me, just playing around

[sticky post] that free spirited girl

Personal Style Blog transfer note:
Officially moved to Musings of a Free Spirited Girl

Meanwhile hi, again!

Because I think I have decent stuff to post here from now on...

I'm officially dubbing this place as my creative writing space (mostly for fanfiction, probably some poetry in the local language---if I do manage to come up with one, and some fiction, all being short, easy reads :D) Well, guys, enjoy reading and maybe, just maybe I'll be taking requests sometimes? Just watch out for those upcoming posts. Meanwhile...the new stuff here shall mostly be friends only because LJ is annoying and I am receiving a ton of spam comments---middle finger to LJ except the fanfics---unless I get annoyed by the spam comments again, then I am surely locking this thing to friends only ASAP.

Comment on this post to be added to the friends' list, thank you! I don't do random adding anymore.


....count the number of times I wrote 'from now on'...redundancy rules. Apparently, that's what I'm good at. I know, boring right?

*****Note: I'm officially on hiatus until March and, likely April 2015 thanks to MA Literary Studies thesis I am trying to finish among a few other things. I just really want or at least, I am aiming to graduate this school year, 2014-2015. I'll probably be just as busy once I've dealt with actually finishing school. Until then, feel free to reach me on my e-mail written below. Or you can, you know, just message me here or on my tumblr or on the direct messages on twitter. Or if you guys have Line, feel free to add me. :) I'll try to answer as much as I can. I am already just a sporadic tweeter and instagram-er nowadays anyway. I'm trying to free up some of my time to do other things but I'll just pop out on social media sporadically these days. Maybe tumblr around just once in a while here and there. It's time for me to pick up where I left off with regular life and live like a normal, slightly extrovert-ish but not really being. I still feel like I am just existing but we'll see about that in the near future.*****

As for the change of layouts, I just really felt like it was needed. It's been long overdue and although I really like the minimalist white one since the time I purchased it, it doesn't allow me to see my icons as I just had a change of them recently. :| I missed seeing my icons on the far side of the posts especially now that a lot of it is Kubo Eiki's from a jgroup I've been recently so obsessed with, Vimclip. Haha.

Contact: kristagraces@gmail.com

kg*
lelove

the endless task of tidying up

Completely decluttering takes ages. To me, it's actually a lifelong process. It's just not easy to simplify in under time limit of, say, roughly half a year. But the effort of declutting little by little pays off tremendously. I've seen it do wonders for myself as I try to live as simply as I can. Which is probably why I find Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up an interesting text to read. I came across it first on an article on Yahoo. I'm considering getting it when I have enough of my own hard-earned funds already. What I really like about the book is that it heavily applies East Asian culture, tradition, beliefs and practices to the act of tidying up, particularly that of the Japanese'. I've always found the Japanese lifestle fascinating, most especially the simplest ones.

Decluttering here does not only mean cleaning up your room or living space periodically. It also means doing away with the unnecessary distractions in life. Maybe cutting off ties with toxic, so-called friends; perhaps, also, attempting to live a simpler life with minimal weekends partying out; also, cutting out the drama we have aplenty, and more. And this, well, this will always be difficult and 6 months is not enough to complete something like this unless you're a demon or superhuman and are determined to do so with said time limit.

Lately, my philosophy to decluttering has become 'keep the functional/necessary then throw away the non-functional/unnecessary'. Sounds difficult, right? It is, especially when you have a lot of things you've accumulated since childhood from close friends, immediate family, relatives and more. These things are so precious to you it's just difficult to part ways with them. When it comes to things like these, by principle, I don't give them away to others. If I did, I usually give them away to people I know who will take better care of them for me.

Also, lately, I haven't really been fond of a lot of things I were given except when they are those most useful to me. If it's make-up or clothes, I make sure to use them then if I grow out of them - and I usually do so, quickly - that's the time I give them away. I've been so picky lately that I end up giving away to the closest girls in my life the things that do not fit my current tastes. What I tend to keep, though, are the smallest of mementos I get. Hand-penned letters and notes, birthday cards, some figurines, etc. I keep them in a small shoebox, up the top shelf of my closet. It serves as some sort of time capsule for me.

This thought is also difficult to follow through if you're into a lot of things like me. Books, records or everything music, film and television, fashion among others. Everything related to this will eventually clutter your space and then distract you even more. But I learned a hack and it's that I have a ton of things I usually grow quickly off of. My books - mostly novels or pocketbooks - I've had since I was in grade school to high school to college, I've kept in a huge megabox along with a few other things. Clothes I've grown out of are in another megabox of the same size and color (white). All I've left in my bookshelf back home are books I have yet to read. These are often the timeless classics. Then, of course, the ever indispensable fashion magazines I can never get enough of. There are just some things that one can never have enough of and these, perhaps, are those that bring us joy.

Everything has a place. Decluttering is easiest when done in conjunction with organizing. That's exactly what cabinets, some shoeboxes and more are for. I have one cabinet full of stationeries, about two shoeboxes of shopping bags I can later reuse, a shoebox or two of mementos, another shoebox for everything I use for sewing. All the shoeboxes are on the top-most part of my little closet. There's no need to label, really. I don't. I just designate boxes for things I've put in the same category. It makes looking for things a lot easier. 

Maximize, minimize, repurpose and everything can be multi-purpose - if you just use your vast imagination. Don't throw away those boxes that come with every little thing that you buy! You can still use them for a ton of things. My space in the pad I live in during school days does not have a shoe rack. I just use my (16" desk) fan's box topped with three empty shoeboxes as one. I only have very little pairs shoes here to begin with. The two filled-up megaboxes I have at home are stacked on top of each other and positioned at the side of my bed. They act as a bedside table because I don't really have one yet.

This thought also appies to a lot of the things that I buy nowadays. I'm a serial thrift shopper thanks to the good thrift shops around here in Dumaguete City. I also raid the Bench shops in both Lee Plaza and Robinsons' mall in Calindagan for...mostly basics and lingerie - we don't have a Forever21 or Uniqlo or H&M around here. But that's the thing: BASICS. Over time, I've evolved into someone who prefers everything basic that serve multiple purposes. Solid white t-shirts and another one in gray; a t-shirt in gray and black stripes; a baseball shirt in mostly gray (sleeves are black); three printed shirts; 3-4 pairs of leggings; solid white and gray racerback tank tops; 2 black and 1 cream tank top (spaghetti straps);  black heels; solid navy blue walking shoes and another one in solid white - both made from canvas and a bit of rubber; cream, white, black formal-ish shirts; a couple of mini-skirts, one in tan and another in solid black; 4 denim shorts; and three slip dresses. I do have a few items for sleeping and working out as well but they're not a lot either. These are what comprise my current wardrobe in the unitown. Back home, I have the same color palette as the one I have here. It's because I think these are the ones that get the most wear. They're the most functional.

I don't usually think about anything when I go into stores to buy stuff. If I find something attractive to me, I would get it. Other than that, I always think practical. For instance, I would always buy what's the most practical for this climate. I tend to gravitate around articles of clothing that I can picture myself using everywhere. Slip dresses...you can wear them out, you can sleep on them, and you can do virtually nothing productive in them, too. Denim shorts will always be staple in this tropical country. Why wear jeans when there are the much more comfortable slacks or trousers?! The only pair of jeans I have surviving my last decluttering is one from Target that's in black...it's a pair of skinnies with zippers on either leg; and a pair of light denim, wide-legged ones (bell-bottoms) from...I don't know where my relatives bought them. I usually opt out of them when they're too hot to wear outside.

I'm not perfectly organized nor am I completely minimalistic. I can't really ever be because I'm too laidback to be that anal. Also, that type of personality is a pet peeve of mine. But I see nothing wrong in trying to be minimalistic. Sure, you can never have too much of something but don't, at least, get it to the point where everywhere you see in your room is clutter. Really, though, whatever makes you happy...makes you happy.

Anyway, I'm finally done with the thesis, hopefully and it's the nervewracking waiting game part 2 now on going and I have zero plans of going out and rewarding myself with something. Not even a speck of halo-halo that I am slightl craving for. I figure, I'll keep it simple at this time and just reward myself with a workout in later at 5:00 p.m. which consists of a few minutes of zumba to build up cardio resistance for a run I am scheduling next week or so followed by a total body workout via Tracy Anderson's Perfect Design I as usual. Or maybe I'll go for Ballet Beautiful today. I'm not really sure yet. Also, I plan on inhaling a movie or two...or three with just me myself and I. As to what that movie is, I'm not sure yet. I want to watch something that's pretty recent but we shall see. I'll check what's on my external storage drive. I need a new one, too, since this is almost full to the brim. I need a 2tb one this time. My plan to unwind is actually quite dull by the looks of it but I'm trying to schedule stuff these days so I don't remain too idle. I suppose it makes life more fun now.

*kg

when music is supposed to be just drama-less music & nothing should hurt...

"Just not too much auto-tune." "They should tone down the auto-tune if they want to improve their music."

Honestly? I'm sick of this cliched, tired and tried criticism on pop music, especially on the new ones out today. It's also always from people who think they know how the whole music industry works when all they really think about is how the singing talent should be the only thing to make a good song go round. They've never even been inside a recording booth/venue. Also, don't start with me because I've been there - I used to dislike auto-tune, too - so I know and I was a huge stan of American Idol, Pop Idol, Australian and South African Idol that I was completely saturated in talented singing back then. But if that were the case, that we're only going to focus on flawless singing, the music world would be one boring, bland thing of the past I probably would've gotten over with by now. Especially now that my itunes is a schizophrenic thing that mixes a lot of pop, punk, electronic-music from the 80s to the 90s to the 2000s, from the indies to the mainstream and I'm looking to add more. Also, FUCK YOU who can't appreciate these things because you're boring.

It's like these people never grew up around late 80s-90s pop music that used synth a lot. I grew up around Rick Astley in the late 80s segueing towards the early 90s thanks to my teeny bopper aunts from the maternal side of the family and the local pop-music playing radio stations at that time. Also, one of them exposed me to a lot of really good film soundtracks like Ghost's Unchained Melody and the more superior, Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now from the film, Mannequin. Seriously, where have you guys been when I was bopping my nubile 3-5 years old head/self to glorious synthed pop that derived from the dance-oriented 80s' New Wave genre? Duran Duran? A-ha? Culture Club? And for the jpop side, even before I knew Jpop: Globe? Pizzicato 5? Considering it's synthed pop, it very likely used the auto-tune as that one is technicaly a synthesizer focusing on the vocals. You guys disappoint me, frankly speaking. This is why you can never appreciate good pop music coming out today and all you do is criticize new music pointlessly. You don't even listen to a variety of them.

I get it you want to be different and you want to be recognized for your singing prowess - to be honest, you're just a try-hard like the rest of the generic music copycatting belters out there, you're no different - but it gives you no legit right to criticize new pop music when you don't even know a tinsy bit of pop music history especially the machinery that produce it.

Also, it's not like your female Jidols do not use auto-tune because they actually do. More than half the jidol industry can't, for the life of them, sing, honestly speaking. The same with Johnny's & Associates. Plus there's no ounce of creativity in their bones. It's always the same boring masquerading as happy music that they churn out on a yearly basis it's getting tiring to listen to. Or your faves. Do you want me to tear them apart to you? See those buttons on outside of the record booths? One or some of those function similarly to auto-tune. So your faves saying they're not auto-tuning are likely feeding you bullshit. (Except maybe Martina McBride and Celine Dion - but I don't care much for Celine because she got boring to me so faster than a blinking eye.) Let me reiterate, AUTO-TUNE IS A SOUND/VOICE SYNTHESIZER MUCH LIKE A VOCODER IS. It's integral and needed if you want a good record to come out of the recording process.

If you're going tell me synth pop is not music because it uses auto-tune and synthesizers, please get the fuck out of the fandom and live your boring real lives away from me I don't really care much for. I don't need you here also your opinions are irrelevant. This isn't your fucking playground that you would have the guts to criticize every artist that comes out with new material. You don't even have an inkling of what goes on within the machinery of the pop music industry.

Also, if you're going to go the route of accusing me of not knowing my basic music theory: I took 2-3 years of classical singing lessons, I went through 2-3 grades (Kinder, grade 1 and 2) in classical piano, I self-teach myself the guitar. I know my music staff, my g and f clefs, my notes, my rhythm, my sharps and flats among others. And I may be rusty in note reading and not the fastest at it but I have an inkling of music theory because of my musical roots and the irrevocable fact that is: MY LIFE REVOLVED AND CONTINUES TO REVOLVE AROUND MUSIC SINCE I FIRST TOOK THE GUITAR AT AROUND AGE 11-12. Before that, it was boybands for me but that was the early to mid 90s. Yep, TRY ME. When I got home from my music lessons, I used to lock myself up in my room and belt Carrie Underwood stuff and Kelly Clarkson stuff to test my newly acquired bordering on mezzo soprano range. My love for pop music is just greater than my love for classic, traditional music, however and experimental pop that utilizes a lot of synthesizers including auto-tune is now the best kind in my book. It's also the hardest to replicate or play live because like the Petshop Boys fired to critics of the use of playback tracks or backing tracks during lives in the case of electronic-music, it's a mess if those didn't exist and artists had to really play their electro-music live with separate techs. You are aware that the issue on the use of playback tracks/backing tracks in lives were a bigger issue in the pop music world in the 90s more than auto-tune was, right? No? Let me jog your memory back to the early days of Channel V and MTV: TOP OF THE POPS had many artists complain about the use of playback tracks on their segments. Elton John accused Madonna of lipsynching in her concerts because she used playback tracks/backing tracks.

I don't think you guys really get the mechanisms of pop music, it's industry, it's rich history, the highly creative minds behind it especially the indie ones that still give us really good synth pop music to this date: Passion Pit for one. Maybe even Sun Airway. More than the fact that I feel sorry for your estranged-ness to this side of music, I pity you for your backward thinking. It's like the rest of us have moved forward to past the 21st century and you're still stuck there around the 60s-70s. It's a sad thing really. You don't even deserve the title of: music lover/music enthusiast and if you ever self-label as a pop music genius and are this much of a hypocrite re: synthesizers, I suggest you get out now before I...I don't know. I've stopped caring already for people with really limited views on pop music. It's useless anyway. And I'm just pointlessly spending energy I should be using for other things.

Yep, sure singing is the more important thing in music. Please. I've had enough of your delusions. The better pop music these days are those that root from the underground edm-synth pop movement. They have been so for about 3 decades and counting now. Especially those that have found the healthy balance between really good singing, good musical arrangement and the healthy, tasteful use of synth. And in Japan, that's Avex (and Universal Music Japan, etc) for you, peasants.

You see, I've moved on from just being fixated on artists/people who can sing. THEY ARE NOT SOLELY WHAT MAKES MUSIC GLORIOUS. You cannot simply discount or discredit the people who work hard behind them to give them the best records around that shoot up to the music charts on their release date. These people include the (multi)-instrumentalists, the DJ-producers (AVICII, ZEDD, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, etc), the sound techs, cleaners and they all report to the SOUND/MUSIC PRODUCER *cough*OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder*cough*. So basically, saying you don't like/hate auto-tune and other kinds of synthesizers is indirectly attacking these professionals that give you good pop music to stan. It's basically a desecration to pop music and music as a whole especially when it is advancing without your help with your so-called 'legit' but not really criticism. You're actually just embarrasing yourself (like Elton did vs Madonna that he had to retract his statement partly later on...).

Honestly just singing is boring. Plus the competition is just as boring because you're pretty sure there's always someone who'll be better than you at it. If you want to stay in the dark ages of music and remain just boring, that's you. But I'm pretty sure it'll be mess if you tried to stan some things music that I don't care much for...

Say something against auto-tune and playback tracks/backing tracks in lives especially to me one more time and you can face my schizophrenic itunes playlist, my headphones and miniscule but fierce speakers. You can converse with them. I'm done speaking with you.

kg*

Also, P.S.
Singers who can sing well actually also use auto-tune. They consider it a safety-net: Shania Twain for one. I'm pretty sure there are others aside from her.
lelove

A Record Review: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

1035x1035-Tove-Lo-QueenOfTheClouds-RGB-300dpi-1

This has long been overdue. And because I’m currently still anticipating whether my thesis is going to be approved - to be honest, the anxiety is killing me but let's get on with the program either way - by the adviser for the pre-orals hopefully by next week, I’m finally doing this record review due days and days ago since I got my hands on a copy of it. Also, this entry is cross-posted onto my Tumblr.

Quirky songwriting is always what I think of when I listen to Tove Lo. Quirky and modern…because who would ever think of incorporating words like ‘fuck,’ ‘sex clubs’, ‘eating, sleeping in bathtubs’ more tastefully, rather creatively into song lyrics and still speak of universal truths of modern day living as a lady/woman/female but her, really? Tove Lo is as painfully modern and classy as fuck as she can get on this record. She can also get quite piercing in presenting truths of what goes on between the dynamic of a man and a woman's romantic relationship...s. Much like she does with Truth Serum - which has been my drug before this beautiful thing of an album happened - where truth of how it's like to try to get over a heartbreak is presented in grim realities: like when you try to get high to get over someone or numb all those leftover feelings; or go partying just so you forget him as well as forget how your life has changed since your break-up with him; or even sleep around with whoever because you don't want to be alone with your thoughts of the one who broke your heart....with Queen of the Clouds, she takes us on a ride through the progressions of a typical romantic relationship as she sees it. Perhaps even as she had experienced it. Or even...as anyone sees it because it is that easy to relate with.

If you're asking what universal truths or realities I am speaking of when Tove Lo's lyrics may come off trashy to your ears, it’s this: the album is literally divided into 3 parts. And because it would be too redundant to explain this one, I'd just let the three dividing recorded lines to speak for every part of the album right here: "The passion in the beginning is always going to be the best part of it…" - The Sex (Intro); "And then you freak out ‘cause suddenly you meet this person…" - The Love (Interlude); and, "And then there’s no good way to end things, ‘cause it’s ending, you know?" - The Pain (Interlude). Then when you get back to the first track, you later realize you’ve been sucked into this endless cycle of how it’s like to be out there to flirt and find someone to be with, then find someone to be in the middle of relationship...so in love that it's like you're puking rainbows at some point and then when this whole candies and bubblegum affair ends, you get into a huge fight of all fights with the significant other and you're stuck wondering how you'll move on but you will anyway...then by the last track, you're back at square one.

A lot of the songs in the album...I can actually resonate with or relate with. No surprise there because we've all been there, we've done these things as well. Except in my case, I've never really been in a long-term relationship. Flirted with a lot of those I liked (nothing progressed because what the heck, you guy crushes I have in real life?!), slept with someone (on a whim), yes. Oh and propositioned a lot of times...that may have been stupid of me to refuse although it was because one was drunk as hell and the other was...just for a one-time thing I didn't really like either - I don't sleep around but some men apparently mistake me for someone who does. Short-term relationship, maybe...mostly only until courtship. As to getting into a long-term relationship...I'm a person full of drama when I'm supposed to loathe all of it (life dramas) so I never really last in one. Basically, these are all encapsulated within the whole of Tove Lo's Queen of the Clouds and it's that ridiculously simple to relate with. It reminds me a little of Lana Del Rey's first album but better because this one has a more optimistic tone on the first and second parts of it and does not get depressing until it moves onto the third part. Another difference between this and Lana's first album is that Lana's tends to revolve around death and dying, Tove Lo's is just about having fun and meeting men of different kinds on the first part, then falling in love with one of them, then getting depressed at the end of a relationship because it just doesn't work out most of the time.

And let's move onto the review. Some of my favorites (in bold, italicized text) from this record include:

My Gun - It’s not as up there as Like ‘em Young or Talking Body for me but it’s definitely a club song I’d like to hear over loud speakers… I’d even dance to it either in my room, alone or under the moon and stars, beach-side…with sands at my feet…okay, we’re waxing poetics. Let’s move on.

Like ‘em Young - some of the lines just resonate well with me on this because I’m one of those who, even at a couple of decades and 7 years running, I’m still feeling young and all. Oh and a bonus thought: Tove Lo and I are about the same age, I’m probably just a month and a few days older than her. Also, I like this song because…lol, it sounds a bit cougar-ish but not really. A cougar’s theme song? But I swear I haven’t fallen for anyone younger than I am…ok…maybe because my fandom is mostly made up of boys from Ebidan or Avex or something…hmn…I admit to it. LOL. With lines like: "I can tell they’re lyin’, ‘cause we’re all slowly dyin’…I like ‘em young/I like ‘em young/I like ‘em young/young like me…" What’s there not to like about this song, really?

Talking Body - What captivates me from this track is this: "Now if we’re talking body/you got a perfect one, so put it on me/swear it won’t take you long/now if you love me right, we fuck for life…" Typical live and let live, let’s flirt and make out and then fuck song I could definitely hear over loud club speakers…or elsewhere. I don’t really know either. This is officially my flirting in a bar or elsewhere anthem. Haha.

Timebomb - something about falling in love with someone who’s the direct opposite and being skeptical about it that later, when you do get together, you get proven wrong because you’re so much of a timebomb-type of fit…it’s like there are celebratory fireworks in the sky. I’m not sure if you get where I’m going here so let’s go to the next track… One thing though, this is definitely a good transition song over to the second part of the album. :D

Moments - “I’m not the prettiest you’ve ever seen but I have my moments, I have my moments/Not the flawless one I’ve ever been/But I have my moments, I have my moments/I can get a little drunk, I get into al the dont’s/But on the good days  I am charming as fuck…” Amen. Hallelujah! Gospel of truth from the Queen of the Clouds right there. <3 I'm pretty sure women can relate with this, especially those as old as Tove Lo and I...

The Way That I Am - the least you can do is love me the way I am because I’m not willing to change for anyone… (Now if only there was someone like that around here...)

Got Love - we got love that’s "good enough to make the ocean look like it’s a pond/good enough to turn the valleys into mountain tops"…ok. I have got to officially find myself a love like this which is a pain to look for by the way so I don’t even bother. But I really love the creative writing on this one and the catchy chorus and music. OH. DEAR. GOD. Favorite!

Not On Drugs - "I'm not on drugs, i'm just in love..." I don't douse myself in drugs except maybe if I get to try ecstasy in rave clubs or parties but I have yet to go there and experience what good times to have there so let's just leave this here. It's probably how falling deep in love feels like. Kind of inspires me to fall in love with someone but more like...not really.

Thousand Miles - I wouldn't run one of those thousand miles, much more, all of them, to be honest.

Habits - because I’ve heard this one over and over on Tove Lo’s EP, Truth Serum. Until now, I can’t get enough of it. I’m not even heartbroken at the moment but since I have a soft spot for anything gritty, depressing, this is one of my jams in this album…just as Truth Serum once was my entire jam. I just have this glorious fixation with depressing, break-up and some angry break-up songs like Icona Pop’s I Love It I don’t even know much of what life’s all about. Haha.

This Time Around - There was a time when I used to be the best girl for you then everything changed come almost the end of things…and now I’m just numb and it’s not the same anymore as it was in the past. SOME THINGS JUST RING TRUE WHEN RELATIONSHIPS END~

Run On Love - “We can run on love for awhile…we can run on love ‘til it dies, ‘til it dies again….” Emphasis on run on love until it dies because it does die. Also this is one really groovy, well-remixed song I’d dance to this all night. Whoever is the DJ responsible for this is quite awesome. <3

Love Ballad - "Chop off my hands/Chop off my feet/I’d do it for you/Ain’t love sweet?….Stab my heart, bleeding out/If you feel doubt about me loving you/’Cause oh, I do…Pour gasoline on me/Oh, yes I burn slowly/So that you feel that I am for real…Chorus: ‘Cause this is my one true sacrifice/It never gets old/No need for you to roll the dice/I’m the one to hold…" Well…really, now? Ain’t love sweet? (Do you still want to fall in love?) I’m used to it being this sweet either way. Morbid but gospel truth again right there. This is just how much I love Tove Lo’s tracks, I’d quote almost the whole thing if things grab at me from the get go. <3

Stay High (Habits remix) - club song. let’s just dance~

If there's anything I really like about this album, it's that IT MAKES ME FEEL. Some of the songs on it might have yet to grow on you but the album is as cohesive as it can be which is what I like about well-made albums. The flow from one song to another is always the one thing that I love about such albums...the kind that makes you forget that you've come to the end before it goes to the first track again...? BLISS. *insert hearts here* Tove Lo makes me want to fall in love, stumble, get hungover but probably not cry if only for brief spells and then do it all over again. Now, TAYLOR WHO?!?!? I like Taylor Swift but Tove Lo, this time around, is queen for me. Thanks for bringing to life the modern day romantic in me, Tove Lo! :) Keep on keepin' on, babe. <3
*kg

Oh and P.S.
This is one of the best albums to dance the night away anywhere, in my opinion...or it will tide me over until someone else unseats Tove Lo as the clouds' queen...
girl, backless white dress, I want this dress

it's a struggle

Done with the bulk of thesis writing and currently just waiting to be called by the thesis adviser at the Silliman University English Department/Faculty. It's quite a relief, yes, but I can't shake the feeling off that I have a lot of things I need to fix on it before I can present it on pre-orals schedule - I have yet to make with the grad school - next week. Next week is the last week of completion for school stuff for non-graduating students and I am a graduating students so...hi more stress in life. I'm not joining the March graduation, really. I'm quite content already seeing my status change into 'graduated.' Other than that...I'll spend an extra week here trying to get my book for the thesis really finalized before going home.

As to what's next...I'll most likely be looking for a job. There's really not much else to do afterwards. It's either I get it from the local Ateneo back home...or I can look for a private grade school where I can practice Special Education so I can realize, bit by bit, my dream of moving to Australia in 2 or 3 years' time. It's just...I think it will be difficult for me to look for a good agency to help me do this as I'm not going to be in a larger, more advanced metropolis like Cebu City but we'll see. I actually want to get a job that can help me do this and also, help me work on some of my personal projects on the side. That has always been the plan anyway. I also want to get my own place soon so I don't have to stay with my parents all the time I'm working.

....and considering this is an update of life of some sort and I'm due to be sleeping around 15 to 30 minutes from now, here are the highlights of the crazy things going on with me and my head. There's really not much that accompanies me everywhere but my head so...LOL.

First Things First, On the Subject of Personal Style
It seems like not a day goes by that I don't really think about this. I seem to be a lifelong lover of clothes and style...well, fashion, but I have a different way, probably a more distinct way of showing, establishing and exploring my own personal style. For one, I'm the kind who's always going through phases but I just wait on them to pass unless I really am fixated on a specific thing - because by then, I would really have to get that something. I got to think about this again because of a post I came across in on whowhatwear on how to establish one's own personal style. They presented 9 points on how to establish one's own personal style. Some of the points, I agreed with, others...not so much.

I still would maintain that going to thrift stores may help one establish her/his personal style. So does shopping everywhere or at least, maybe, window shopping everywhere...online and offline...and even when travelling.

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(photo from fashiontoast)

Aside from the peek I had at the local thrift store today that never seems to...well...lower their prices as they are supposed to do a couple of weeks or so after they'd had new arrivals - annoying, yes it is - and the window shopping online on Forever21 and UrbanOutfitters I did last Saturday for stress relief purposes while trying to finish the bulk of my MA thesis to turnover to my thesis adviser, I find myself currently prefering everything loose, laidback and luxe. It's either a loose shirt or tank and a pair of boxers or some similar comfy shorts or some satiny, silky nightwear. I'm currently piling up on a ton of slipdresses, to be honest.
My unitown wardrobe here in Dumaguete City contains two of these I couldn't resis getting from thrift stores here. I'm bound to find more but I haven't been going out much except to pay for bills and stuff. I'll probably drop by that one favorite thrift store I have, Ally Mae, that can get quite expensive but their nightwear section is often always to die for. It's also the more affordable part of said store. LOL.

I'm a huge fan now of nightwear because they're comfy as heaven. I might've even succeeded on wearing a slipdress to dinner with myself in The Rollin' Pin one night last week, too. I've also worn the other red wine slipdress to dinner with some friends in Gabby's Bistro. The thing with slipdresses is, you just have to wear some sort of blazer or even a cardigan over them and you're good to go! I like the convenience they give that's really versatile - you can wear them at home for lounging around and later take it out to dinner dates with yourself, a boyfriend or friends. I find that nightwear are drama free they're currently becoming more and more an obsession I'm nursing. I don't mind though.

I'm not sure yet how receptive my mother will be with this huge change in style. She's too conservative, still, even when she's loosened up a bit.

I'm also looking forward to wearing these things to the beach this summer. I might probably pack a backpack or so of the comfiest nightwear should I and the girls from back home realize our plans to drive ourselves to the beach (because I would even if I were such a poor driver, LOL). And yes, I'll update the personal style and lifestyle blog from there. This summer will be quite eventful, I think.
Yep, the Ally Mae thrift store it is when I have time to do that this week for more nightwear stuff. I was lucky to find my second slipdress at just 35 Php (3 for 100 Php) at their branch right beside the first McDonalds' around here. That place was my favorite haunt for everything vintage designer.

Health and Beauty, But Mostly Beauty
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(my photos)

I limbo around pescetarianism and flexitarianism where diet and health is concerned but I'm definitely getting down for drinking non-dairy milk, eating everything brown or red and whole wheat and even to the point of changing my usual rice with mashed potatoes while out dining with friends or with just myself. At this moment, I have an ongoing obsession with the tuna pesto salad at the local The Rollin' Pin and am currently contemplating going back to Gabby's Bistro for their salad with the honey-mustard dressing. I'm not all too sure about life at all at the moment. LOL. I also do have an ongoing obsession with the food offered at the new Local Organic Cafe that's quickly becoming my favorite place to crash with friends or without. I'll probably blog about those soon as I'm freer as well but really happy that I'm not restricted to just the vegetarian pizza and pescetarian choices at my usual Dumaguete City haunts. Things were getting dull in terms of eating and drinking around here with just Nevas to choose from. Considering my current state of food and drink choices - flexitarianism in particular - you can easily assume I still eat some meat and bird (chicken) once in a while but mostly on very rare occasions now. I still avoid pork like a plague except maybe that one time I just had to eat the bacon a close friend's boyfriend made in school. Oops. Likely, I'm still stuck in flexitarian->pescetarian transition hell and the odds of going vegan...slim considering there are very little vegan choices around here which pretty much sucks.

When not invited to anything, dinner or whatever, I just cook for a friend and I...and this is where entirely pescetarian stuff go down that borderline cross vegan because I prefer those than eating the usual meat stuff. It's not really helping my food budget monthly when there's the farmers' market/tabu-an market a stone's throw away from the pad or room I'm currently considering my abode while here. Also the fact that I keep wandering around the organic section on some Thursdays and Fridays late afternoons. I recently discovered they have arugula apart from the fact they already carry kale which I've been abusing for the past two weeks...

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(my photo)

Beauty...I'm still the usual foundation-eye liner-mascara-lip balm girl but with a quirk: I currently have an ongoing fixation with Human Heart Nature's cream lipstick in Coral Charm. The nude color it offers is something I couldn't resist. I also want to pick up more nude stuff from Maybelline or some other make-up line but I'll table that for when I can have enough money to spend on them. I maybe will get something red for the lips some other time too but I'm too lazy to put anything like those on as I prefer a more naked look but also the not too bare type either.

....and on beauty number 2: Sometimes, around the last couple of weeks, I'd fall asleep in bed with make-up and all on. It's dangerous and harmful for the skin, I know but as a normal human being - and I'm pretty sure this happens to most of us girls - I'm flawed and I just really feel lazy at times to remove anything from my face especially when really exhausted. When that happens, I just make sure to wake up really early the next day: say maybe 4 in the morning or 5 just to take an early bath and correct the mistake of last night. I'd remove make-up by then but probably only to put in new one for the rest of the day. LOL.

Since I'm huge on natural products to use on my skin and everywhere else, I'm still going for everything homemade. I just got lazy to make my usual toothpaste these days and I haven't really purchased any minty essential oil from my usual haunts for these things that I've reverted to getting a huge tube of Colgate. The regular one. I might be getting my eucalyptus essential oil from Human Heart Nature sometime this week though so we'll see what we can do about that next week. I usually get the peppermint one from Casa di Lorenzo but I didn't feel like ordering stuff from a separate store this time so HHN it is. Everything else is as organic as Human Heart Nature can get however. I am apparently a perpetual HHN stan.

And no, I doubt you'd want to see what comprise my closet and my dresser...thing. They're all but...dull and completely sane and normal. I'm not at all sure how to describe them at the moment. I'll try to put up a photo of it maybe later when I've fixed things around here and especially back home... All I know right now is I'm hoarding HHN stuff for future use...I dunno much either beyond that.
Have I added anything in my beauty arsenal aside from the tube of lipstick? I'm not sure. I'm looking forward to getting a new mascara tube off of Maybelline and probably a color tattoo or two in nude and in silver/white...and one in black/charcoal. I'm also probably going to later shift to using the liquid eye liners. I have no access to anything like it other than Maybelline here so I'm perpetually a blind bat regarding that. Lastly, I might also shift to getting liquid foundations because the cake ones don't seem to work much on covering skin blemishes. I don't have immaculate skin though I certainly wish I do but it seems that my HHN regimen I usually go for every day and night seems to be correcting that so...yay~

The Only Crazy Thing Around Here is Fandom
EBiDAN: Choutokkyuu, PrizmaX
AVEX: Da-iCE, Vimclip
from whatever obscurity they come from: White Jam.
and for the western contender/s: Tove Lo.
Those are probably my only remaining fandom at this time. I'm not even spazzing on Kamen Rider Drive or the last two episodes of Ressha Sentai ToQger because school first when it's already near-graduation this time around.

....and Some Crazy Real Life Stuff
It seems like our neighbors right across our place has decided that the weekends are the best time to put on party music and gather around whatever during mid-morning and lunch time ignoring the fact that there are students around their neighborhood who would rather be working on school work than party whatever. When I'm in this mood, I sometimes would like to think about throwing stuff at them in retaliation because I need peace and quiet but whatever. I've just stopped caring at this point. (Also, catcalling men from there need to shut the fuck up before I explode...we've just been ignoring them lately...)

They do have a habit of jogging my memory back around late 1990s-2005 with pretty ancient r&b, easy listening music so I can probably find it in my heart to forgive them for the grief they're causing me.

kg*

EBiDAN part 2 (and other pop culture matters I've actually stopped caring about)

I figured, after doing a ton of EBiDAN spazzing on twitter the past 72 hours or so, I'm due for a post, so I'm posting...doing this amidst Da-iCE music playing on my headphones (my headphones saved my life, indeed) and a highly distracted mind and a pair of eyes that are just about ready to...close and send myself to deep-ish slumber...

If you recall back to my first EBiDAN post, I was impartial or I never really gave Choutokkyuu a listen or any sort of attention... Well, hi, because I've had a change of heart after seeing a few things from them. And yes, this is likely to be a Choutokkyuu sort-of-pimp-post...or something like it. I'll try to keep things short, sweet, brief and non-boring.

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(photo source: tumblr)

CHOUTOKKYUU (超特急)
I hadn't become a fan of theirs on the first EBiDAN post because I had issues with them being too idol-y in terms of costumes, maybe some stage theatrics - they do seem to come off idol-y on stage and on their ChouxD, ChouxD + Z tv series at times - among others. These are some of the things that put me off of a lot of Jpop acts indefinitely. I mean, all I actually want is normality in a group of boys I stan - the regular boyband format, see: Da-iCE, Vimclip, PrizmaX, etc. or the regular artist format as in the case of White Jam. A second look at Choutokkyuu however, especially their humble beginnings - when then they were a little bit like children yet and performing for a small crowd at a market here: 120331 超特急 「 トレイン 」 BULLET TRAIN has perpetually changed my opinion on them. So yep, change of heart. Note that I'm still not too keen on their super sentai-ish colors and their wardrobe per MV most of the time as in the case of Believe x Believe and Ikki. By a long mile, I can also add in their wardrobe for Starlight and maybe even Star Gear and Bloody Night as these also unsettle me sometimes. But I'm getting used to their concept somehow. They were patterned after Momoiro Clover hence the color assignment among others. They're just...uhmn...cooler than MomoClo. I don't wander JIdol territory, tbqh, because Japanese Idolandia is something I can't put my head beyond in...

One thing I like about Choutokkyuu is, their main dancers CAN actually DANCE. They have a weird format, so bear with me here. The first in Japan and probably East Asia, I suppose. Their back vocals are pretty decent, I have a bias on Takashi. Koichi...he was a little off on their EBiDAN the Live concert/show at one point, with his PleasemaX group that Ryoga actually outshined him when they performed PrizmaX's Mysterious eyes. But Koichi harmonises with Takashi pretty well most of the time so I don't have a lot of issues on their back vocals.

Oshimen, ichiban...I don't really use those terms when I pertain to a favorite in a group. I prefer 'bias'. My current Choutokkyuu bias is Murata Yuki (red). His dancing is superb, his dancing form is always on point, the guy has grace and...well...what else? He can backflip. I'm pretty sure he can break dance if he wandered around that part of dance. As for the other 4 main dancers...Takuya's (green) pretty cute, Yusuke (yellow) is an ikemen, Kai (blue) is cool-looking and Ryoga (purple/violet) is...Ryoga.

Music-wise, there's not much I can say, to be honest. There are only a few that I'd put in my playlist with most of the tracks from Vimclip, Da-iCE, White Jam and PrizmaX. I actually am having issues with their gritty, edgy sound but it fits Choutokyuu quite well so I don't really mind majority of it. So far, my favorites are: Hashire!!!! Choutokkyuu, Secret Express, Train and Kura Kura. I have yet to listen to the whole of their first album, Ring, so we'll see what else I can add to the list.

Choutokkyuu, in a nutshell, is a group that I somehow can't stand just listening to their music to. It's a must for me to see their performance videos, their dance shots and their music videos. I suppose this is the purpose of them being a main dancer-back vocal group. You'd actually need to spend bucks to see them live or something. There's really no other way to go around it anyway.

I've met a few fans on twitter that say they aren't really idols though they may seem like it. They do not join idol fests despite their ridiculous costumes, they're also mostly actors and models and not...idols. So yep, check and check on Choutokkyuu not being an idol group despite their color assignments and costume or theme gimmicks. Uhmn...I think I can get in on this one so yes! Go Choutokkyuu stanning. It starts here and now. LOL.
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(photo source: tumblr; in the photo [from L-R]: Masaki, Takumi, Ryuji, To-I)

DISH//
Compared to Choutokkyuu, DISH// music is something I find much more difficult to get into. Their style or orientation as a Jboyband is also quite different. For one, they're more pop-punk rock than they are the usual pop I enjoy from my favorite Japanese male groups. Or at least that's the kind of music they release anyway.

The most popular member from this group is probably Takumi as he has been everywhere since being signed onto Stardust. I've seen him in a Radwimps MV and he was also in Fallen Angel with Amuse's Uehara Takuya which I have been meaning to watch from so long ago. The episodes are still likely parking somewhere in my external storage drive...somewhere. I'll get to it probably when I finish grad school, finally. I'm just trying to get this post out of my head for today because I'm bound to be working on everything thesis tonight from data gathering results inputting to actually finally rounding up the whole thing... Yep, busy weekend for me.

Style-wise, while Choutokkyuu is the main dancers-back vocals type, DISH// is the guitar toting dancing pop-punk rock singing and rapping group. As it has been awhile since I've dabbled in such a genre - I've done nothing lately but stan and listen to mostly easy listening jpop in the line of R&B and even Urban and some tolerable hiphop - all I can say is...they're a bit on and off for me musically. There are times when I love them, there are times when I am indifferent to them and there are times when I'm limboing between loving and hating them. One thing though that I really like about DISH// is that they never fail to make people laugh or giggle a little with the MV concepts come up with and release.

For my DISH// MV and music reccs, my favorite seems to be this one: I Can Hear. For one, it's catchy and I like the chorus...a lot. Choruses are always the deal breakers for me when it comes to judging whether songs are radio friendly or not. Second and last, I just love how random the MV is...I mean who the heck comes up with holding a raddish or a big fish while well, you know, singing and dancing or something?! They even went to the point of cleaning the table and stage...uhm...ok. And Give Me Chocolate is my first song I've ever tried from them that now, I actually have a love-hate relationship with that I've also even established it now as 2015's Japanese/Jpop/Jrock Valentines' Day song. Umn...yes. It's that annoying I just really had to. The MV for it is just as hilarious and random as I Can Hear's however. So it's a win-win thing as well.

For the record, I actually like Takumi's raw vocals. It pretty much fits the music style DISH// has. Basically, DISH// has Masaki and Takumi as vocals and guitars then To-I and Ryuji for rapping. Ryuji also does the guitars and To-I DJs for them.

Age-wise, Choutokkyuu and DISH// are comprised of young people. Back in 2012, when Choutokkyuu first debuted (Train era?), their ages were around 16-18 or 19. At least, at this time, Ryoga and Yuki are already legal. Both are already 20...or is Ryoga 21 already? I'm not sure. LOL. Yusuke is also turning 20 this year, as I'd been told. DISH// are basically babies...to me. Masaki is only 17, Takumi is 17 turning 18 this year. Masaki and Ryuji are around 19-20, if I recall correctly.

Customiz, PrizmaX
I'm leaving this portion blank because I suppose I'd rather just write a separate pimp post for PrizmaX later because (1), they're similar to Choutokkyuu musically although prone more to release easy listening pop tracks similar to One Direction's signature music style...and at the same time, not really because Choutokkyuu's music is grittier and edgier than PrizmaX's; and (2) being closer musically to Choutokkyuu, they're very different from DISH//. PrizmaX is...well, it's the first jboyband from EBiDAN I have come to know because they had been at times part of the SWISH music/concert events' lineup that White Jam, Da-iCE and Vimclip normally participate in. They currently have one such event they are holding on the 30th of March this year. Vimclip isn't with them then but I'm pretty sure SWISH on March 30 will still be pretty interesting.

Customiz is...there's not a lot I know about them at this point except that they have Kurihara Goro and that they've lost one member, Matsui Kenta only to be replaced by Hama who's also the tallest among them. LOL. Kurihara Goro is known for his many prolific roles in dramas like Kingyo Club among others. He was also in the second HanaKimi series. Two times did he couple up with actress Shida Mirai as well. Music-wise, though I have yet to hear of their music in full, Customiz is pretty much Jrock. Considering I've already wandered away from Jrock, I'm not sure yet when I'll be able to finally stan Customiz. Probably...never. I still have my hands full with Da-iCE at the moment.

Of the two, I'm more of a PrizmaX fan. Of the four groups...I'm also more of a PrizmaX fan, music-wise. Choutokkyuu, although I do love them...and I love them a lot, musically...a lot of theirs just do not appeal to me yet. Choutokkyuu is the type whose music has yet to grow on highly critical pop music listeners (like me). I don't really consider their music style kpop-esque because I don't get the comparison. I also only listen to very little, highly isolated kpop. All I can say is that both PrizmaX and Choutokkyuu's music style combined is pretty much influenced by Western pop music. I wouldn't also say it's EDM because it's way softer than regular EDM - more in the case of PrizmaX than Choutokkyuu's.
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So what else do I need to lay on the table so you guys can begin stanning these groups as well? Ah, EBiDAN the Live, a summer concert/event from last year, is actually pretty interesting...and...utter riotous hilarity. I've seen DASH@@ (a parody of DISH// which consists of Daichi and Goro from Customiz, Yusuke from Choutokkyuu and PrizmaX's Daiki)'s version of Peter Pan Syndrome; Shindaitokkyuu (a parody of Choutokkyuu consisting of Hama and Hiroki from Customiz, Yuuki, Tsubasa and Win from PrizmaX and Masaki and Takumi from DISH//)'s version of Shake Body and finally, PleasemaX (a parody of PrizmaX with Koichi, Ryoga and Takuya from Choutokyuu; and Ryuji and To-I from DISH//)'s version of Mysterious Eyes. There was also Customiz that was to CustomiV that had Choutokkyuu's Yuki, Kai and Takashi then PrizmaX's Tim but I'm not at all sure what it was they sung because I haven't seen a glimpse of their performance. Sad because Yuki was there and I wanted to see it badly, damnit. It's like, the roundabout way for me to learn about Customiz since I'm too lazy to look them up at this time. Yuki and Hiroki also totally exchanged places at this point because Yuki filled Hiroki's space in what was now CustomiV while Hiroki was featured center for Shake Body many times...which was...well...hilarious. I still love Hiroki for trying so hard to dance like Yuki. In the end, I ended up laughing over Takumi trying to be Takuya everytime 'beauty' came into the refrain/chorus part of Shake Body. At one time, he even went on imitating a bunny. It's probably something Takuya wouldn't do. LOL.
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Obligatory 50 Shades of Grey Commentary: BecauseThis Is Highly Needed Here, I think?
I'm well beyond caring for this shit fest at this moment. If anyone is going to stan this thing to me openly, squealing, raving and madly giggling whatsoever, I'm going to calmly walk away and I probably will try to avoid that someone like she/he has a contagious disease.

I'm currently just here for the behind the scenes drama of producing this thing. That bitch of a non-author needs to be taught a lesson hard and well. I hope she and her devoted 700+K followers on twitter burn to the pits of...idk...hell? Yep. That's all I have to share and write about on this matter.

I swear I am nice, cultured, mild-mannered most of the time but this hype is something I just really feel seething hate for. I actually want this fiasco to be run to the ground, burning into pure ashes that can never, ever be pulled together again by whatsoever method.
***
Oscars 2014-2015
I'm a loser because I never even added this here until today, circa June 21, 2015, 7:11 a.m. Philippines' timezone, and I'm supposed to be immersed in everything pop culture, including that of the west.

Regarding this, I have a lot to catch-up on that I've been tabling for days and days on end in favor of school work that never seems to finish itself (because my focus and motivation are very...well...fickle)...I'll do it in the summer.

Stay tuned for...
....a western pop music album review coming up in a bit...if I manage to survive this train wreck of a thesis alive in the following two weeks or so. Let me give you guys a hint: T _ _ _   L _   - Queen of the C _ _ _ _ _. It is going to be quite late for me to put it out there but it's necessary because...well, for the sake of saving the sorry state of western pop music, it's direly needed.
***
And since I have just finished dinner, I am going to take a short nap then wake up at maybe 2 or 3 this morning to work on stuff. Yep. Life. Two friends from home still hadn't handed me in their answered sheets but I'll be working on stuff anyhow because graduation day is looming in and I have a ton to catch up on.

Until the next post then! o/

kg*
why are you so hard to resist?!

Record Review: Fight Back - Da-iCE

Released around 15th of October, 2014, regarding Da-iCE's Fight Back first studio album...well, I'm a little bit too late coming out with this review. I needed to get this out of the way anyway...

Now that I think of it, I never did any review of their singles as well as Vimclip's...oh and the mini-albums for both groups. This is how much of a fail fan I am of both. That aside, I'd been busy with MA thesis anyway, and still am so I guess this is...forgiveable?

Let me group the tracks in this album this way:

We've heard them all before as leads in the singles released, and they are tracks:
02 SHOUT IT OUT
05 Toki
06 Hush Hush

We've heard them all before as b-sides to singles released, and they are tracks:
10 Startin' Up (for Hush Hush)

They've performed these tracks on stage before (prior to the album release) but some I wasn't able to see because I don't reside in Japan (LOL!) and they are tracks:
01 FIGHT BACK
03 BOMB (even during their mid-indie days as a Japanese boygroup)
04 Did You Know (both Bomb and this were even choices for a single release at one time...they have that habit of doing that...)

Then those that are pretty new (to me, anyway) and they are tracks:
04 Noise
08 Stay
09 I Still Love You
11 LOST LOVE

Then there's also this way of grouping them...
Heavy EDM-laced tracks, their music sound like computer game types...:
03 BOMB
04 Noise

Light EDM types:
01 FIGHT BACK
08 Stay
10 Startin' Up

Semi-ballads:
07 Did You Know
11 LOST LOVE

Ballad (but it reminds me a bit of Mou Ichidou Dake/To the Last Man...):
09 I Still Love You

Super-mainstream, radio friendly pop tunes for dancing etc:
02 SHOUT IT OUT
05 Toki
06 Hush Hush

I supose you now sort of get what to expect with the album. It's 9/10ths amazing and 1/10ths boring. Make that: 0.09% boring and 99.91% good if I were to give it a rating. Since I love generic EDM, I suppose this is the response/reaction expected. (gtfo, those who hate and bash EDM...your arguments are not needed here and therefore...irrelevant.)

If there's an appropriate adjective to describe this album, it's this: MUSICALLY COHESIVE. It's the same element Miura Daichi's D.M. had a couple of years back that propelled it to my top favorite jpop albums to listen to. But generally, I would call every body of work, single or mini-album or album that Da-iCE releases as musically cohesive anyway because, if you even bothered to listen to their discography, they have 1 key sound that they remain consistent in and that's always the thing that makes great bands and artists for me. That one unnamed thing, like it's there and you can touch it but you don't have a name for it, they have that makes them, THEM. And this is why I stan Da-iCE so hard. (I still love Vimclip but you know, I started with the Da-iCE fandom but both are top notch in my book... [also, I have an eternal crush on Eiki so we all know how that goes...]) Musical cohesiveness is basically this: music flows smoothly from 1 track to another you forget you're listening to an album that has 10-11 virtually different tracks and you're supposed to pick a favorite but they're all so good anyway so you just go, WHAT THE HELL, I LOVE THEM ALL (caps for emphasis though unnecessary), for me. And this is basically the whole FIGHT BACK album. It's the same thing that endears me currently to EDM sets by really good DJs today, along with the albums they release.

My favorite tracks from the album so far:
07 Did You Know and 11 LOST LOVE because they're really relaxing and groovy for some reason. Easy listening are most of the time my favorite types and track 11, LOST LOVE wins this round. I'm not blacklisting their more lively tracks here either because I love all of the album's contents, to be honest. That includes the cover/jacket. And because I don't have a physical copy of it on hand but I swear to get one soon, I will only be sharing the ones scanned by others...

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(source: here)

Considering most of their single releases are of the dance, EDM + R&B fusion/really beautiful meld of music variety minus the recently released single, Mou Ichido Dake which contained semi-ballads and a ballad, I expected them to release an album that comprises of mostly upbeat dance tracks. Carefully crafted upbeat and some mid-tempo music. Let me just put it out here that: I DID NOT GET DISAPPOINTED. AT. ALL. I'm really proud of Da-iCE for this first studio album and I hope that in the coming few years, they remain this way. Let AVEX not mess them up at all because for one, we don't really need them here like how they threw everything in their arsenal to make AAA a very confusing group in terms of the type of music they were made to release. I wasn't happy and will never be happy witht that one.

I'm overjoyed that they kept their signature sound and upheld that one consistently from one track to another in FIGHT BACK. So few artists do this. JE groups were never this consistent musically-speaking - this includes Arashi and big or not, I haven't cared for JE groups since Kisumai happened and even that point of my flailing life was, well, shortlived. Either way, I expected nothing less of Da-iCE and now I consider this album second to one of my to all-time favorites, Miura Daichi's D.M. Every track is worth listening to, drowning in, unless you want to skip on the tracks that have become lead singles from last year. Da-iCE staying faithful and consistent to their music style is the best thing to happen in this contemporary time's jpop world yet. Their mini-album released during their time as indie artists is also worth checking out. THEY ARE THAT FUCKING CONSISTENT. I'm just so happy And with this, they have made me an even bigger fan that I am now plotting to get their stuff from Japan when I get there somehow around end of this year or early next year. Heck, I'd even go to their Swish concerts with other musicians. I'd especially time my Japan trips for those among other things.

These past few days, I've had the album on constant repeat because it's that good. Much like a very compelling book (say, Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings series...), it's something I can't put down yet and forget about for the rest of, say, a couple of weeks. I've been listening to it while walking around the city and even while going to school and back. I can be really obsessive and get easily fixated to good music hence the current fixation on all tracks on FIGHT BACK.

I would be very happy should I obtain a copy of this physically but until then, I'll keep myself busy with my MA thesis. Especially, well, tonight. I think it'll be awhile before I can do my pre-orals because of the lot of things to do yet until then. /lesigh. Stress, stress, stress and more stress. At least there's beautiful music to stan/fail to.

kg*
Think!

twenty one five

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Hi, 2015!

It's been awhile since I last set foot here owing maybe to the fact that I'm too busy with trying to finish the masters - even though it looks somewhat impossible until now...thanks for making my life miserable, master's thesis - and partly because I don't really have any stable internet connection on most days.

On Resolutions
I remember a year ago today, at the start of 2014, that I had a number of New Year's resolutions. This year, I have none. At all. Why? It's because I've decided they're not really that useful. While it is true that starting anew at the beginning of a pristine new year is ideal or it's been the practice of most of us, the thing I find is that these changes we want to impose on ourselves do not really stick for long. At the middle of the year, we would be back with our own ways right before the new year started. Aside from that, change is something that's difficult to impose on ourselves most of the time. Sure, there are some habits, thinking and such we can change in the blink of an eye but it would take time to change most of the things that make up what we are individually. I'm off of resolutions for now more because useless than because they are overrated and yes, they are too overrated I'm already pretty much tired of them.

2014 did not really start all that well for me and it's not ending well either especially the 2014-2015 school year. More pressure from everyone among others. I'm at the verge of hating everything and everyone yet I somehow still try to keep calm so I don't burst on anyone at home or in school among others. This is what I signed up for anyway.

The rest of 2015 from today onwards will be even more hectic until March or May this year and I only hope to get through it, quick and painless but I doubt it. I very much doubt it. More blood will be shed, I suppose.

This year, however, as early as now, I've already resolved to keep my focus on real life. Less internet, less social media, more responsible use of social media, more work on the online business and the blog and of course, on the attempt to finish school somehow. Hopefully, I do tie things up nicely soon.

And here's to more of life in 2015! I'm going to continue being sparse everywhere online, I don't already have any Facebook account to begin with...

*kg
me, just playing around

sales post: a ton of books and one manga

I'm selling all these because other than the fact that I'm short on cash, I find it important to get rid of all the things I've amassed that I hardly use anymore. The house needs to be rid of these, too. Hope they can find a new home amongst you, buyers. Some of them have been listed on my ebay, too.

This is for serious buyers only.

How to Purchase:
1. Send an e-mail to kristagraces@gmail.com with the item/s as the subject. You may include in the first e-mail your inquiries about the items/books, your preferred payment method and contact details (full name, address, mobile phone number, home phone number)
2. If using paypal, wait for the paypal invoice. If you prefer BDO cash card deposit, wait for confirmation e-mail.
3. Pay for your purchases.
4. Get stuff!

Note that:

  • Shipping fee is shouldered by the buyer if not within Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental

  • Prices are in Philippine Peso

  • Shipping may take a maximum of 2 days within the Philippines


Payment methods:

  • Paypal: kristagraces@gmail.com

  • BDO cashcard deposit: 601853 906 3208890

  • COD upon meet-up

***For buyers from Cagayan de Oro, you can arrange meet-ups anywhere in Divisoria or in the malls, i.e. Ayala Centrio, Lim Ket Kai Mall, SM CDO, Gaisano Mall, etc.

On the list are the titles, their authors and their prices.

click here to see books and price listCollapse )
me, just playing around

new blog to be launched on tumblr and a bunch of other things mainly on eating

Let me just put this out there, in case my inactivity around LiveJournal baffles many, that I'm not ready to give up on LJ just yet. This still serves as sanctuary, some sort of haven for me from the flurry and drama on most social media sites. I'm not on facebook anymore and nor do I plan to go back there but twitter, instagram and a few others, probably even including tumblr can get pretty dramatic at times, too. E-mails can also get pretty dramatic at times but they're better than nothing and then there are dating sites which...I've had a fair amount of experience with but people there are the ones I mostl find lame so I've quit. It's a try and tire out of it process in every site I seem to go on, Facebook included. But I'm not here to talk social media painful experiences and what not. Okay, partly because it seems, from what I hear/read from fellow social media friends on twitter mostly, LJ has undergone a huge-ish change and yes, that. It might signal a time for many to leave LJ and work on other blogging platforms but for me...I'm not ready to give up on LJ just yet however I am putting up a third tumblr blog for random lifestyle thoughts. Mostly impersonal ones concerning health, home and beauty stuff or just whatever occupies my thoughts in the early to mid-morning part of the day. It's different from the photo inspiration tumblr blog and the fangirling tumblr blog and it's mostly to assure myself that whatever happens to LJ in the near future---I'm currently getting flashes of LJ getting closed down due to mismanagement but I really, REALLY hope not---I have somewhere else to go to.

I'm currently known to not update the blog for a long while after the last blog entry because there's really not much I can post on here. Couple that with the fact that I actually have another blog I maintain which is on blogger/blogspot. Other than maintaining my twitter and my instagram account, these blogs actually keep me preoccuppied most days.

Now that, that's out of the way, let's get back to the business of living the (boring?) life...

*****

Black coffee with sprinkles of nutmeg and cinnamon powder in hand this morning, my head was full of thoughts regarding how to transition gracefully into a raw vegan foodist among many other things and then I get reminded that I currently converted a Christmas gift of a notebook into a scrapbook of sorts. I swear I don't drink a lot of coffee but only reserve it for occasions when I get too sleepy and I direly need to be wide-awake to do whatever. I'm really more of a tea person lately and I hardly sleep later than 12 midnight now unless I obsess about a single thing and watch videos and read stuff online until 5 a.m. in the morning on some days. No, just don't ask anymore. My close friends are well aware of my crazy sleeping habits when I obsess about something.

Those thoughts in my head came down to these pointers and a snapshot of a page of my scrapbook that has my 2014-2015 health, wellness and fitness goals:



My diet, as of the moment, is far from being very healthy though I try to eat healthy meals one to two times a day. This normally means a plate-full of salads of different kinds or a cooked pasta (mostly, aglio e olio and other vegetarian/pescetarian pasta varieties) with a raw salad side dish and a bottle of green smoothie or mixed fruits and vegetable smoothie for breakfast or dinner. Even though most of my diet now is a dash of seafoods and mostly fruits and vegetables, I still go really unhealthy for snacks like a bowl of cheetos unhealthy here and there coupled with maybe a cup of tea or, like today, a glass of cold lemon grass juice courtesy of mum---most of the time, I do make my own meals and snacks because no one really goes for the healthy lifestyle I aim for when I'm at home or anywhere else. The Philippine archipelago is a country of omnivores and mostly carnivores.  I go for traditional rice and meat sometimes when I feel like doing so but it only ever happens sometimes now or when I have no choice but to eat meat.

Let me just put it out there that I've wanted to be fully vegan (now, raw vegan) for a long time since having encountered Carrie Underwood in American Idol season 4 at 17 years old. Now, though, my reason for wanting to go there is because of my health. I'm not sick or anything but I'd like to keep a light and healthy body and form. I'm not even looking to lose a lot of weight as most people would think one is looking to do so when they go on a vegan or raw vegan diet. Other than that, I may be a pet lover but I'm otherwise more of a humanitarian than a huge animal lover enough for me to want to be a raw vegan just because I don't want to bring harm to a lot of those in the animal kingdom. I hardly have issues against people who eat meat regularly nor am I the type who can't stand being at the wet section of the supermarkets because of the butchered meat stuff there.
4 Keys or Pointers to Transitioning from a Mostly Pescetarian Diet to a Raw Vegan DietCollapse )

It's kind of funny for people to think that one is going raw vegan or vegetarian/vegan because she or he wants to lose weight like what a friend shared to me a couple of nights ago on Twitter. She is into modifying her diet because of her allergies. Her list of food that she could eat is getting narrower and narrower due to her allergic flare-ups everytime she eats a certain food like chicken and even seafoods like shrimp among others.  Call it carefully restricted eating. Again, diet modification due to health implications. Either way,  I still maintain that whatever one chooses to eat, others should not judge or whatever. I keep getting stares myself whenever I am out because all I'm eating are salads or vegan/vegetarian food options on the menu. I don't ask my meals to be modified like most vegetarians and vegans but I do choose the ones with the least to none at all meat products. I also choose carefully the places I eat out in. In most places, I get questions like: "is that all you're eating, ma'am?" which is, frankly, getting tired, tried and just downright annoying---stop it, people, please. I don't judge others for what they eat, who gives them (you) the right to judge what I eat and drink? Oh, and contrary to the popular belief of many an omnivore, some vegetarians or those with restricted diets do not really preach that theirs is the best and healthiest diets because like all other things, a certain diet may not fit everyone at all. Think, personal preferences and what the body is most attuned to when it comes to preparing meals and stuff. What fits for one may not fit for another. Not all of us would think or say 'ew' out loud when we see others eating meat at a restaurant here and there.

Until the next post then as this is getting longer and I am probably not making any more sense now.

kg*