September 2020

My colleague started a running challenge to be achieved as a team and it has inspired me to run. The last time I ran as a form of exercise was, well, never. I used the app NikeRun and have clocked in 70km this month. I am targeting 100km next month.

I celebrated my first (and hopefully last in this lifetime!) ISO birthday together with Fafa, Jik, and my parents on Zoom. It was a memorable birthday; it reminded me that I have infinity things to be grateful for.

Every Friday evening, I take out the watercolor set I got myself for my birthday and pour a generous amount of of rose to my tea mug, and practice gouache for fun. it has been great work week stress releasing outlet.

New and Loving

ISO September turned out to be my busiest month this year, which means I had to put the cooking on the back burner (pun intended).

In the first couple of weeks, I resorted back between UberEats, sending Fafa to do Indonesian food pick-up, and going to Hecho Mehico to collect my triple order of $5 prawn chorizo tapas. Though I have been eating delicious food (definitely better than my home cooking), I can see the hit on both the weighing machine and ISO-savings acc, so I thought why not try those ready-made meals subscription. I don’t believe the 20s-yo me had envisioned the 30s-yo me standing in front of a microwave waiting for my food to be done daily. But here we are. YouFoodz has been great — except that one time when they rang the doorbell to deliver the food at 3.30 AM.

This month I also drank a copious amount of tea from Tea Tonic, shifted to oat milk, have been using Neutrogena body oil excessively,

Internet

I published three posts. I must say, for someone who almost retires the blog, it feels like a mini accomplishment. I wrote about food, obviously – stroopwafel and Tahu Gejrot and interviewed Neera, a blogger who I met at a blogging conference last year.

I also resurrected my KodakKween IG account, so I can post my side passion for film photography all willy nilly without making it culture-y or artsy.

Read

My read numbers have been running behind on Goodreads 2020 List, so I tried to catch up this month.

At the start of the month, I read and loved a thriller His and Hers by Alice Feeney.

I also finished my first ever fiction audiobook, The Secret She Keeps (free to download) by an Australian author, Michael Robotham. It’s the Avid Reader online book club choice for October. “It started good but finish off meh“, will be my feedback during the zoom sesh.

On nonfiction section I read: Don’t Be a B*tch, Be an Alpha by Seo Kelleher (read and loved), I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (currently reading), The New Diary (presently reading, loving and kicking myself for not reading it earlier – the book was published in 1978), The Power of Tarot by Liz Worth (currently reading), You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (reading this almost immediately after You Are a Badass), Reading the Leaves (currently reading and savoring), Pilgrimage in Japan by Lauren Hines (read and mega loved because it was published in diary/blog format).

Media

TV – I watched a few horror movies this month. Starting with The Boy II, The Grudge, The Wretched The Pyramid (really liked this one), As Above So Below, and Room for Rent (the best!). These movies sent me into a rabbit hole of the horror-movies-explained rabbit hole on Youtube. There, I discovered FoundFlix. It’s a horror movie commentary channel. I also watched and loved Away, #Alive, Criminal UK season 2, and American Murder on Netflix.

Podcast – my current favourite, which might surprise you since it’s not another true crime, the Wildy Tarot Podcast. The girls in it recommended the Power of Tarot book above.

Alice Feeney – I have been playing On brulera by Pomme on repeat on Spotify. I accidentally heard and immediately loved it when it’s played on an ending scene on one of the episodes in AWAY.

Last Time

Last year this time, I was living my best life traveling around Scandanavia with my best friend. During which I wrote about Rijsttafel-ing Indonesian Food in Amsterdam and said Hi from Bergen.

Thank You, Next!

The seven million Victorians are looking forward to being freed from lockdown in October. That is if the 14-day average for the new cases continues to drop etcetera.

Meanwhile, Fafa and are also going to celebrate our wedding anniversary with dinner-date at Yagiz and a staycation in Meletos.

There are more than a few good things to look forward to, I guess.

On the opposite side, I am sitting for CPA exam mid next month. All I can say about that is GAH!!!! But I am going to try to stay positive while still operating with a come-what-way attitude, which has been serving me well this month. I am also worried that I might experience the case of lockdown nostalgia.

But that’s for me to be worried about, next month.

Top Ten True Crime Podcast

Last week, while having dim sum with my friends, I randomly shared a snippet from a recent true-crime podcast episode; of Issei Sagawa, a cannibal who ate his victims and claimed that the ass was the most delicious part. My friends stopped me then and there, asked what’s wrong with me, and promptly changed the non-Sunday-appropriate topic.

I’ve been listening to the true-crime podcasts for a few months now. I stumbled on it trying to find a replacement for the Black Tapes, a fictional, paranormal docudrama series, which was a bit more up my alley. But I do want to talk about true crime. I want to discuss the stories, the killers, the books, and the podcasts. Unfortunately, except for the occasional trivia with Pedro and fact-checks with Appa, no one in my social circle shares this interest, and no one I know listens to the true-crime podcast. Then I thought, hey, what if you guys do?! Wouldn’t that be crazy awesome?! If you are, hit me up, we need to be friends and discuss the latest episodes of the true-crime podcasts ASAP.

Top ten true-crime podcast:

1. Murder Dictionary

Schedule: Friday (jump-start your weekend celebration with it) // Best Episode: Jealousy – Reasons To Stay Single Part 2

Murder Dictionary was the latest addition to my true crime podcasts collection and it has drained my phone battery twice every day in the past weeks. Brianna and Kelley are a little crazy and a lotta fun. They come with attitudes, are merciless towards the killers, and more importantly, they are so relatable.

I have heard them cry during particularly hard episodes and they have made me LOL at inappropriate places at inappropriate times, which entitled them to be the #1 on this true-crime podcast list.

I have since become their Patreon supporter and I’m waiting for a chance to meet them IRL. Maybe next CrimeCon ladies?

2. Bloody Murder

Schedule: Monday (best cure for Monday blues) // Best Episode: 18: The Singing Serial Killer*

I like Bloody Murder because of the hilarious hosts, Tara and Barney, who are quite characters themselves.

They speak with accents sometimes and they have invented their own sayings, which get funnier every time you hear them, like shit in a bucket. I also like that there are two stories in each episode and that it’s a homegrown podcast. A girl’s gotta support her local brand.

Tara, Barney, I would love to grab a beer with both of you sometime!

* Because he is an Indonesian because people visit the prison to take selfies with him because he poses for these and lastly because he has his own action figure. God, save us!

3. True Crime Garage

Schedule: Wednesday (best during the Wednesday afternoon lunch slump or whenever you are having a bad day moment). Best Episode: The Fifth Nail.

This podcast has a very catchy opening theme song and even catchier hosts, who call themselves Nic and The Captain.

Both Captain and Nic have deep voices, which is nice enough to listen to when you need some R&R. The episodes are long and sometimes a story is broken into two episodes.  Storytelling wise, no other podcast does it as good as they do.

I have donated beer money to them, and I trust these two strangers enough that if I ever get lost somewhere in the dark, I would call them for help first before I call certain colleagues of mine.

4. True Crime Island

Schedule:  Sunday (best during Sunday cleaning) // Best Episode: 10 – The Murder of DM

True crime island podcast wasn’t love at the first listen. It was a little too fast-paced in the beginning, but then Cambo, the solo podcaster started to curse left and right, over and over again at the murders, the justice system, and the circumstances. I like his no-nonsense approach to true crime stories, no dilly dally on sharing who killed, what happened to them at the end and how much they deserve it. Thus, I became a fan.

5. True Crime Brewery

Schedule: Wednesday (best when you miss your parental figures or in need of direction in life) // Best Episode: The Murder of Michele MacNeil

Dick and Jill are husband and wife, which is a pretty rare occurrence in the true-crime podcast, or even podcast world in general. They discuss the cases thoroughly; argue about each other’s point of view, while still maintaining kindness towards each other. You don’t get this often. Btw, they also have another podcast called Watching ID. I have just started listening to it this week.

6. True Crime Japan

Schedule: Friday Bi-Weekly // Best Episode: The Kitakyushu Serial Murders *warning: this episode is pretty gory*

You don’t think I would pass a true-crime podcast based in Japan, do you?  It’s the combination of two of my obsessions. Listening to them made me feel closer to Japan, especially when Gigi and Dino share some facts that touch Japanese law or culture, which is something I am really interested in. Some of this information might turn out to be handy when we move there sometime in the near future.

7. Once Upon A Crime

Schedule: Tuesday (to tide you over to midweek) Best Episode: A Woman Scorned, Chapter 2: Jodi Arias

They do a series based on the type of crimes and share more information related to that crime type before jumping to the episodes which will help us to better understand the crime and why people sometimes do what they do.

8. Just Another Murder Podcast

Schedule: Tuesday (when you realized that Monday was just yesterday) Favorite Episode: No Helmut’s In This One…

Another homegrown podcast. Their tag is three Aussie ladies chatting about murder. This podcast is a bit more light-hearted and the girls are a tad bit too loud, but hey, it’s their podcast, they can do whatever they want I guess. Also, given the chance, I wouldn’t miss a chance to hang out with them. Coffee date ladies?

9. Murder Under The Midnight Sun

Schedule: Friday (right before you go to sleep) Favorite Episode: Femme Fatales Part 1, Celeste Beard

Ariel Jayne is the solo female host for this true-crime podcast. It’s nice because she covers relatively little-known cases, and imagining the stories coming all the way from Alaska adds a nice touch to it and weirdly has made me research it as the next travel destination.

10. Case File

Schedule: Saturday (chill Saturday is reserved for binge-watching 59 and growing case files) Once Best Episode: Case 51: Tina Watson

This super famous true-crime podcast needs no introduction. Case File is the first true-crime podcast listened to, the podcast that planted the true-crime obsession seed into my mind. Each case is very well researched and it’s the only one on this list with a proper website.

If you are more into mini-series, check out Phoebe’s Fall. This investigative podcast recently won a gold award. I have also subscribed to Australia Crime, Felon, UK True Crime, Canadian True Crime, and the UK They Walk Among Us. If all these are still not enough, you need to get your hands dirty and hunt a killer for real! It’s a subscription box service that will mail you murder mystery’s waiting to be solved by you. Go on, apply for access, let your inner detective shine!

At the start of this obsession, I was worried that listening to these podcasts, would affect me and my mood negatively. That they would decrease my happy vibe, being constantly exposed to negativity, especially when I am sleeping, but I can honestly say that I am a happier person to be accompanied by these podcasts, especially during my cold commute or lunch alone days.  And thanks to it, I have become more vigilant now, including sending my Uber status to Fafa and demanding Jik to text me every night just to inform me once she reached home.

These podcasts keep me going, they increase my quality of life and I would like to think that they make me a little smarter.

Other than the obvious stuff like early indications of serial killers and the justice system, I have also learned other things from listening to these true crime podcasts. I learned that almost all of my fellow podcasters love to drink, (me to you guys!) and that they respect and support their each other; I have learned a lot more about the world’s culture, and lastly I have learned to never let Fafa take out life insurance on me.

It has also steamed my reading hobby back to life. I recently read two books which I mentioned in the last Melbourne Expat post, and am currently reading “Are you Sleeping” by Kathleen Barber.

If you are a true-crime podcast fan like me, let’s support them through Patreons, like them on social media, share the love, rate and review them on iTunes. I reckon some of them still hold day jobs and are doing this just for the fun of it, exactly like how I am typing this on a Friday evening instead of playing Stardew Valley while listening to my true-crime podcast.

May 2017

The highlights of this month would be going to my Indian colleague’s house half-drunk for an Indian Dinner & Drinks Part 2; going to comic-Con with Fafa and Newman, dressed as Kamala Khan, just Fafa, and Luke Skywalker; and girls only hot-pot session at Liz’s.

I took a day off work last Monday because I wasn’t feeling well, both physically and mentally (needed to recharge). I also went to hardware Societe (still can’t pronounce it) and had the best salmon dish in Melbourne. The hype is real, people! If you don’t mind waiting in line for some time, do give it a visit.

The best friends and I have reinstatedFace-Mask-Thursday routine. I am in the progress of collection 100 pictures of us to display it ala Andy Warhol.

New and Loving

Let’s start with the big news. I moved to a cross-functional job a few weeks ago. Working on a new project in the company. I have a significant imposter syndrome! I zero knowledge on how to manage a project. And the accountant in me is cringing at the idea of working with a big group of people. I am worried that I am not contributing or understanding enough. I am careful about not stepping on other people’s toe, something I never had to worry about in the previous function. What should I do? I welcome any suggestion, you guys!

I filled up my weekends with workshops, including the healing power of herbs. The best part about it was meeting and making new friends.

I also tried the famous Anzaccookie for the first time, which I bought from IGA. It was terrible. Ugh! Why are we celebrating a holiday with this horrible tasting cookie??!

Autumn is here, baby! And it brought a ton of gorgeousness into the air.

My colleagues in the new project are fantastic! The female-only team does meetings over chai-latte, where the words like “family”, “tree of trust” and “circle of sisterhood” are being thrown around.

We tried Mukka, an Indian restaurant in Fitzroy, suggested by a colleague. Oh, my lord, it was so good! It finally manages to replace my year-long good Indian food craving. We are going there again for lunch next weekend.

I donated eight bags of clothes to theRed Crossover the weekend, special thanks to Uber free-pick up service. It felt good to give away clothes which don’t bring me joy to others. Bonus: no more mini-anxiety attacks when I open the cupboard.

Read

Books bought this month: Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism, Healing Magic The Guidebook to Conscious Living and Kitchen Table Tarot. I am halfway through the first one and dabbed here and there on the last one.

We loved and highly recommended Train To Busan, a Korean zombie movie. It’s on Netflix, add it to your list for the weekend!

I also finished and had plenty of discussion with various groups about13 Reasons Why? Which resulted in more than a few arguments. Side note, how cool was the Skye reading Clay tarot scene.

There is no new-to-me blog this month, just glad that Y, the blogger behind I Live In Japan start writing again after being hiatus the first half of 2017. I enjoy reading and slightly jealous of her daily life in Japan.

I started listening to the Lunar Abundance podcast by Ezzie Spencer, whose book I purchased a few months ago. I have been studying about the moon phase, including woman cycle, and it has been fascinating. Check out Emgoddess in Perfect Potion.

Internet

I wrote about five reasons why you should take a gap year. If you are currently in Japan, check out the Charming Journey exhibition in Tokyo. Well, if you are in Japan, do visit Mt FujiFushimi Inari in KyotoKoyasan, and Takayama.

Thank You, Next!

I am going to Jakarta next month! Can’t wait to bear-hug Amma, awkward-hug Appa, kiss Kiwi, my cousins, and Che. And food! I have made a list: nasi campur, nasi Padang, bakwan, KOI bubble tea, sweet pancake, chilli noodle and chicken porridge.

The Emerging Writers Festival is also happening in June. I got the weekend ticket. See you there?!

Lastly, I am planning to squeeze in Ayer Rocks into the calendar for either next month or July. I am trying to convince Jik to come with me. She is stalling. Jik come on, C’mon, C’mon! Let’s go!!

You guys, it’s not easy to rewind the whole month, I only remember last week clearly, but the first three weeks? Not so much. I need to do something about it. Either I start bullet-journaling my weeks’ happenings or break the expat’s diary into two parts in a month, on the new moon and full moon—end of the rant.

Tarot Podcast

Around the same time of getting the reading, I started listening to a tarot podcast. At first, I was hooked by the podcaster’s motherly voice. The podcast episodes are usually short enough to keep me company while I dress up before going to work. It calms the morning madness down and cocoons me. Soon it becomes a part of my morning routine.

One day, the podcaster talked about choosing a tarot deck. She said to choose something that speaks to oneself.Knowing how choosy and particular of a Virgo I am, I took my time on choosing the right tarot deck for me. I did my research, googled the images, and read extensively what others said about the decks.There are a few tarot decks, such as Sun and Moon, the Asian, the Wild Unknown, the Gaia, the Green Witch, and the cartoon-characters-like-decks, which I am drawn to. I also had been strangely drawn to the Nefertiti deck at Spellbox, even though I had never seen the inside of it. After considering everything and anything I chose the Everyday Witch tarot deck by Babara Moore as my first tarot deck.I put my order in and a couple of weeks later, after waiting patiently, the deck finally reached my office cubicle. I tore it open before immediately put it away. It’s weird enough that I kept crystals on my work desk, I think a tarot deck would create a full-blown office scandal.

Gotta avoid a modern Salem witch trial, the office edition.