depth and character of the song. It just doesn’t have the same feeling to me as an acoustic song. Plus, I much prefer the piano over the guitar.

It’s difficult to say which artist is better because they’re of different genres and they each have their own style and identity. There is no question in my mind which, to me, is the most nostalgic, and that’s Cold War Kids. Hey, when something reminds you of Michelle Branch, it’s difficult not to go with it.