House renovations can surely take a whole lot amount of your time and your energy, right to the point that when it’s time for you to blog, a month has passed. In fact, I skipped all of September because today is October. Like, where did all the time go?
And the energy… lately I’ve been coming home from work completely exhausted. On my way home, I already knew in my head the next items on my internal must-do to-do list, but instead, once I reach home and into my bedroom, it’s straight to bed and won’t wake up till past sunset. It’s a bad habit. A really bad habit.
I do a lot of physical work at my job as I am working (part-time) in a warehouse environment. It actually does help me exercise a lot, as I walk a lot, stand a lot (no sitting down except for breaks), a lot of lifting and carrying, all that. I even planned out with my 7M Workout app on my iPad, planning to do some stretches and simple exercises, but all I end up is hop on the bed and have a very long nap. By the time I wake up, it’s already 7:30 to 8:00 pm. Really bad.
But, throughout the month, aside from unleashing my fangirl self with MADKID almost on a daily basis, I still live in my reality. More on this a bit later.
The Autumn/Fall Season is…
… my favorite season. For many times in my life, a lot of really good things happen during the fall season.1 So far, I’ve done a few things that I feel like I should be more diligent at:
- The Oakland chapter of GDI is relaunching again. I wrote about this on The NINPOJineous before when I attended the first meeting, learning more about GDI, and meeting up new people. However, it would take several months again until it reorganizes itself again with new chapter leaders and new members and it’s finally happening next week (October 3). I finally “woke up” from my “outside social” sleep when I saw the news, immediately added my name on the interests list as a TA (teaching assistant) to a number of coding courses taught by the GDI, as well as adding myself as a student in some of the courses I’m interested in.
- I’ve been looking more into the tech support field and DevOps. I’m still unfamiliar with DevOps as I just started taking the first few chapters of video courses, mainly theory. I haven’t even gotten to the nitty gritty yet. There’s also a lot of tech support and DevOps positions near my hometown but I don’t have enough skills to be qualified for them. I think it’s a good start for someone who’s still learning to code because I feel that helping someone out helps me learn new things too. I’ve done a number of support jobs before, but more towards customer service on a bakery cafe and serving fellow employees on different departments than actual tech support/DevOps, but I do hope they also count as experience, right?
- Expanding my CMS skills and enthusiasts – I still want to be a WordPress developer, but I’m also looking into different types of CMS software and static site generators too. I’m interested in Kirby, Sculpin, Hugo (again), and such. I’m also trying to expand my framework knowledge too besides Bootstrap 4 and Foundation 6. I’m interested in learning more about Bulma.
- Reading more into eating Paleo dishes, thanks to Nom Nom Paleo and their recipe books. But, organic ingredients are so pricey… and because of my post-work exhaustion, I just lose motivation in getting back into cooking too.
I’m afraid that even though I’m still trying to get used to my new room after renovations that I still don’t have all my stuff set up yet. I’m so frustrated with myself sometimes about all that because it feels rather overwhelming that you’ve got so much stuff that you bought on impulse those several years ago that you begin to question why you bought them in the first place. I still haven’t even organized my old CDs and books that I plan on selling at my local used bookstores and record shops.
And my new room is still not in the organized, minimalist-type style just yet, so all I have so far is a photo of my new desk above. My old desk occupied almost half of a wall and it’s right next to my bed. This particular new desk (inherited from my sister, who used to live here and used to own the room that I now stay) only occupies a little corner and it’s so spacious that I feel like I can breathe easy while I work behind the screen. 😪 The desk from the photo looks cluttered, but in a way, it is cluttered and all the things there are temporarily placed there on purpose until I get the rest of the room organized. Otherwise, it’s cozy and a lot roomier for me to work on a lot of things, not just with coding and such, but also for art and handmade crafts too.
Lastly, this is my new desk inherited from my sister, who used to live here (and used to stay in this room growing up). My old desk occupied one half of a wall and right next to my bed. My new desk now only takes one little corner.
Never afraid to flaunt
Flaunting and showing off your accomplishments and goals is one thing. Flaunting and showing off what you’ve got to make people seem less than you is another.
I have to admit that I’m quite an insecure person when it comes to these things. I’ve done a lot of things that I felt are good accomplishments for me. However, there is also a part of me where I’m afraid of showing these off because I feel that they’d be looked down upon by others. For example, I’m pretty good at making WordPress child themes using frameworks, and all my side projects are all about my interests and my current fandoms. However, after attending my first Code & Coffee meeting w/ GDI Oakland, one of the best ways to showcase your skills is to tie in somehow with the ones you love and enjoy, like your hobbies and your fandoms, and make it work.
Being in a meetup group of like-minded people really does make me feel free to be who I am. Sure, it’s no J-Pop meetup group, but I’ve met such incredible women in the STEM field with similar interests as I do. A few of them even began teaching themselves how to code by incorporating the things they love with code. I’ve been doing this method for many years now, but I feel that when time passes, I feel left behind, most especially that tech, in general, gets upgraded rapidly. All of a sudden, the next new thing comes and then you’ll have to learn this new piece of technology2 in order for you to be more marketable.
Most of my current websites now are blog-based. Even my MADKID fandom-based sites are blogs. But blogs are always good. After all, it’s the cream of the crop of most sites for information and different reads, right?
I’ve pretty much cleared up my completely inactive sites and I only have these left:
- This blog.
- The Symmetry subdomain blog for my health & beauty3
- My fiction writing blog.4
- AXCEL STYLE.5
- The NINPOJineous6
- Let’s Volt IN!7
I started learning and practicing with CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Materialize, and Bulma by building sample Tumblr themes. I haven’t really gotten much around it but I’ll be sure to make a separate repo for these sample Tumblr themes alone.
Do something good for someone you’ve recently met
I shouldn’t be writing about MADKID in this blog anymore since I opened AXCEL STYLE, but here I am again. In a way, it’s sort of related.
Has anyone here done something good, or special, for someone you’ve recently met? It can be anybody: a new friend, a new colleague, a new online friend, etc., for any reason or for no reason at all? I’m pretty sure all of us have. If you did, how did you feel right after? Fulfilled? Doubtful?
In my case, I did something good for a J-Pop idol, a member of the group I’m currently fanning (stanning?) on, MADKID. This is him below. His name is Shin, vocalist and dancer.
Though it’s not super recent, I met him online about the second or third week since I became a MADKID fan back in April. He and two other members (Kazuki and Yuki) would do livestreams on livestreaming apps like 17 and the Japan-only beta app, Pococha.8 Even though it’s just one idol and a gazillion of commenters commenting while he reads and answers them, he doesn’t get as many foreign fans as he used to. I mean, he switched to a Japan-only app called Pococha, and even though I’ve put up English instructions on how to install it, not everyone seems to be willing to install another app, especially if it’s not in English and iPhone/iPad users would have a lot of difficulties getting it set up.
Anyway, so why this guy specifically and not the other members? It’s pretty much a given that he’s my favorite member,9 not because he’s one of the two most popular members of the group or that he’s sugary-sweet cute or that he’s packed of talent in both vocals and dance, but because I felt a connection based on our interests and our beliefs towards life in general. Back in April, I used to refer Shin as the “bubble/boba tea guy” because he was the one who began liking all my Instagram pics of boba teas that got me to discover him and his group in the first place back in spring. As I learned a bit more about the group at that month, I met a long-time MADKID fan online10 who stated that some of the members do regular livestreams and Shin just happened to be one of them. I also learned from her that Shin and Yuki are the two most popular members among the fans, and around that time I thought I’d be better off looking into the not-so-popular members just to avoid fangirl fights LOL.11 I really did try to avoid Shin and Yuki, but visiting their livestreams changed all that.
At least with Shin, lots of fangirls like him because he’s a very approachable, humble, and naturally friendly and down-to-earth person. Person. When you’re in his stream, he made sure that not everyone is ignored, which is why he takes time reading everyone’s comments in the comment box. This means that every person who joins his streams will have to learn how to be patient until he starts reading your comment and eventually answers you. Because I’m one of the very few foreign fans who come to his livestreams, it’s easy for him to remember my name, where I’m from, and pretty much who I am.
Fast forward till today and our “idol and fan” relationship became more of “online language exchange partners” relationship. He spoke more English to me than me writing to him in Japanese. Even if I commented in Japanese he would never respond to me in Japanese. He has the desire to be better and fluent in English that he decided to take this opportunity to use that time to do some language exchange. I’ve done language exchanges with other non-native English speakers before (mostly Japanese, back in college), but at the most bizarre moments of my life that I would do language exchange with a budding celebrity, you know? I even end up asking the most random fangirls that most fangirls, in general, would probably never ask, such as “What’s your favorite milk tea topping?” ((he has to have boba in them… can’t be a bubble tea without the bubble…)) or “Do you like reading comedy novels? I highly recommend reading the Japanese version of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’,” ((he was actually considering checking Crazy Rich Asians novel out, as he doesn’t normally watch the movie version until he reads the original novel first. I’m like him too with that.)) or “Shin, I like your latest IG photo, you’re hella swag boss there!”12
Tomorrow (Tuesday – 10/2…) is Shin’s birthday. Even though he’s got that adorable cute baby face, he’s actually turning 25-years-old. I decided to send him a small birthday gift that pretty much represents himself. I noticed he wears a lot of jewelry (Asian idols, K-Pop idols include, wear a lot of jewelry anyway) and thought of getting him a bracelet. At the same time, he also likes motivational quotes. In the Summer Time music video I posted here months ago, the digital tattoo marked on Shin’s left side of the chest has the words The future starts today, not tomorrow on it. He actually thought of those words (in English) by himself.
I asked an old friend who has a side custom jewelry business and see if she can engrave a bracelet with those words in them. She suggested to me that a keychain would be a lot more meaningful. If it’s a bracelet and he wears a lot of jewelry, he can just change the bracelets and eventually will forget about it later, but if it’s a keychain, that keychain will be carried around anytime and anywhere. So, I took her advice and went for the keychain.
About a week later, she shipped me the stamp-engraved rectangular prism silver sterling keychain with the words I requested:
I’ve heard from some other fans that there are quite a number of Japanese fans who would seriously go all-out with the gifts, but because the gift is coming from a foreign country and shipping/handling fees can cost more than the item you’re shipping, I decided to go small with the keychain.13 After I shipped the keychain along with a one-page letter,14 he came online two days later and I told him that he’ll be receiving a package coming from America sometime.15
Fast forward to a week later16 and Shin was able to receive the package. He even showed it to me (and showed it off to all the fans/viewers present) with the happiest, most heartwarming expressions I’ve ever seen from him. I had to record that segment from his archived livestreams and post it up on my AXCEL STYLE YouTube channel. I’ll add English subtitles to this video when I have the time.
I had the biggest grin in my face when he showed me the keychain and his reactions to it. I even felt the warmth through my heart so much after he referred the keychain as his treasure. Now, for some MADKID fangirls who’s never had a chance to visit their livestreams, they would have some mixed reactions (jealousy, questioning if the said idol is playing favorites among the fans, etc.). But to me, this isn’t a birthday gift from a fan to her favorite idol. This is me giving a birthday present from a language exchange partner friend to another. 😊17
So, a few good things I felt that I’ve done for him so far:
- English language mentor/partner rather than being a fan who lives outside of Japan.
- Opening and maintaining AXCEL STYLE, strictly a fan site/blog about MADKID and its members.
- Aiding new non-Japanese fans to settle down in his livestreams and even translating a little bit for them if Shin didn’t understand a particular word or phrase in English.
The keychain is a birthday gift coming from me. It won’t be part of those “few good things” I listed above. I thought about writing this fan account on AXCEL STYLE but I realized that I’ve been writing mostly about news, updates, and the latest happenings and nothing about fan stories of myself, Shin, and the rest.
So, have you done something good or special to someone you’ve recently met? If you do, please share!
That’s it for the latest about me. I’ll seriously write more diligently next time. 🏎💨👋👋👋
On the sidenote...
- my birthday also lands in the fall season. [↩]
- I’ll eventually re-launch it and make it active again. [↩]
- I’ll eventually start writing fics/fanfics again, but because I’m a fangirl of a J-Pop boy group in which I know three members personally (online), it just feels weird to write fanfics of idols you know IRL-ish 😅 [↩]
- My MADKID fansite/blog. I’m also hosting a MADKID blog translations site, but it’s run by my dear friend Karu-chan. [↩]
- I haven’t changed a thing except for the front page layout a bit. I’m gonna overhaul this as strictly a web dev (tutorials?) blog. [↩]
- supposedly my hobby sites collective, but I’m seriously out of touch with anime/manga/video games anymore that I think I’ll close this down… [↩]
- I have an Android phone, and all I needed was the .apk file to install it and my Japanese reading is decent enough for me to navigate easily. Easy peasy. For iPhone/iPad users, you’d have to create an Apple ID that’s Japan-based, and even registration and such is even more difficult. [↩]
- what’s that term that a lot of fangirls nowadays are using lately? Oh yeah, “bias.” [↩]
- who also happens to be local – I get to meet her for the first time next Monday. [↩]
- you know how a lot of young fangirls nowadays making a big deal of their favorite idols even though they never met them in real life…. [↩]
- he would pose all swagger-like whenever he reads the word ‘swag’ in the comments… [↩]
- “MADKID – FEBRUARY 2017” is the month and year Shin joined the group. [↩]
- more like lettering art with another motivational quote [↩]
- I sent the package to MADKID’s agency office, where all the fan mail and gifts are being sent. [↩]
- last Wednesday, 9/26 [↩]
- No worries, Shin knows about AXCEL STYLE and he also knows that plenty of fangirls before me have been posting screenshots and video clips of his streams and showing them off on social media, so he actually expected I would do the same— to get the group’s name out there, of course. [↩]