Cool Down for Fall

Hello all!

Yesterday was the autumnal equinox, the first official day of my favorite season. I used to love winter the most, but after a day in such cold that I literally forgot what it felt like to not be cold… I realized I like the warm cozy feeling that comes with the holiday season and looking at snow moreso than winter itself. I’m a fan of hygge moreso than the uglier sides of winter, if you will.

dsc01736
You can only buy one or a dozen doughnuts, there is no in-between. I didn’t get any of my usual favorites so that I could get a box full o’ fall flavors.

With the cooler months here (in the Northern Hemisphere), I’ve been reflecting on how busy I’ve been keeping. You may have seen some think pieces about why we are always telling each other and ourselves that we’re just soooo busy and bragging about how busy we are keeping ourselves. I’m definitely very guilty of this, and I used to really love keeping myself busy because I am very extroverted, so many of my evenings are spent doing things with friends or meeting new people.

However…

Lately, I’ve been finding that I am home for the evening maybe once a week, if that. If I’m not at a movie screening or event or meeting up with friends, I am working late and still getting home after dark anyway. While I’m glad that my reinvestment of my time into my friends is helping me feel more socially fulfilled as well as to be a better friend, it is really starting to take a toll on me to only drag myself through my front door after 8PM every day of the week. I told Ben that I wanted us to cook dinner at home more, but I’m only home at dinnertime once a week? And I’ve been meaning to do a big cleanup of our place, but don’t spend enough time at home to do it. On top of that, I have been wanting to make some moves career-wise and build my skills more actively, but I am wiped out by the time I get home to the point where I don’t even take my computer out of my bag most nights I’m home. (Except when I have to write a blog post, of course!)

So I’m going to be consciously trying to dial it back a bit. Commit to my nights at home as much as I commit to my nights out. Schedule my time to be at home and cook and clean and run errands and just enjoy being at home. Relax. I’ve never been good at relaxing, but I hear practice makes perfect.

I’m really excited about the fall this year! I have a lot of great costume opportunities and some great costumes lined up. (You all know I’m a sucker for dressing up.) And October-November-December brings out the greatest festive season of the year. Before I know it, I’ll be writing up my 2017 resolutions post! (!!!!)

This is one of the best times of the year, and I am really looking forward to it. But I am also going to make sure to let myself pause and relax and soak it all in, as well.

What are you looking forward to this fall? (Or spring, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!)

sf-part-3

Our Big Night Out | SF 2016

Last time on SF 2016, we did a walking tour through Chinatown, Nob Hill, and Fisherman’s Wharf. After a lot of steps logged on people’s fitness trackers, it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner…

Also, you may have noticed that I have gone back to my Tuesday/Friday posting schedule. I chose it for a good reason, and the Monday/Thursday was really throwing me off…


After soaking up a little bit of sunshine post-arcade games, we took cars back to our hotel to rest our feet and get ready for dinner. Our reservation wasn’t for a few hours, and we didn’t trust ourselves to actually nap, so our hotel room started watching Netflix’s Stranger Things.

https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/6630545/strangerthingsgif.0.gif

We got thoroughly heebie-jeebie-ed watching the first episode and only then learning that one of the lamps in our room flickered. A lot. (On the show, the lights flickered when the monster was nearby.) Having the thick curtains drawn and all of the other lights out certainly didn’t help! (Cue me hiding in the blankets.)

Then it was time for dinner! After a group vote, we wound up at Harris, a traditional steakhouse. It was easy to forget that while we were just getting together with friends, this is a formal restaurant, as we were reminded when a waiter asked one of our party to remove his hat. (Yes they did!) Ben and I split the big ol’ porterhouse with foie gras. (Harris will allow you to split a steak and give each person their own plate for sides for an additional charge.) To be honest, I was disappointed with the steak. At this price point, I am expecting a lot more, and I felt a little bit sick after eating. I didn’t want to finish my portion, even though I came into the meal super hungry. (I didn’t even have the opportunity to regret filling up on bread because we were all given one piece per person.)

dsc01584Still wanting to eat and treat myself for our Big Night Out, I knew I had room in my belly for dessert and went for the baked Alaska. Again, it was fine but just not what I was expecting. Baked Alaska  has never been my favorite, and we failed to clean the plate for this one.dsc01585

Afterwards, it was back to the hotel to get ready for part 2 of our Big Night Out: dancing at the club. We pregamed a bit in the hotel room, getting hyped on music videos and touching speeches about friendship. The guys specifically sought out an Asian nightclub for the sake of the bachelors in our group and landed on Origin.

dsc01589
OH I get it, because Neo goes to that Asian club in the beginning of The Matrix, right?

Unfortunately, I suspect that Origin was too well-known as a hot Asian club, and people didn’t want to go to an established Asian club so when we arrived at 11:30, it was… well… suspiciously empty…

dsc01586
When we walked in, the people sitting in front of us and the folks standing by the bar weren’t even there…

Luckily, we sprang for table service so we were able to drink and dance and SIT. We were really glad that we didn’t pay the extra $$$ for a table on the dancefloor, because those tables were just a few feet in front of ours and we liked that ours were out of the way enough that we could leave our jackets there without worrying about random people walking by to take them.

Ultimately, some folks drank too much and the rest of us spent end of the evening taking care of them. I was able to climb into bed at the ghastly hour of 3:30AM. (Remember, that’s 6:30 Eastern time…) This was just dandy, as I had a 5AM alarm to look forward to hearing… But it was a fun night out and I was excited for a fun Sunday ahead of me because it was time to be reunited with Christine!!!


Where would you go for dinner and dancing for a Big Night Out? In our ride the day after, our driver told us his recommendations for fancy dinners and nightclubs, even including the new hotness in the Asian clubbing scene. We’ll keep them in mind, but maybe they’ll be out of style by the time we return!

Have you watched Stranger Things? Ben and I finished a few days after returning and I had goosebumps all over my body every episode.

Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

First of all, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! There is a penumbral lunar eclipse coinciding with tonight’s full harvest moon, so enjoy that kismet with your mooncakes and your loved ones tonight! (Did I rush to the grocery store last night to buy mooncakes to eat alone tonight? Yes.)

Second of all, I saw an early screening of the latest Bridget Jones movie and I’m only a little embarrassed. My mom really loves Bridget Jones, as a huge fan of romantic comedies and especially of the 傻大姐 (“silly sister”) trope. You know the type? The woman who is charmingly ridiculous, who snorts when she laughs and likes to shove a lot of food in her mouth at inopportune moments, who dances like a madwoman as if no one is watching and maybe loses her pants while doing it? That is my mom’s favorite thing to see in a romantic comedy. (It’s why one of her favorite rom-com actresses is Sandra Bullock.) Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones is the epitome of this trope, so for my mom who is far away on this Mooncake Day, I went to see the third installment in our Elizabeth Bennet-inspired heroine’s antics.

https://i2.wp.com/diymag.com/media/img/Film/B/Bridget-Jones-Baby/_1500xAUTO_crop_center-center_75/Bridget_Jones_Trio_1Sht_Teaser_UK.jpg

tl;dr If you’re a fan of romantic comedies – and especially of one or both of the previous Bridget Jones movies – you’re going to love laughing through Bridget Jones’s Baby.Read More »

sf-part-2

Hills & Games | SF 2016

Last time on SF 2016, we arrived in San Francisco and discovered that San Francisco Comic Con was taking place at our hotel! And then we ate and caught up and tried to adjust to the different time zone so we could have more adventuring…


Despite heading back to our hotel room at about 1:30AM PST, all four of us were rudely awakened by the sound of bells clanging at 7:30. While we were able to get a little more sleep after that rude awakening, our bellies had us wanting food soon enough. (Remember: our stomachs were still running on East Coast time.) There weren’t any set plans for breakfast/brunch, and in fact the group was originally just going to mosey around and find whatever, but our room convinced the group to get dim sum.

We called around, trying to minimize our wait on a Saturday morning for dim sum, and were told there was zero wait at Canton Dim Sum & Seafood. It was close enough to the hotel, so we walked over and found not only no line but hardly any people? High alert. While we had a nice time here, it was mostly the company that made the meal good and I would not recommend visiting… Lesson learned, don’t get dim sum in Soma.

After eating, we started to walk. And walk and walk and walk and walk and walk. We walked up the infamous San Francisco hills as we passed through Chinatown and grabbed some bubble tea on the way.

DSC01537.jpg
Look at that steep incline… as you’ll soon see, it only got steeper

dsc01541

dsc01542
Really fat boba cup!

Onward and upward until we reached Nob Hill, where we had this really stellar view of Alcatraz and of how much higher we were than where we started.

dsc01551
Yes, my legs were burning and yes, I was huffing and puffing a bit at this point

dsc01550

Read More »

sf-part-1

Cali & Cosplay | SF 2016

Surprise! I went to San Francisco over Labor Day weekend so that Ben could see his college friends and so that I could see Christine! Shout-out to my fave who stayed behind in the city when she heard that I was going to be in town, even with many attractive offers to travel out-of-state tempting her!

We flew out Friday evening after work and arrived about half an hour earlier than we had planned. (Thank you, tailwind!) Checking into the hotel, I had the most magical realization:

img_2045-01
SPOTTED: Eric & Ariel (in the same corset I wear for Ariel!) while rolling up to the hotel

San Francisco Comic Con was happening at our hotel! We have never seen a hotel lobby as crowded as this one was, but most of all, I have never been in the throes of a convention like this before and I was pumped beyond belief. While Ben’s friends were staring in awe at these nerds whose costumes they didn’t recognize, I had a singular thought in my mind the entire weekend:

These are my people.
I need to be among them.

It was a nice treat to see so many cosplayers and nerds celebrating the things they love every time I walked in and out of the hotel.

img_2046-01
How great are these hand-made costumes?

Long story short, I resolved to get my nerdy self to a convention next year! We’ll see how that resolution goes!

We had a quick catch-up meal at Delarosa behind the hotel, and had to go all the way around rather than through the back of the hotel because an intimidating security man said so. (My guess: Talent coming in/out of those doors? I saw a poster that indicated Jenna Coleman was there!)

Most things closed by 11PM, so we headed up to one of the hotel rooms and just caught up and chatted for a while. It was nice to have the group all together again and free to just chill. The last time I saw most of these folks was at a wedding, and naturally, the then-newlyweds weren’t as free to hang out with us. This time, all of us were there for Labor Day weekend, to relax and spend time with friends.


Pacific Standard Time really started taking a toll on us this evening, as we stayed up until 1:30AM talking… but that was really 4:30AM Eastern Time! The time difference was always a blessing in the morning and such a curse in the evening.

What are your favorite things to do in San Francisco?
Have you been to a convention before?
I’ve gone to conferences, but not conventions, and I am just dying to go. Would you dress up if you went?