These things spark joy!
The last time I did a spark joy post was in March 2019. Click here to see it.
Last April, my marimo reproduced and created a little baby. They all look rounder now, and the baby is bigger.
I thought I would write about the good things that have happened to me since quarantine. I’ve been at home since around March 16. I encourage you all to do the same!! Feel free to write in the comments about the positive things that have happened to you.
1. I’ve had more time to cosplay.
2. I’ve drawn stuff! I also quickly stopped drawing after that but I still drew three drawings and I’m happy about that.
3. A couple of blogger friends watched Yesterday wo Utatte after I wrote my Episode 1 Impressions post. Thank you! It always makes me happy when people watch the shows I recommend.
4. I’ve started working out regularly at home. I haven’t exercised like this since grade 11 high school… That was 7 years ago…
5. I’ve been video calling and voice chatting with my friends. We’ve played games, exercised, and watched shows online together. Before I mainly ate at restaurants with my friends so these are kind of new activities.
6. I have a penpal now. I wrote a post called The Significance of the Letter in December 2019 and now I’m writing letters to a penpal.
I’ve also mailed out a birthday letter and a ‘I’m thinking about you’ card to my friends. While I could have just written my messages online, I think there is something special about having a physical copy.
7. I’ve ordered a kalimba. I want to learn how to play Wu Ji, a song from The Untamed. A couple of my friends have ordered it with me. We’re going to learn how to play this song together.
I’m sure there are more good things that have happened to me this past month. Maybe I am not as pessimistic as I think I am. :p
Violet Evergarden does an amazing job of portraying the significance of writing letters and receiving them. I thought the beginning of the anime was slow, but I’m very glad I completed it. Violet Evergarden does a great job at pulling at your heartstrings. Definitely give it a watch!
I was thinking about Violet Evergarden and letters in general, then thought about the letters and cards I’ve received over the years. I actually keep the majority of them, any card or letter that contains a personal message. Some, I keep in a box in my room. The rest, I keep downstairs.
Some letters and cards are from people I am no longer in touch with. I think it’s natural to drift away from people. Then we meet new people. There is nothing strange about that. The people that were once a part of my life were there for me during my highs and lows. Their letters and cards serve as a way for me to remember them, and evidence of the good moments we shared.
I write letters. In fact, I rarely give people cards. Some people tell me that they love that I write letters. I think that it is sometimes easier to convey feelings through words. I spend a long time on my letters. I write with different coloured pens sometimes. I also decorate them with stickers and stamps. I hope that people enjoy reading my letters. ^^
This post was inspired by Fed’s blog post on his love for Final Fantasy XIV.
Laboon/Nami/Buggy the Clown and transponder snail
The Brook wall art was taken at Ki Tea House Cafe, and the devil fruit cake was made by a cake vendor at Anime Revolution.
Fan & Autograph
The fan was a gift from a friend. Kappei Yamaguchi, the seiyuu of Usopp, signed my fan and wrote ‘Usopp’ under his signature! I waited two hours in total, and it was worth it.
Posters & Plush
The Chopper plush was a birthday gift. I have several One Piece posters.
This Zoro painting was a birthday gift, painted by a friend.
I bought takoyaki after watching the Straw Hats eat takoyaki made by Hatchan.
Straw Hat & Cosplay
Luffy’s straw hat was a Christmas gift from a friend.
Sanji calls Zoro ‘marimo.’
I got Luffy.
Chopper/Luffy t-shirts from Uniqlo
These were graduation gifts from friends.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think owning stuff makes you a “bigger” fan at all. I don’t own a ton of One Piece things but I do own quite a lot of anime things in general. I like to own anime stuff because it makes me happy. I like to see things that I like around me.
To me, being a fan of something or someone just means that you really like it. You don’t have to own merchandise, and you don’t have to know everything about the show. A word of advice: Don’t call someone a “fake fan” because that’s really rude. 🙂 Maybe you are quick to assume their love for the show, and that kind of elitism is toxic. 🙂
My friend, Carmen, went to Anime Revolution on Sunday, August 5 and gave me a signed poster of the Chinese cosplayers, Baozi and Hana. Thank you Carmen for lining up and for asking them to write my name. Baozi and Hana are two of my favourite cosplayers.
Maiko is a Japanese exchange student I met some months ago at a social event. She is returning home soon, so I had to see her again one last time.
We went to Suika in Vancouver, BC for lunch. I got miso ramen and it tasted great.
Even though I’ve only hung out with Maiko during that social event, she got me a gift. She is such a kind-hearted person, and so much fun to hang out with. I wish I got to see her more during the school year but life was so hectic. It’s a letter set from Japan with paper, envelopes, and stickers.
I picked up a couple of cosplay things (brown short wig, and green sneakers – for Kido). We went shopping after our lunch and I also bought the video game, Star Ocean. Maiko bought way more things than me.
I’m really going to miss Maiko, but I’m glad I got to see her before she goes back to Japan.
Basically, I feel more mature. (maybe because I am actually an adult…)
I used to care so much about the littlest things, to the point where I was not happy. Every day had to be worthwhile; otherwise, it was a waste. I think differently now. Giving it your best at school, work, volunteer, and social relationships is good already. Even if volunteer and work was just like any other day, the fact that it went smoothly should be enough. I used to be upset if I wasted my free time being lazy around the house. Now I enjoy having a peaceful and relaxing day at home. It’s fun to spend the day alone, reading romance manga and laying in my bed. There is no longer a desire to see my friends everyday, because I know that they are still there for me. I’m really happy with myself. Commitments outside of home are already time-consuming and they require a lot of energy, so time at home is really the best. In the end, everything is worth it and nothing is wasted.
One Piece is one of my favourite anime because of the friendship the Straw Hat pirate crew have. As I was thinking of this, I thought about my own crew. During the school year, I see my friends almost everyday, but here are some of the times we ate food together.
I didn’t start eating out with my friends until near the end of Term 1 of first year University. We got Qoola and Menchies around campus to celebrate hard work and the end of Econ 101.
In Term 2 of first year, we tried out Bubble Waffle Cafe near campus.
We also got drinks every Friday for our Econ 102 discussion. One of the places we went to was Tim Hortons. My friends got the drinks because I had class before discussion. We also did this in Term 1. For V’s 19th birthday, we went to Kyo Korean BBQ and Sushi House.
During the summer after first year, we tried to meet up a lot. I couldn’t make it to a lot of the hang outs, but here are two I went to. We went to Cactus Club and Mimibuloveme.
In Year 2, we hung out a lot more so I can post photos for every month. Before school started, there was an event held by one of the clubs. Since my friends were leaders for the clubs, I signed up for the event. Even though I didn’t get my friends as my leaders, I had fun. Three of us went to Blenz near campus.
On the bus ride home from school on a different day, I had another bad experience with creepy men. I was still upset the next day but A bought me a drink from Tim Hortons on campus to cheer me up.
For my 19th birthday, we went to Kyo. Cotton candy was being handed out on campus so we got some.
We decided to try out fried chicken at Flipside at our school, UBC, for the first time. Later that day we got Starbucks on campus. A, G, and I decided to make Fridays our food days so we went to Danbo for ramen.
We celebrated the holidays by eating out at Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle. V treated us to cream puffs at Beard Papa’s later that day. We were on our winter break during this time.
We went to Shishinori to celebrate A’s 20th birthday. Later that month we went to Banana Leaf to celebrate J’s 20th birthday.
We went to Seoul Cafe to celebrate G’s 20th birthday. We also had dim sum at Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant on a weekend morning.
A, G, and I got free pocky on campus. The crew and I went to Red Robins.
A, G, and I went shopping for J’s birthday gifts (different J) but we made a stop at Starbucks. The next day, we went to Morak Korean Restaurant to celebrate J’s 20th birthday.
On the last day of Year 2, we went to Pearl Fever Tea House near campus to celebrate. During our summer break, we went to Snowy Village for bingsu.
We went to Chau Veggie Express to celebrate V’s 20th birthday. Later that day we went to Off the Grid Waffles.
Summer school started for A, J, V, and C. I didn’t have summer school but I did have to go to campus for my lab. A, J, and I went to Pearl Fever.
When G got her N for driving, we went to Sekai Udon Bar to celebrate. On another day on campus, my friends and I got bubble tea at the new place. We got the drinks on the first day it was served. We also went to Panda night market and got different foods. We also had shaved ice from Icy Bar.
It’s almost the end of July and I haven’t seen my friends much this month. We were going to eat but I was too ill so it was cancelled. Two of my crew members are out of the country right now but we will see each other more when they come back.
Before I became friends with the crew, I had not gone to most of these restaurants before. It’s kind of like Luffy’s crew. If it weren’t for Luffy, the Straw Hats probably wouldn’t have travelled to so many islands.