Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Instruments :: The Right Note


 

Since I was a lass, I've wanted to try my hands at both the piano and violin. I'm sure back then the most I thought of it was, "Ooo, pretty sounds." Frankly, I still think that, but I've at least added to that thought in terms of, they would be a great and fun challenge. As well, the hubby told me that when he was younger his dad would sometimes, in the mornings, play the violin. As long as it wasn't too early, I think that would be a right splendid way to start the day. I'd like to be able to do that for ze hubby, lull him to sleep at night and wake him in the morning with jolly good tunes.
 




I do happen to have a violin, which I tried to teach myself to play several years ago. Hmm, it did not go well and since then I've waited for an opportunity and time to have a proper teacher. I've no particular interest to become some world famous violinist or pianist, I simply want to learn them for fun and to have another means of entertaining my hubby and anyone who happens to visit…Or perhaps become a musical duo with my hubby, who is learning the saxaphone. If you're reading this sweetie, yes I will learn the Star Wars theme song for you.





Does anyone play or want to play an instrument?
Playing an instrument is a great way to exercise your brain power, mhm. That's a great deed to yourself, so check that off the list (whichever list that might be).

(Pics by weheartit.com)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Early Present :: Kimi Wa Petto, J-Drama Recommendation


I am introducing a new bi-weekly 'series' just a couple days early because I'm like a little kid and would prefer to open the present now. Every other week, on Tuesdays, I'd like to share with you my recommendation of both Asian dramas and movies. By 'Asian' I mean Japanese, Korean, some Taiwanese and Thai.
To start matters, let me show just a glimpse into a recent favorite Japanese drama, Kimi wa Petto (きみはペット).




Friday, February 24, 2012

Feel Good Story


My sister, Amanda, showed me a very inspirational video today, which covers a topic very similar (perhaps if not the same) to what I discussed in my previous post Big City :: The Small Things. The video does a fantastic job both with words and visually communicating the importance of appreciating everything big and small that happens each day in our life. About halfway through the video, an Italian gentlemen narrates in such a soothing manner you will feel by the end, "Oh ho, well I feel at ease. Mhm, this is nice."
In such a fast pace world, it's surprising how often we need to be reminded to slow down and not allow our days to blend together. Pull out your schedule, wherever that may be located, and add this video to your "To Do" at least once a week. Let's all take the time to feel like a nice ray of sunshine, shall we?


 

…..
(after you have watched the video) 
Now who feels better?


You may also enjoy :: Sad Blob to Happy Blob | The Happy Cards

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Amachan Dreams in Japan, Pt. III


One aspect of Amachan's trip I've been particularly keen on to share is the topic of cleanliness. Yes, you read that correctly, cleanliness. It's rather fascinating, just wait. It's as if I'm wanting to see some fantastic amusement park, but I am so curious to see for myself that Japan has very little litter. What? They actually care about picking up after themselves? Ahh, how refreshing.


 
 Do you know of any cities this clean? This is Tokyo.


Perhaps it's common knowledge that Japanese folk are particularly keen on avoiding germs whenever possible. A simple example is the masks they wear when they're feeling under the weather and needing to venture out into town. I think it's rather thoughtful actually, don't you?
But let's focus instead on the household. Perhaps a smart idea is the fact that they keep their shower and bathtub completely separate from the toilet. Take a look. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekly Favorites :: Thai Tea & Quartets



Normally with meals, water is my favored beverage, but I've become particularly fond of drinking Thai ice tea, but only with Thai food of course. Honestly, the first three times or so that I tried it (quite a while back) I could care less for it. I'm not sure, perhaps some magical small birds brushed my cheek and suddenly made me like Thai tea...Or it just grew on me.
It is a rather milky sweet tea. I've noticed that it curves my craving for any other sweet/dessert after dinner, so bonus jonas? I've yet to drink it with anything except Thai food, so I can't say whether it compliments other dishes.
Has anyone tried Thai ice tea before?

*******



A few days ago my ears had the pleasure of being introduced to a 50s vocal band quartet called The Four Freshmen. Thank you pandora. For many a year I've had a soft spot for barbershop-esq groups. They're fun and relaxing to listen to and it always makes me feel like getting dolled up in vintage clothes. I like to think that I'm a little bit of an old soul.

Hope everyone is having a splendid weekend!


You may also enjoy :: Was Your Rice, Or Else | 1940s Inspired Hairstyle | Your Music Interest, Then & Now

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekend With Amachan


This is long overdue, but still I would like to share with you some photos from when Amanda visited the hubby and I, oh, a week before our trip to San Francisco. She is always great fun to have around. A bonus jonas is the fact that she and my hubby get along so well; Amanda is like a sister to my hubby, really. In fact they like to gang up on me when teasing me or always talking over me. How rude (anyone know that reference?). Ha, no I don't mind it....Maybe.




We laughed a lot this day. Amanda was especially giggle filled because of the colorful drink. I had disappointing coffee, but we also had gelato, so I was satisfied.


One of my favorite pictures from that day. We're doing "the sniff," an affectionate gesture Thai folk do to significant others and family.


These are Amanda's adorable shoes, which happen to be the only clothing piece she purchased while in Japan. Cute, but she can only wear them for a couple hours at a time; not the most comfortable shoes.


Amanda has such a contagious smile, don't you think?


Amanda stayed with us for two days and the second night Thanik grilled some of the most scrumptious pork I've ever eaten. Truly. With it we ate sticky rice and complimentary spicy Thai sauce. Afterwords it was like a little kid sleepover with s'mores. We watched a couple episodes of The Big Bang Theory, one of the hubby's and my favorite shows. Amanda made herself perfectly comfortable in our bed, which she's always been a bit jealous of. Good times.

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day, Party of Three


 (Source)

I hope everyone is having a lovely Valentine's Day. 
The hubby and I were not able do to anything together, what with dad visiting, but the three of us had a nice lunch and a stroll through a plaza in the city. Thanik and I have never done anything "grand" for this holiday considering we're always mushy-gushy and awesomely sappy love birds everyday. Seriously. But after reading this post by Strawberry Koi, it made me think what would I like to wear if just the two of us went out for dinner. I went to a favored browsing site, ModCloth, and found this lovely combination:





















Do you prefer simple or slightly "grand" celebrations?
Or 
What would your dream date be?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Amachan Dreams in Japan, Pt. II


Horray, I can finally continue with this series! Pardon the wait. So, getting straight into it I'd like to focus on the fashion of Japan, although unfortunately I do not have many pictures specifically from Amachan to coincide with this. I'll make it work, don't worry.

There seems to be a stereotype that a majority of Japanese people wear, in short, bold clothing. Perhaps you often imagine something like this: 






The above is true, but really only in terms of the younger crowd, as Amachan observed. As well, you'll generally only find this sense of style in Harajuku and Shibuya, Shibuya in particular being a favored hang out district for the young'ens. Although, Amachan said that she really didn't see a great deal of peculiar fashion during her trip. The most "out there" style she saw was something like this: 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Entertainment :: Technology or Old School


I ask you ladies and gents, what has happened to kids today? When I was a young lass, I would play outside, make up games, get together with the neighborhood kids and play till my parents called me in. Now it seems technology has replaced "old time" entertainment. Maybe I'm just exaggerating it in my pretty little head. Still, I've seen little tykes not even in the double digits of age, playing hand held video games and messing around on their parents (I hope) phones. Without risking this seeming like a potential rant of some degree, let me direct this to another simple question--or maybe two. 

What did you do for fun as a kid? 
And secondly, what do you do for fun/entertainment now? 


A simple, but fun game that the hubby introduced me to. I believe I've only lost once--not bragging of course.


I used to be such a book worm when I was younger. As mentioned in my resolutions, I'm doing my best to get back into the habit of reading more often. Ahhh, learning.


Over the years I've off and on attempted to keep a journal. Just recently I'm making another attempt, surely hoping I will successfully keep up with it. For me at least, I think it's important to document the events, big and small, things that go on in my life. Plus, I think it may be a laugh to read what I wrote now, in the future. To think, "Oh how silly I was back then."



A little over a year ago I taught myself to knit. Not just grandma's can do this thing ya know, just so we're clear. It's very relaxing and fun, well, of course once you get the hang of it.


As an example of using my imagination, when I was lass I wanted to be a centaur; my mermaid faze came a bit later. Perhaps being influenced by this picture, but I think being blue too would be an awesome bonus.


Ahh, I miss playing hide and seek. In my childhood neighborhood, many of us kids loved to play this game at night, often using the length of an entire street to play (if that makes sense). Good times.

I'm sure I could go on for ages with this list...Thanks for reading! Don't forget to share your stories, I'd love to know. 


(Pics by weheartit.com)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Big City :: The Small Things


One thing I've realized being in a big city is the strong notion that people don't take enough time to stop and smell a rose--or perhaps a different type of flower if you prefer. I understand the fast pace environment, but perhaps your days won't blend into each other so much if you do walk a little slower or look out your car (bus, train, whichever) window and observe the good and beautiful things around you. Try not to let what your obnoxious boss said eat at you, but let it go and know you are too cool for school. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life...


Turn the corner and you will find a small dose of nature waiting for you.


Tea (or coffee) made especially for you and a book you can escape to.


Blowing bubbles is fun no matter your age.


Daydream.


Finger paint on paper or--on yourself.


Play.



The 'simple' moments are often the best.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weekly Favorites :: Arrietty, Simplicity, & คุณพ่อ


I skipped last weeks favorites because I smartly decided 'weekly favorites' once a week is a wee bit too much, considering I post maybe four or so times a week. Reasonable? Super. Now on with the show!




The Secret World of Arrietty has quickly become one of my favorite movies. It is one of the newest films by Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation and film studio. Including Arrietty (watch it here), this is the sixth Studio Ghibli film that I have seen. The film is very sweet and relaxing to watch or just have playing in the background. Arrietty, a borrower, lives with her mother and father anonymously in the residence of Sho's, the young boy, grandmother's house. Things take a turn for Arrietty and her family when she is discovered by Sho.  





*************

I think it is safe to say that I pride myself in the fact that I am easily entertained. As you now know I am visiting San Francisco. We--myself, ze hubby and his dad--are not wanting to spend much money, therefore we haven't gone to see typical attractions such as tours, some museums, parks, etc. I've been perfectly peachy with walking around and seeing the sights. Perhaps another way of explaining it is--I can be like a cat, happy to play with just a ball of string. Thanik, ze hubby, is rather glad and amused at how easily entertained I can be. Is anyone else like this?




*************

I've gotten a good idea of what Thanik will be like when he is older; very much like his dad. Well, he already is really: silly, loves animals, excited to have kids, a critic of food, likes the outdoors and loves coffee. Those are just some of the similarities anyway. I've been able to talk to คุณพ่อ (dad) fairly well, but of course if I could speak Thai fluently then it would be much easier...Or even German because คุณพ่อ is just that cool. He lived in Germany for 10 years as I may have mentioned a while back.

All three of us miss good Thai food [on this trip].


Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!


(Pics by weheartit.com)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Dash of Yoshida & a Sprinkle of Sa Ding Ding




I tend to have a soft spot for traditional (of many countries) music with a "modern" twist. Of the relatively few Japanese (suggestions, please and thank you) artists that I listen to the Yoshida Brothers is a favored option. I'm no professional judge of how well they play the traditional instrument shamisen, but I'd say they are pure awesome. They're very good in switching up the style in which they play, or in other words it doesn't sound like they're playing the same song every time. I think their style of music allows a nice transition between modern and traditional---if that makes sense. Or at least give their audience the opportunity to appreciate traditional instruments. Perhaps surprisingly not all of their songs are without vocals, again showing their range in music style.

I've only been to two concerts thus far in my life, so I think I'm overdue to attend and show my support to music in general. So, Mr. Yoshida Brothers, you can (hopefully) expect this redhead to rock out to your music in the future....at a concert, just so we're clear. 




Another artist I think everyone and their mother should know about is the talented and beautiful Sa Ding Ding. 




Sa Ding Ding is a traditional Chinese folk singer and songwriter whom I believe is unfortunately not well known. Well phewy to that, she is awesome. Her music is very enchanting and you'll be quite jealous of what she can do with her voice. My sister told me that much of her music is influenced by her, hmm, shall I say religious ways? Or perhaps spiritual ways. For me at least, her music is uplifting. I wish more of her videos were available because her choice of costuming, so to speak, is rather fascinatingly beautiful. She tends to choose pieces that are very representative of her culture. Right on.

Chinese music is another area that I know very little about and perhaps know only a small handful of artists. Any suggestions?






It's sharing time: who are some of your favorite traditional (or modern-ish) musicians? Who puts the spring in your musical step.