Like many people, I watch YouTube videos on a daily basis. I am trying to limit my watching because the videos I watch really don’t add any value to my life in terms of completing my goals. However, it can take me several months to finish one episode of Breaking Bad, so watching random YouTube videos will have to do for now.
There are literally millions of videos you can watch on YouTube. A girl showing you how to get a smokey eye. A guy playing Grand Theft Auto. A man in his bathtub crying because his life has fallen apart while an Adele song plays in the background. A Michelle Branch music video. The options are really endless.
Needless to say, I watch a wide array of content on YouTube. Sometimes, I’m surprised that the video I’m watching actually exists. Who knew there were so many different types of YouTube videos? There are two specific types of videos that I’ve been watching a lot lately: Reddit Commentaries and modified versions of songs.
Everyone here should be familiar with Reddit, so I’m not going to try to explain what Reddit is. That would be like explaining what Facebook is. You know what Reddit is and if you don’t, then good for you.
Reddit commentary videos are exactly what they sound. They’re videos of people reading off posts from Reddit, and commenting on them. It’s a relatively simple concept, but it’s surprisingly entertaining.
Song covers have always existed, but I’ve been noticing covers of different versions of songs. Sometimes the key is changed. Sometimes there’s a different harmony or rhythm. Sometimes the lyrics are completely re-worked. I was surprised to see such a wide variety.
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.
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.
Yet again, I was planning on doing a bookshelf tour, but I’m quite lazy right now to not only take photos of my bookshelf, but to also edit them, since the photos are of such low quality. And, honestly, I need to get out a post now before an angry mob of Asian moms chase me with bamboo torches.
I’ve been wanting to do posts about YouTube channels and videos that I enjoy watching, but I’ve just never gotten to it. Yeah, sure. Let’s add yet another thing for me to do on the giant list of things I want to do but probably never will.
Like with everyone, there are certain videos that I bookmark for later use, whether it be for a blog post or to watch it repeatedly. Of course, with me, I’m lazy so when I “bookmark” YouTube videos, I just like them and it gets saved to my liked videos list. It’s sufficient enough.
I went through my list of liked videos and I’m just going to compare and contrast the different themes and video styles and share why I saved these videos to begin with. I am going to focus on user-created content, so no music videos of Michelle Branch.
The Traditional DIY Video
Back when I had TV, I would watch home decorating and renovation shows all the time. Now that I don’t, I enjoy watching various people doing renovations and smaller projects on their homes. This particular video I was drawn to because of the combination of the music, the voice over, the helpful visuals and and the clear instructions. The end result is a cute, helpful video that anyone can watch.
An Informational Video With Humor and/or Sass
Now, humor and dry wit isn’t for everyone, but I quite enjoy videos that I find both to be helpful and funny. It’s a rare combination that not a lot of people can achieve. You wouldn’t expect that from a video about knives, but thus guy pulls it off. It’s unexpected, and doesn’t come across as trying too hard. It’s natural, and it flows. Err, wait…that’s not the best way to put it, but you know what I mean.
Something Amazing Someone has Done that Takes a Lot of Time and Skill
Although I try to be, I’m not a very artistic person, so I am always amazed when someone creates an amazing piece of art. This guy for example creates figures and statues from polymer clay, and I can barely draw a circle, despite my large array of art supplies. I’m also captivated by his voice because it stands out and he is giving clear instructions and commentary while not being technical.
A Video you Never Thought Anyone Would Actually Make
Lets face it. There’s not a lot of originality these days. We’re all seeing the same twenty videos being made by thousands of YouTubers. Once in a while though, comes a video that stands out. This one happens to be about a guy reviewing an Amish romance novel. Yeah. That’s different from “10 YA novels you should read before you die!” We have enough lists.
I don’t know how I feel about change. I feel like I can adapt to change once it occurs but for the most part, I am comfortable with things staying the same, unless my preference changes over time. This is why I have not made any changes to Nostalgicism for over four years. Well, it’s time for some changes. Subtle ones, obviously. Hey, let’s not get too crazy here. I’m still Asian.
The first thing I did was change the image for my domain page. The typewriter was cute and all, but the image was kind of boring, and I needed something more interesting. After browsing through dozens of pictures of vintage computers, I pretty much randomly chose one that I like. Hey, it’s an image for my domain page. I don’t need perfection. I just need something different.
Speaking of striving for perfection, choosing a different color scheme was a different story. I knew I wanted to change the gray background to a blue background. What I didn’t know was that it would take me three days and about 100 shades of blue to find a color that I can live with without wanting to slit my wrists and cry in a room with no windows. Choosing a new color for the menu was less of an issue, but I think it was only because I felt so emotionally drained picking the background color that I lost all hope and desire to find the perfect color. So here we are. A color scheme that I don’t absolutely hate.
I also updated the links on the sidebar. A lot of the links were broken, and I needed to add a few people.
Eventually, I want to change the entire layout and add content. The layout would be more or less the same as my current one: something simple and nostalgic. For my content, though, I’m not entirely sure. I was originally thinking about putting up lists of things I want to do, read and watch, but that’s more or less what my blog is, and I’m not sure if anyone would actually want to see lists of various things I probably won’t do. OK, fine.. You’re probably used to it from me by now. :p Ugh, and this is why it’s taken four years for me to even make a small change to my Web site. Welcome to my life.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people wanting to simplify and organize their lives by going through their items, getting rid of the stuff they don’t need and re-organizing everything. While I could do with some re-organizing and some light decluttering, I could never be a minimalist. I like being surrounded by stuff. Of course, I can live in a space with no furniture or personal items if I had to but my life is not an episode of Burn Notice.
Over the years, I have regretted buying a countless number of things for one reason or another: the item broke shortly after I bought it, I lost interest in the item, etc. I’ve been trying to be more careful about what I buy. I’ve been happier with my purchases for the most part. There are, however, some purchases that I have been wanting to do for a while now, but I keep delaying them, mostly because of the cost, the fear of not liking what I’m liking and the strong possibility of it falling apart in my hands.
New Digital Camera
I have an old Canon digital camera several years ago that is fine, but the quality of the photos is so bad that I have to edit them in order for them to be decent.
I’ve been hesitating to buy a new camera though because I don’t take pictures often, and I’m honestly afraid that I’d get poor quality pictures anyway.
A Second Desk
I have a desk for my laptop and small tasks but for things that require more space, like craft projects, it’s not functional. I’ve been thinking of getting a second desk so not only do I have the space to do art projects and other things, I can just leave stuff on it without the need to put everything back right away. Perhaps some people might think this would just add to the clutter but, honestly, it would be nice just to leave a project there so I can come back to it when I have the time.
A Portable DVD Player
I can play DVDs on my laptop, but I’m often using my laptop so I can’t multi-task. A portable DVD player would allow me to do both. I did have one, but it broke mysteriously one day, so I’m hesitant to buy one.
If I had to make one purchase right now, I would lean toward the portable DVD player. It’s the cheapest of the three, and it would help me watch more TV, which is one of my goals. I know. I know. It’s sad that I had to make it a goal to watch more TV. Stop mocking me. D=
I have to admit that I am someone who finds nostalgic in pretty much everything, even the things that I didn’t experience and enjoy. Mixed tapes being just one example. I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s and by then, cassettes were pretty much obsolete. The only time I’ve ever used cassettes was when I had to record something for a school project in the fifth grade. Mixed tapes weren’t really a thing when I was growing up, but I wasn’t really into music back then, so I wouldn’t really know. Despite this, I can’t help but to feel nostalgic whenever mixed tapes or cassettes is brought up. I guess I’m fond of anything that was once popular but is obsolete now. I wonder how many years if will take for me to be nostalgic for Pokemon Go. Oh, that’s right. Never.
There are a number of things that still exist that I’ve missed, but I’m not sure if I would experience them again. And if I did, if it would feel the same as it did before. Two of these, of course, are specific to New York City, where I call my home, despite being there for the least amount of time. I have spent 20 years now in Florida, but I’ve never considered myself a Floridian. I do not enjoy feeling like I’m melting 10 months out of the year.
Sigh. The joys of living in Florida. Let me tell you, I will not miss Florida. Well, maybe in a snowstorm.
Although writing letters still exist in this world full of technological advances, it’s been slowly dying out in the past 20 years, like journalism and blogging and having a conversation with someone without at least one of you glued to the screen of your phone like a zombie. But, on the other hand, phone zombies are very on trend right now.
Although I briefly had a penpal from Italy in the fourth grade.it really didn’t amount to anything and I didn’t get interested in having penpals until I was well into my 20s. It was a combination of nostalgia and watching YouTube videos of people receiving penpal packages. I wanted to find a penpal who was close to my age, but it was difficult. I ended up finding a penpal who was a bit younger than me, but I already knew her, so that helped. It was lovely exchanging letters and packages with her, but I just did not feel comfortable with it, and I felt I was forcing myself to write the letters. I wanted it to feel natural but instead, it felt like I was doing a 25 page essay on the American Revolution.
When I was in New York, my family and I would go to to Chinatown every weekend. It was a family tradition. Of We didn’t really do anything special. My parents won errands while us kids just went to various stores and stood around looking at stuff. Some people might say that it was no different than grocery shopping. But you just don’t get the same feeling of nostalgia shopping at Wal-Mart.
There is a part of Orlando where there is a cluster of Asian stores that somewhat resembles a vague idea of what a Chinatown is. It’s just not the same. It’s not as lively and there isn’t as many places to go to. But then again, I’m comparing apples to oranges. It’s just that Orlando is a really sad orange.
OK, so for those of you who take the Subway, or the equivalent, on a regular basis, you may think I’m crazy for being nostalgic for public transportation. Well, keep in mind that I moved out of New York when I was a child. As a result, I’m quite disappointed that I didn’t grow taking the subway as a teenager and young adult. Actually, I remember when I was like ten, I was on the bus with my mother, and I was jealous of seeing teenagers taking the bus by themselves. And this was on a BUS. A bus. I guess I’m more nostalgia for experiences I missed in New York because my parents were like, “Yeah, we want to slowly die from the humidity and THE SUN. Off to Florida we go. Clearly, my nostalgia here has been romanticized a bit, but I still miss the Subway.
Who’s not nostalgic for the morning rush and being in a subway car full of 100+ angry, cranky New Yorkers who want to secretly kill you? :p
It’s been very quiet here at Nostalgicism. There are cobwebs on the walls. The crickets are chirping. The relentless mobs of angry Asian moms have discovered Green Tea Frappuccinos and are now taking their bamboo torches to Starbucks. If you live in an area with a large Asian population and you like getting Green Tea Frappuccinos, I strongly suggest that you make your own if you want to avoid getting tofu thrown at you by angry Asian ladies.
And, yes, I chose a video uploaded by an Asian woman because I like supporting Asian ladies. Go Asian ladies. :p
Given the nature of my blog, I have posted about a wide variety of different subjects. TV. Books. Music. Movies. Technology. It varies. I don’t really talk about my personal life outside of pop culture that often, and that’s fine by me. Despite this, I do have a lot of updates that are a bit on the personal side. Brace yourself.
I have started my next project
I’ve been wanting to start a new project, but was having trouble figuring out what exactly. I finally decided to build a Lego replica of the Big Bang Theory apartment. I’m making a little bit of progress. At this point, I have not used the official Big Bang Theory apartment set, but I will eventually use it for props. I’ve just been using parts from my collection and bought various parts online and pretty much building my own version of it.
I am eventually going to start writing again, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to go about it. Like with everything, it’ll happen…eventually.
I still don’t have a Smartphone, and I have no regrets.
I’ve talked about not having a phone right from the very beginning. Hardly anyone calls me, and I literally use my phone, at most, twice a day, and that’s only to call someone for a specific reason. I wasn’t lying in my bio when I said I still think I’m in the year 2004.
They now make Dark Chocolate Twix.
Roughly 12 years ago, I discovered Dark Chocolate Twix at a college bookstore. At the time, it was limited edition, and shortly after, it disappeared.
Now, in a world where even Tropical Sour Patch Kids exist, and every brand is expanding their flavor, Dark chocolate Twix is now available widely.
Surprise, I still don’t keep up with the news.
For a while, I wanted to keep up with the news because I did not enjoy feeling like I was out of the loop on current events. Needless to say, I failed.
Now, I haven’t been trying to keep up with the news, but I do make more of an effort to read the headlines on Yahoo. And it helps that I listen to podcasts, so I can at least gets news from people who are more imformed than I am.
I’ve officially given up on Twitter
Besides a FaceBook account I barely use, I don’t use social media but I wanted to start socializing and networking and thought Twitter was a good place to start. Ultimately, I realized Twitter wasn’t really my thing and quickly gave up.
I’m still maintaining my on-again off-again relationship with television
I sometimes find it silly that one of my main goals right now is to watch more TV. I do think that being a massive TV fan that I am, I’m just not watching as much as I used to. Right now, I’m in a TV slump right now, and I’ve been watching a little TV here and there, but I haven’t been committing to anything right now.
Once again, I’m trying the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, but my own variation of it, and I have since finished one book. And, yes, I know it’s the end of June. But, hey, it’s progress, and I have since been reading on a semi-regular basis. At this pace, I might end up finishing another book in just eight months. Hooray.
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.
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