Everyone should buy a lifetime supply of toilet paper with flowery designs on them

As a person who gets easily overwhelmed by, well, everything, I find lists and guides that, according to a random person, I should buy, read, eat or make love to. OK, maybe not the last one.

This is especially true if I’m looking to buy something. As many of you know, I am both a collector of everything and a man who cries a lot. I think this makes me the perfect person to make a guide of items everyone should have in their home, apartment or bomb shelter. Hey, no judging here.

To keep the hate mail and the amount of angry Asians chasing me with bamboo torches to a minimum, I am going to be vague and broad. In order to not scare anyone off screaming in absolute horror, I have decided not to recommend anything that may or may not suggest that you should buy a Michelle Branch CD. Or any female pop star from the early 2000s. Sorry, Avril. You’re a lovely person, but it’s complicated.

Let’s get started. Shall we?

Any piece of art that’s not purchased from Wal-Mart, Target or any store where you can buy artwork, hot dogs and Barbie dolls in one shipping trip.

I know everyone is sick and tired of people singing the praises of Etsy for affordable handmade items, but you can’t beat Etsy if you want affordable art. There is, of course, the option of brushing random strokes of black paint on piece of cardboard and duct taping them on the walls. Don’t mind the wrinkles. It just adds character.

Long-time readers of this blog are familiar with these animal mask illustrations. If you were to ask what my style is, I would just slightly nod my head and point my finger to them. Unfortunately, the person I got these from is no longer selling on Etsy.

Here are examples of artwork you can purchase though.

8×10 “It Was Me, I Let the Dogs Out” typography print, $12
8×10 Jetpack Penguin illustration print, $15
Pigeons on a Pier photograph, various sizes/prices

A collectible from your favorite TV show, movie or other interest

I am a big TV fan, so as a result I have a lot of collectibles from my favorite TV shows, namely Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory and, of course, Dexter. Some people might say that it’s childish to display action figures and bobble heads you’re an adult, but what exactly do they expect adults to display? Wooden bowls with fake fruit, miniature dog statues made of jade and tall clear vases with flowers that will die in two days? No thank you. I’m sorry, but brown withered petals scattered on a table is not the look I’m going for.

If you do not have a favorite movie or TV show, don’t fret. You can get something related to an interest. Perhaps you are fond of cats. If that’s the case, why not get a crazy cat lady action figure?

OK. Maybe you can just get a little owl figurine.

A practical item you can both display and use

I am, of course, not suggesting that you just put a kitchen knife on your coffee table. This is not a guide to how to scare off guests the second they come in.

For me, I have a compass sitting on a side table. It’s only a $5 cheapo from Wal-Mart. Yes, I don’t need compass to find my way to the bathroom, but if I ever decide to, you know, be out of character and go on a long, dangerous hike in the woods, at least it’s there.

A stack of books

I know we’re in the digital age, and many of you are using an electronic device of some kind for your book-ish needs. Not I. After all, I am still living as if it’s 2004.

With that aid, I still read books the old-fashioned way, and I just like holding a book in my hand and flipping through the pages. What am I supposed to do with a tablet or Kindle. Wave it as if I don’t care? Plus, stacking tablets just doesn’t have the same feeling as a stack of books. A stack of books says “I read. So?” A stack of tablet says “Yeah…you’re going to rob me, aren’t you?”

A vase, a glass bowl, a bottle, or something else pretty to display that makes you look like an actual adult who doesn’t decorate with Breaking Bad bobble heads, even though you do

Now, this is actually something that most adults would actually display in their apartment. I am not one who follows the crowd. As I’ve said many times before, I have a disposable phone, and I like it. I have to be honest, though, I like having something nice and pretty on a table. And sometimes it’s nice to have something that doesn’t remind you of a bald Bryan Cranston.

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.

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.

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.

Online Shopping, Iced Tea and Map Envelopes

We all go through moments of insanity. Some people quit their jobs. Others might buy a $40,000 car. My moments of insanity usually revolve around online shopping. There’s honestly nothing better than sitting in front of your laptop, drinking a glass of iced tea and browsing shampoos on Amazon. Yes, it’s amazing.

Lately, I’ve been browsing Etsy again. Like with insanity, I go through phases with Etsy. For three weeks I might go on a shopping binge, and then suddenly stop for a few months. Guess, which phase I’m currently in?

For some time now, I’ve been searching for map envelopes. I wish I had a legitimate reason for wanting map envelopes, like a lovely childhood memory of making envelopes out of maps with my deceased grandmother, but sadly, I have no such memory. I just like maps, and I wanted map envelopes. Sue me.

I don’t remember when exactly I began my search for map envelopes, but I remember trying to search for them earlier in the year, and I couldn’t find a set of envelopes I liked. A week ago, I continued my search once again, and I found a lovely set of map envelopes made by the lovely Elaine at Moongipsies. After brief moments of excitement and hyperventilating, I quickly purchased them, along with a set of random handmade envelopes. Again, sue me. I’m a sucker for grab bags.

Here are the envelopes in their glory.

I’m probably never going to use the map envelopes because they’re just so pretty to use. The random envelopes would be useful for my packages and craft projects though. Elaine was also kind enough to include extra envelopes, which is much appreciated. I love it when Etsy sellers include extras. It satisfies the hoarder inside me.