Lake Shore Drive. Chicago, IL
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John
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Lake Shore Drive – Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah

In 2018, I flew to Chicago and drove on Lake Shore Drive because of this song. My trip to Chicago was memorable. I ate at Manny’s Deli and also ate Chicago-style hot dogs, yum~!! Lake Michigan was so huge, it was just like an ocean. Lake Shore Drive was so beautiful that I was emotional and felt like crying.

On that trip, I also visited Gary, Indiana, and visited Michael Jackson’s old house. And I stayed a few days in Michigan. I like Michigan. Oh, I was SOOO confused about using toll roads, especially the toll gates. I was unaware of such a thing. I was completely lost. I freaked out as I watched everyone else passing through the gates in a rhythmic pattern, like the baseball scene from the Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Anyway, the gate just opened for me. I think my rental car had a device that communicated with the gate(?). I still don’t know what happened. I don’t know what I need to do the next time.

I didn’t know this song (Lake Shore Drive) until the movie ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’.

Obviously, “Lake Shore Drive” initials LSD.

FYI: Yes, I tried a deep-dish pizza in Chicago. That’s all I have to say.

Team Gandhi Vs. Team Annie
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John
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Some people, including Gandhi, said “Live each day like today is the last”. But, I don’t agree with that. I don’t think that philosophy applies to common folks like us. It applies if you’re trying to cure cancer or compete in the Olympics. They are the people with special missions, and every single day counts for them. But, I’m just a little guy (and I’m proud of it). I live my life as if I will live 120 years. I enjoy my slow and boring life. I like to daydream about my next 10-20 years (Driving Porsche and traveling to the Southern states for good food). I like the fact that I have a lot of unfinished personal projects.

I like to go to bed, thinking about what to eat the next day. My life is fuller because I believe the Sun will come out tomorrow. Yes, like the Broadway musical Annie. Annie presents the philosophy that opposes Gandhi’s teaching head-on. Annie has a valid philosophy that we still quote her to this date.

So, there you have it. Team Gandhi vs. Team Annie. Which team would you join?

Here are key factors to consider.

  • Team Gandhi – You die tonight. Hunger strike. Assassinated.
  • Team Annie – There is tomorrow. Cute dog. Lives happily ever after.

“Hunger” is a funny word – “Hunger!” “Hunger!” it sounds like something Tarzan would say to a lion.

I guess we don’t have to pick a team. We can meet in the middle; we shall enjoy life and try not to be lazy.

I don’t have a point to make in this blog post. Gandhi and Annie popped into my head, and I wanted to share this video. This is the best version of “Tomorrow”. Andrea McArdle is the best Annie. Even if you don’t like Broadway musicals, you must watch this once.

Please take care. I will talk to you soon.

Calendar shopping season
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John
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Shop early. Good calendars will sell out.

I am a calendar person. A calendar on the wall says who you are. Even if you have a free calendar from your dentist, that calendar will say something about you. The calendar can be a part of the furniture that adds an extra attitude to your house. A calendar can make a big statement about you. Imagine visiting your boss’s house and there is a Mother Teresa calendar on the wall. But what if it was a porn actress calendar instead? Looking at the calendar pictures every day can affect your soul. Some people hang pictures of Jesus Christ or Malcolm-X for a similar reason.

I need a new calendar in the kitchen every year. I find it functional to have it in that corner (picture below). So, I buy a calendar every year for that spot. That corner of the kitchen is too empty to begin with. It’s begging for a calendar.

My kitchen (October 2021)

I also have a calendar in the living room, but I don’t need a calendar to check dates. So, I hang an old calendar I bought at Costco (Nov 2013). I like that calendar so much that I still use it after several years. I flip the calendar every month, but it’s always 2014. I don’t need a new calendar there.

Living room calendar (by LANG) from Costco. 8th year on the wall.

Now is the time to shop for calendars. Good calendars will sell out fast. And, if they sell out, I doubt they will reprint calendars in December and January. Costco had some beautiful Lang calendars in the past. Costco may stock calendars around October and November, or maybe not. It’s hard to tell, especially because of the pandemic.

September 2021 – Personal
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John
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Gal Costa – Folhetim
I adore Brazilian songs like this. This song is from the late 70s, and I don’t know Portuguese. This is a perfect song to relax to – around the house, or when I drive a convertible on an open road.

Costco European Cookies

I am running out of these Costco European Cookies (AKA Belgian Cookies, Christmas Cookies). They are available at Costco during the holiday season. These cookies are the best, and I always buy 3-4 cans and make them last 12 months by freezing them. The goal is to taste a little Christmas every weekend. But, I ate them too fast this year because I stayed home all year. I am already on the last tray… (photo taken on September 12, 2021)

Costco European cookies, 2020 Edition

Costco European cookies – 2020 Edition

Nicolas Cage

I’ve been watching Nicolas Cage movies obsessively lately. I cannot get enough of his movies. This handsome Academy Award-winner’s movie credit goes back to 1982, and he’s in 100 movies so far. Nicolas Cage gives me that cozy, nostalgic, and drive-in theater feeling I am fond of. His movies are exciting, romantic, cheesy, cool, funny, stupid, and everything in between. And I like them all. I love it when he loses his temper and goes ape shit. Nicolas Cage seems amiable that I would like to have him at my house for food and chitchat. That’s saying a lot because I refuse to have Tom Cruise or Daniel Craig in my house. That would be freakin’ uncomfortable. The same goes for Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson. They are the most beautiful people and I love them. But, please, don’t come to my house… again, freakin’ uncomfortable.

What about Leonardo DiCaprio?… I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that.

I believe America loves Nicolas Cage more than we realize. He is my favorite actor, without a doubt.

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

God bless Louisiana

According to the online personality test, I belong in Louisiana. And I agree. I’ve visited New Orleans a few years ago, and I enjoyed it a lot. When I travel, I would like to experience how regular folks live their everyday life. For example, if you come to California to visit me, I will not take you to Disneyland, but I will give you my typical life experience, such as drinking coffee, going to garage sales, and driving to the beach in a convertible. Oh, In-N-Out Burger, of course.

New Orleans was hot, and it rained at random without warning while the Sun was still up. But it didn’t matter. The food was amazing. Louisiana is a state of food. I wish I can retire there and eat until I die.

God bless Louisiana.

Just saying…

The Spanish word “Quesadilla” does not translate to “What’s the deal?” Just saying…

What I Don’t Buy At Costco, or Should I?
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John
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As a single person living alone, there are items I don’t buy at Costco. One category is the seasonings (spices) for cooking.

I check out the spice section at Costco every time I’m there because it’s fun looking (I love Costco). Sometimes I find items such as Everything Bagel Seasoning. In most cases, Costco-size spices are way too big for typical single people like me. In fact, even if I had a family of four, I don’t think my family would finish the big container of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt before the expiration date. But, sometimes it makes sense to buy from Costco and throw them away as they expire. It’s OK if you don’t finish the entire container. As long as you are financially ahead of the game, that’s all it matters. For that, I have to strategize according to my unique cooking style. This takes brainpower and effort.

What I consider when I buy a spice:

  • How much of this spice will I use for the next few years?
  • How much does it cost at local grocery stores in a smaller packaging?
  • Is this spice readily available elsewhere? – Costco sometimes sells exotic seasonings that are hard to find elsewhere.
  • What’s the expiration date?
What I don't buy at Costco. Single Living.

My spice rack – September 2021

I have made many mistakes by purchasing large containers of spices at Costco. The learning process was long. But I am getting better at my spice game. In my case, it doesn’t make financial sense for me to purchase large containers of spices at Costco. There will be rare exceptions, of course.

Salt & pepper grinders at Costco

I bought the salt and pepper grinders in January 2020. 2 salt containers were $4.99. 2 black pepper containers were $6.49. They all had an expiration date of October 2022 (4+ years).

I will keep the salt long after its expiration date. I think the salt is OK as long as they are visibly clean. Correct me if I’m wrong about this, but they are Himalayan salt. The salt must be many million years old. So, I don’t worry about keeping them for extra10-20 years in the kitchen.

Costco Salt and Pepper Grinder.

As for black pepper, today, I threw away the unfinished opened container and switched to the new container (pic). In October 2022, I will throw away this pepper container about 80% full. Kirkland Signature black peppers are cheap, have a long expiration date, and I trust their quality. For under $7, I will not waste my energy thinking about black pepper. I will pick it up at Costco and move on with my life. Here, after throwing away half of the black pepper, if I consider all the variables, I neither lose nor gain financially.

This concluded my example of salt and pepper. Now I apply similar logic to each spice I purchase. And I apply similar logic to everything else around the house, everything and more. This requires memorization and an analytical thinking process. I believe the level of the task I perform equals high-paying professions. This is what most stay-at-home moms do every day while turning babies into upstanding citizens.

Also, I salute single people doing it all alone. Represent.

Talk to you later.

June 2021. Soon after taking this picture, I threw away the basil & dill weed that expired a long time ago.

Hulu Price Increase & Cost of Watching TV
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John
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My Hulu price is going up by $1.00. I think I am OK with that.

Currently, I pay $18.98 a month on TV, soon to be $19.98. I subscribe to Hulu with No Ads ($11.99) and Discovery Plus (Ad-Free $6.99). They provide more than enough TV entertainment for me. I get free local news from Pluto, which I rarely watch anyway. Basically, I gave up watching NASCAR, NBA, and some others.

I don’t live in a big city, so the antenna won’t pick up any channels.

My philosophy is simple. If I enjoy basketball very much, then I will have no problem paying extra to watch it. If I have a girlfriend who loves to watch the WE channel? then I will subscribe to it. It’s a simple rule.

For now, I save roughly $720 a year ($60/m) by not subscribing to a big TV package. Also, I hate TV service providers so much. I refuse to give them the pleasure. Screw them. Screw all of them. I will keep $720 and skip the Super Bowl.

After cutting cable, I quickly got used to having fewer channels. It’s OK if I don’t have every channel under the Sun.

I guess I am OK paying $20 a month for TV. $0.67 a day sounds somewhat reasonable. Still, that’s $240 a year. One thousand dollars every four years.

If I become very rich, after taking care of my retirement, I will buy a house with a three-car garage. Then I will buy a Porsche. After that, I will subscribe to a full package cable TV.

It’s fascinating that my financial priority is shifting. When I was poor, I had NO~~ problem paying $60.00+/month on cable TV. Now that I have more money, I feel sick to my stomach paying more than $30/m for TV. There must be a scientific (psychological?) explanation for this. I don’t think I’m cheap or stingy. I just bought a cashmere Berluti winter coat. Cheap people don’t wear Berluti coats.

Redken Hair Care Products at JC Penney
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John
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I think I still have this record somewhere

I am a man and I have a hard time finding decent hair spray at a decent price. Costco has some hair sprays, but they are expensive high-class stuff I don’t have cash for. Redken’s Fashion Work 12 is my everyday hair spray. But they are still too expensive. If I’m lucky, I can find them on eBay at $10-$15 a can on used conditions. Used, as in 80% full, dented can, cap missing, etc… I constantly look for a cheaper version of Redken, but everything I see at discount stores says “Maximum Hold” and “Extra Hold”. It’s as if people with long hair don’t exist – that we are all members of some punk bands. I cannot find any good and cheap medium hold hair sprays. As a grown man, I spend way too much time looking for hair care products.

I just want to do my hair and leave it soft to touch. The goal is to look natural. I am not asking much. Why is it so difficult to find such a product? Well, I found Fashion Work 12. It does exactly that…

Anyway, JC Penney currently has a good deal on Redken hair care products. I just ordered 6 cans of my favorite hair sprays at the best price I have ever seen. They even have a discount code that they didn’t have 2 days ago. They deliver to JCPenney stores for free. Now, I don’t have to think about hair spray for the next 2-3 years.

Even though I work from home, I always do my hair in the morning. I use 4-6 hair care products depends on the mood of the day. I start my morning with a fresh attitude. Obviously, I stopped dressing up for work because of the pandemic. As a result, I now have 4 pairs of brand new Italian shoes that I haven’t worn outside. I also have 3 Winter coats that I have never worn outside.

But, working from home is the best.

JC Penney

So, I shopped at JC Penney.

I was surprised that Penney still existed, let alone having excellent prices on Redken products. I think the last time I shopped at JC Penney was in the 80s. I believe I actually bought a Members Only jacket there. Remember the Members Only jacket? At that time, I didn’t know the significance of the jacket. I bought the jacket because it looked cool. Then 10-20 years later, people started to talk about the Members Only jacket as a part of the 80s reference. Anyway, I am glad my money is going to JC Penney. I look forward to visiting there to pick up my hair sprays.


Under the master bathroom sink, Sept 21
Used Redken hair sprays I found from eBay