the me + music tag / 2022 edition

Hullo, world!

I’ve been looking forward to today ever since the wonderful Ryan Elizabeth tagged me to do this–The Me + Music Tag!! It feels like a while since I did a tag, so it’s nice to be doing a goofy sort of post. (   ˙꒳​˙   )

THE RULES

  1. Link back to the original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
  2. For every prompt you choose to do, name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s graphics).
  3. Have fun and play your music LOUD!

DISCLAIMER: A lot of the music I listen to is not in English (oft. in Japanese) or don’t have lyrics at all (like classical ones). I won’t be able to translate those that are in Japanese, so yeah… 

  • I Like Me Better – Lauv //I like me better when I’m with you/I knew from the first time, I’d stay for a long time ’cause/I like me better when/I like me better when I’m with you//
  • Champagne Problems – Taylor Swift //Your mom’s ring in your pocket/My picture in your wallet/Your heart was glass, I dropped it/Champagne problems//
  • Blank Space – Taylor Swift //Got a long list of ex-lovers/They’ll tell you I’m insane/But I’ve got a blank space, baby/And I’ll write your name//
  • 心予報… Kokoroyohou – Eve //君に染まってしまえば染ってしまえば/心遊ばせ余所見してないで/想っていたいな想っていたいな/桃色の心予報//
  • Thou, Oh Lord – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir //But Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me/ My glory and the lifter of my head//
  • SELAH III – Hillsong Young & Free //Love, joy, peace/ patience and faithfulness/ Your goodness is here now//
  • O store Gud – Lena Maria Johansson-Klingvall //Then sings my soul/my Saviour God, to thee/how great thou art/how great thou art!//
  • Another Day Goes By – Lizabet //Before I walk out the door/To say goodbye to you/I’ll try to stay strong/I’ll try to move along//
  • 朝ご飯の歌…Sunrise ~The Breakfast Song – Satoshi Takebe, Aoi Tejima //みんなで朝ご飯/わたしが作った/いそいで、いそいで/でも味わって食べてね //
  • 世界の約束…The World’s Promise – Chieko Basho //木漏れ日の午後の別れのあとも/決して終わらない世界の約束//
  • ひこうき雲…Hikouki-gumo – Yumi Arai //空に憧れて/空をかけてゆく/あの子の命はひこうき雲//

> other favourite movie soundtracks (all of Studio Ghibli, Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk, Ad Astra, Your Name, Weathering with You &c.)

  • The Call – Regina Spektor //You’ll come back/When they call you/No need to say goodbye//
  • 銀河鉄道999…The Galaxy Express 999 – Godiego //さぁ行くんだその顔をあげて/新しい風に心を洗おう//
  • 鉄腕アトム…The Astro Boy March – Takai Tatsuo, London Philharmonic Orchestra //misc.//
  • アンパンマンのマーチ…Anpanman March-Dreaming //なんのために生まれて/なにをして生きるのか/こたえられないなんて/そんなのはいやだ!//
  • 服部…Hattori – Unicorn //ハッタリ/ジゴロ/服部おかしな2人/ペーター/パパは金持ち/逆光/珍しく目覚めの良い木曜日/デーゲーム/人生は上々だ/抱けるあの娘/大迷惑/ミルク//
  • The Wind Rises Soundtrack– Joe Hisaishi //misc.//
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4-6 – Tchaikovsky, Berliner Philharmoniker //misc. //
  • 101 Classical Greats – Prism Leisure UK //misc. //

 

  • 踊り子…Odoriko – Vaundy //回り出した あの子と僕の未来が/止まりどっかで またやり直せたら//
  • ジャイアント・キリング…Giant Killing – Luwan //ローリン、三振だったんです/フォーリン、慢心だったんです//
  • 言って。… Say it. – Yorushika //あぁ、いつか人生最後の日、/君がいないことを/もっと、もっと、もっと、/もっと、ちゃんと言って//
  • うっせえわ…Ussewa – Ado //正しさとは愚かさとは/それが何か見せつけてやる//
  • Believer – Imagine Dragons //Third things third/Send a prayer to the ones up above/All the hate that you’ve heard/Has turned your spirit to a dove, oh-ooh//
  • おジャ魔女カーニバル‼…Ojyamajyo Carnival – Ōmori Yoko, Mahoushoujyo ni Naritai //お空にひびけ ピリカピリララ/とんで走ってまわっちゃえ/テストで3点 笑顔は満点/ドキドキワクワクは年中無休//
  • Wake Me Up – Avicii //So wake me up when it’s all over/When I’m wiser and I’m older/All this time, I was finding myself, and I/Didn’t Know I was lost// -> This was the first English pop song I’ve ever listened to!!
  • Touch the Sky – Hillsong United, TAYA // My heart beating/My soul breathing/I found my life/When I laid it down// -> This was the song we always sang at my first youth group & makes me tear up all the time…( ´•௰•`)
  • Souvenir de Florence – Tchaikovsky //misc. //
  • Romeo and Juliet – Tchaikovsky //misc. //
  • Symphony no.5 – Beethoven //misc. // -> all of these three were childhood favourites I got to play in orchestra & gave me the confidence as an amateur violist (୨୧ ❛ᴗ❛)✧
  • Rain On Me – Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande //I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive/Rain on me, rain, rain/Rain on me//
  • Various Waltz  – Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Strauss //The Nutcracker op. 71-Waltz of the Flowers/Swan Lake op. 20-Waltz/Sleeping Beauty op. 66-Waltz/Coppelia-Waltz/On the Beautiful Blue Danube, op. 314//
  • In Case You’re Gonna Jump – Omoi //君が飛び降りるのならば僕は/笑って一緒に飛び降りる/止めてくれるとでも思ったか!/僕らの絆を見くびるか!//
  • すばらしい日々… The Wonderful Days – Unicorn //すばらしい日々だ 力溢れ/すべてを捨てて僕は生きてる/君は僕を忘れるから/その頃にはすぐに君に会いに行ける//
  • 見上げてごらん夜の星を … Look up at the Stars – Kyu Sakamoto //見上げてごらん夜の星を/小さな星の 小さな光が/ささやかな幸せを祈ってる//
  • My Favourite Things – Julie Andrews // Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens/Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens/Brown paper packages tied up with strings/These are a few of my favourite things.//

Wow, that was long!! I mean, I wasn’t planning to cover so many songs. But alas, it is what it is. (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )


I’m tagging…

Maya Joelle @when through the woods

Emily @ Emily Charlotte

Esmeralda @ Lattes & Literature

Elizabeth Hyde (The Temperamental Writer) @ Trivialities

Meg @Meg’s Magical Musings

& anyone else interested!

Thank you for listening! What are some of your favourite songs? What genre do you listen to the most? Do you have a weird mix of genres you listen to (like me)? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

February ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good Afternoon to you!

I can hardly believe that my reading break is over, let alone February is over. This month felt really short compared to January (which is partly because it actually is) since my uni went back to being in-person which was kind of…well, kind of a whirlwind. ( ´•௰•`)

But overall, I am super excited to be here to sit down with a cup of tea, some Japanese sweets, and talk with you. ꒰◍ᐡᐤᐡ◍꒱

-February Afternoon Tea ‘22 Setting-

Location: Cozy home library

Tea: Hong Kong-style milk tea, Paris Afternoon green tea, Camomile tea 

Offered with: Dorayaki, Anmitsu (Japanese parfait)

This month, I fell into a reading slump. *gasps* Compared to last month, where I was sort of on fire to read as many books as possible, this month saw me picking up a book and not finishing it, then picking up another book and ad infinitum. 

Which is simply terrible.

But, to be fair, a lot of things were going on this month. Here are the books I did manage to finish:

  1. Vita Nostra
  2. The Journey of the Iwanami Children’s Classics
  3. Typee
  4. The Communist Manifesto (Broadview)
  5. Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball, 1973
  6. Mere Christianity

Looking back, although I DNFed and didn’t focus on my reading as much as I would have liked, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the books I did read (well, except Typee) so I guess that’s what counts!

Also, my siblings and I got a chance to visit an old used-book store in downtown that we’ve always wanted to go to. It was much bigger on the inside than we thought, and we unabashedly spent over a hundred dollars on C. S. Lewis books. (Now we have two copies of Mere Christianity, most of his major works, and a C. S. Lewis encyclopedia.) Really, I was not expecting them to have many Lewis books. Our favourite find was the Compact Oxford Dictionary the size of our Mac desktop (times two) complete with a huge magnifying glass to read the dot-esque letterings. Sadly, it was around another hundred dollars and mum told us there was no room for it. (After all, one shelf of our bookshelf is dedicated to our various dictionaries.) The bookstore itself didn’t have enough space for all the books, so some of the books were piled on the ground, on the tables, on top of the already towering bookshelves, etc. 

I am definitely going back there again. (   ¯꒳¯ )b✧

Currently reading: On the Genealogy of Morality, (still re-reading) Crime and Punishment, Wind-up Bird Chronicle vol.2

Would you like more Hong-Kong tea? My friend makes the most delicious Hong Kong tea and suffice it to say I am now a fan. 

Music 

This month, I listened to a lot of Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Some of my favourites were:

Practising: The Breakfast Song, Subarashi Hibi (Amazing Days)

Listening to: more Studio Ghibli soundtracks, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, anime & classical music lofi

Movie/TV Shows 

Since I was really busy this month, we didn’t get to watch a lot of new movies or TV shows. But I did continue watching some of the ones that started this January, so that was good. 

Current favourites:

  • DCU–Deep Crime Unit…the name is pretty self-explanatory and if you know anything about the Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe, you get the idea
  • Mystery to iu nakare–Do not say it is a mystery…this one is actually a dramatisation of the manga with the same title. I thought it was kind of wacky to start with, but now love the psychological elements of it!!
  • And various others…now that I think about it, I think we watch too many Japanese dramas (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )

Manga/Anime

I didn’t start new manga or anime either this month. 

However. 

I am very much looking forward to Spy Family starting in April with WIT studio!! *goes to convince mum it’s a good idea to start yet another anime*

Also, I got a Jujutsu-Kaisen T-shirt from Uniqlo which I’m hyped about. ୧꒰*´꒳`*꒱૭✧

More tea or sweets, anyone? The dorayaki is back on the menu again partly because I had some yesterday and was reminded how good they are and partly because it’s the taste of nostalgia!

I talked a lot this month about slow writing (again) and keeping a writing journal. Initially, I was planning to work on a shorter WIP after Osthauptstadt. And in the first week of starting it, I decided to switch gears to re-work Juliet. This has been one of my oldest works that I can actually call a novel and while I got to the climax of book 3, has been on hold for the longest time because of various structural issues. 

Notice I didn’t say rewrite. It’s rework. 

Reworking a novel I’ve been writing for the past seven years or more is painful. It’s fun; at the same time, I have to face the many incongruities and discrepancies in my characters and plots that I’ve so far taken for granted. It’s like taking apart a music box that’s stuttering when you only have the basic idea of its workings. Every day for the past few weeks, I had to face my fears that I don’t have enough to bring my WIP into working conditions. Some days went better, other days not so much. 

And at the end of this month, I think I’ve done the best I can for now. I still have ways to go until I can actually begin my rewriting for the umpteenth time, but I guess a little patience goes a long way. 

Have you tried the Anmitsu? It’s a kind of Japanese parfait with matcha and clear jello, tofu mochi, fruits, red bean paste, matcha ice cream &c. I tried making it for the first time this week and loved it, so I thought I’d share it with you here. (୨୧ ❛ᴗ❛)✧

Back to uni. 

I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy being back in a classroom and I’m still not sure. Of course, it’s nice to be able to see my friends, classmates, and professors since you actually get to talk to people versus being online, on Zoom where it feels…awkward? And at the same time, it’s a bit exhausting for an extreme introvert like me. Hopefully, I’ll get fully back into the swing before my midterms and finals!!

Other than being head-flying-ly busy (imagine the current AoT season, if you get what I mean), I got more chance to spend time with my family which was great! We went shopping, went on a driving trip (for cheaper gas than in the city, lol), attended a secret meeting no one should know about, &c. (If anyone is familiar with the current Canadian politics, just pray for us. Canadian democracy has gone to the grave.)

And while too many things happened that I can’t tell everything in a single post, I want to leave you with some verses that I found encouragement in recently.

17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

19 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

(Psalm 9:17-20, KJV)

Thank you for reading! How was your February? What are some things you did this month that was exciting? Did you find that February passed away in a breath? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

January ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good afternoon!

It feels like a long time since I’ve been here. And, my greatest apologies to those who were waiting for blog posts for the last two weeks. I wasn’t planning to disappear on you, dear SJ readers, but something came up…

Sickness. *inserts soundless horror*

Which, I’m pretty sure was Covid. Some of our friends got it, and I ended up being in bed for a week or so with an extremely high fever, chills, pains, &c. that was not fun at all. Hence, the last two weeks were mostly spent in bed feeling like I was dying (but obviously that’s being too dramatic). I knew I was in for big trouble when I didn’t want to read. *elongated gasp*

Anyhow. 

I’m back, somewhat with less energy but very much alive. So, without further ado, let me present to you January ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ!

-January Afternoon Tea ‘22 Setting-

Location: Japanese-style living room

Tea: Lemon ginger, masala chai, apple cinnamon  

Offered with: Strawberry mochi, Fruits sandwich, custard pudding

I had a bit of a reading slump this month. Of course, I did end up meeting books I absolutely loved, but I’m thinking of taking things more slowly…or not. 

  1. The Saga of the Volsungs
  2. Shukusai to Yokan (Festival and Feeling)
  3. Still Life with a Bridle
  4. Der Sokrates Club
  5. Confronting Christianity
  6. Colourless Tsuzaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
  7. Five Children and It
  8. A Little Life
  9. The Abolition of Man
  10. Dark Rise
  11. Oshi, Moyu 
  12. The Song of Achilles

Reading: Crime and Punishment (re-read), The Japanese Emperor and the Army’s Modern History, Journey of the Iwanami Children’s Classics, Shibusawa Eichi, Vita Nostra

And that kind of tells you that I should probably focus more on my currently-reading list. Plus, I’m still trying to balance my various reading lists with the books I already have checked out. I really should stop going to the library…(ˉ ˘ ˉ; )

Would you like more tea or mochi? (Sidenote: We often make custard pudding. This time, I actually helped, which I’m kind of proud of!!)

Music 

This month, we did a karaoke! I made a playlist based on my family’s favourite songs, which we like to listen to in the car or while we cook. (And you can probably guess my sister’s picks…they’re all BTS or Radwimps.)

Practising: Mozart Sinfonia concertante K.364, various Sonatine & Sonatas

Listening to: Studio Ghibli soundtracks, AoT songs, UNICORN

Movie/TV shows 

One thing I’m kind of sad about was how I was planning to do a post on Studio Ghibli the week I was sick. Hopefully, I’ll get to post that next month!

Some of the movies/tv shows I’ve been hyped about:

  • Ponyo on the Cliff By the Sea…a childhood favourite ( ᐢ˙꒳​˙ᐢ )
  • Oi! Handsome…an insanely funny Japanse TV show feat. a showa-era father
  • Wife, an Elementary Schooler…a super cute but thoughtful family drama
  • 99.9…a lawyer drama, feat. an unconventional lawyer TM

Manga/Anime

And here is the list we’ve all been waiting for. 

  • AoT Final Season…Can we just ignore me screaming??
  • Kimetsu no Yaiba Yukaku city…Ditto here. 
  • Golden Kamuy…a recent development. It’s one of the darker mangas, but I’m finding it really helpful since it’s based on Ainu and the post Russo-Japan war era.

Overall, since our entire family has fallen ill, we’ve been spending way too many hours watching tv shows and movies and the like. But honestly, WHO CARES?? They’re good, that’s what. ୧꒰*´꒳`*꒱૭✧

If you recall, I’ve started this new attempt called a writing journal. It’s like a normal planner, except I write my writing goals/tasks for each day and journal my experience on it. 

It was going well. Except, you know, sickness struck. 

But reading back my journal, I’m glad to find I was writing more often than not, and I’m actually really satisfied with what I did get to write, even though it’s not a lot. I’ll definitely continue my writing journal. (Also, this month was the Osthauptstadt writing month. It’s slow going, but I’m looking forward to where this is leading me to!)

Have you tried apple cinnamon tea? They’re kind of like apple cider, except it’s tea. 

And here, I do hope no one gets sick with Covid, although I know that’s asking for a lot in this time we’re living in. Honestly, being sick has drained a lot of my energy, including academics. I’m really blessed to have an understanding professor, but if not, I don’t know where I’d been. Also, this month my university was online, so that helped a lot, too. I don’t think I would have imagined ever feeling grateful that my uni would be online! And yet, here we are. I’ve been finding how I’m more grateful for the small things and even those things that aren’t normal. They help me realise how there’s blessing in the unordinary circumstances of today. 

But everything isn’t all doom and gloom and sickness. Some things that has been helping me in life are:

  • Candles. I love scented candles, and I’m so glad my brother got me a fancy candle holder for Christmas, it’s my favoruite! Watching the small flickering flame is really calming.
  • Devotions & Memorization. Lately, I’ve been spending more and more time for my personal devotions, including trying to memorise Psalms. I’m kind of stuck at Psalms 7, but it’s been helping me greatly having His Word stored in my heart. 
  • Chores. Believe it or not, I’ve been finding it more fun doing chores than before! It’s exceedingly satisfying when you find the washroom sparkling, or when you get to brainstorm what to eat for dinner. Also, listening to music/podcasts while vacuuming. 

And lastly, a verse that’s been on my mind lately:

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

(Hebrews 3:13-14, NIV)

Thank you for reading! How was your January? What are some of the highlights this month? Did you meet any new books? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!