2020 (The First Half)

There was a lot (and I mean a lot) of stuff that I’d planned on writing about, as soon as I finished my Bath & Body Works Hauls, from earlier on in the year (this).

However, between my hair and my nails and my teeth and my heart I kinda’ got preoccupied and didn’t get around to doing much blogging.

Not to mention the fact that 2020 was a pretty horrible year all around (not just for me personally, but in general and worldwide). That in and of itself deserves a whole other separate post (maybe I’ll work on it, maybe not, we’ll see).

In any case, the following is all the stuff I had planned on talking about on my blog, but never got around to (because… 2020).

Edit: I’d started writing this post way before the tragic passing of His Highness Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, may he rest in peace. Like I said, this year has been awful.

BTS

Any way you slice it, BTS pretty much saved my life.

I’ve always sorta’ heard about the boys, but never really gave them a second glance, up until they appeared on Carpool Karaoke on The Late Late Show With James Corden back in early March (here).

I was at my weakest, saddest and lowest point ever, and while searching for something to watch on YouTube, I clicked on Trending and saw them singing along with James Corden and was instantly smitten! They were a beacon of light in the darkness, or rather my darkness!

Their were so many of them (7 in total) and they all looked so cute and the chemistry between them was very endearing! Once the video ended, the next one after that was BTS Performs “On” at Grand Central Terminal on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. These guys were wonderful entertainers! They really put on a show!

After that, I was obsessed (to this day) with the all-male South Korean Boy Band called Bangtan Boys (acronym for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan meaning Bulletproof Boy Scouts) also known as BTS! I spent hours watching songs and videos and clips of them on YouTube, of which there were many (an almost endless supply)! Apparently, everyone else loved these boys too!

My heart melted when they aired reruns of their concerts for free on YouTube just because they knew people were getting antsy and bored during the lockdown resulting from the pandemic. Watching them perform was such a treat!

When it comes to BTS, there’s so much I wanna’ talk about and share (fave songs, fave members, etc…) so they’ll definitely be getting their own separate post.

Long story short, I luv ’em!

Netflix

I’d planned on blogging about this brand new documentary that was just released (at the time), called Tiger King. I’d binge-watched the whole thing and wouldn’t shut up about it. Unfortunately, because I wouldn’t stop talking about it, my younger brother refused to watch it and to this day, has yet to see it.

None of my guy-cousins and guy-friends got past the first episode (they didn’t get it). The only one of my female-friends whom I thought might get it (the others couldn’t follow anything more complex than Friends), texted back that she already knew Carole Baskin had killed her husband (prolly picked up on from her kids’ TikTok) and therefore she didn’t feel the need to watch the show.

Meanwhile, I watched the show as soon as it dropped (I hadn’t heard anything from anyone about it, but based on the name, I thought it was Anime-Related lol) and was completely riveted! I quickly found out it had nothing to do with Anime, but the people on the documentary were absolute characters! They didn’t seem like real people! I could not stop watching!

The fact that nobody I knew in real life actually watched and enjoyed, or at the very least understood Tiger King made me reflect on how very different I am from the people in my life. Meanwhile, everyone around the world was raving about Tiger King (meaning I wasn’t crazy for being fascinated as I was by it).

In any case, it’s been months now and that ship has already sailed (everyone who is going to watch it has already seen it and everyone that hasn’t already, probably won’t) so I don’t think I’ll be making a separate post on Tiger King anymore.

Podcasts

I’ll only get on Netflix to check out the newly released stuff and either tick the add them to my list option or if it hasn’t dropped yet, the remind me option. Then I’ll X out (if I’m on my pc) or exit the app (if I’m on my xbox) and get back on YouTube.

Although I do enjoy Netflix, for the first few months of 2020, I rarely watched anything on it. Tiger King was a fluke. It’d just dropped and it seemed interesting so I watched it and couldn’t stop. After that, it was back to YouTube for me.

2020 was the year of the Podcasts for me. Obviously, there was the most popular one of all time, the Joe Rogan Experience (which I’ve blogged about several times now), which I still watch religiously (and converted many, many, many others to it, including both my older brother and younger brother who are now hardcore fans).

Granted the older one listens to the fitness stuff (I hooked him by linking him to a Jocko episode) and the younger one listens to the more intellectual guests. It’s so nice to have somebody to gush about Jordan Peterson with (I worship the man) or talk about the latest Eric Weinstein episode or Lex Fridman or discuss Tim Pool‘s stance on this or that and so on.

I’d given up on getting the females in my life to concentrate on anything longer than an Instagram post. As for my guy-friends, they’ll say they watch/listen to the Joe Rogan Podcast (which I suspect is just to impress me), but in reality, they only watch the significantly shortened clips from the episode (which is not the same thing).

It’s extremely easy to make time and space for listening or watching to a Podcastany Podcast. Pre-lockdown, you could listen in your car, on your way to work, in the morning. You could listen in your car on your way to the chalet, during the weekend. Basically, whenever you knew you were going to be stuck in a car for a long time (traffic jam or road trip or whatever else).

Don’t drive? You could still pop on your AirPods and listen to a Podcast while you’re being driven around. You could have your AirPods on and listen while you go on your daily walk around the block. You could have them in while you go grocery shopping. You could pop them on and listen whenever, wherever. It doesn’t have to interfere with your day-to-day life.

I’ll listen to Podcasts (have them open in another tab and playing in the background) when I’m “working” on my blog. If there’s anything I missed that I’d like to actually see, I’d just switch tabs and scrub back (rewind) the video a bit.

I’ll watch my favorite Podcasts while I’m having lunch or dinner. When I’m in bed, I’ll get on YouTube on my Xbox and watch a Podcast until I get drowsy, which is when I’ll just turn to my side and continue listening (but not watching anymore), until I pass out.

There’s a lot of Podcasts I wanna’ talk about so I’m definitely gonna’ have to make a separate post on them, in the future.

The Walking Dead

I know I said I only watched Tiger King but there are two shows that I’ve watched which don’t count because they’re sacred in my family; Survivor (been watching since Season 1 first aired back in 2000) and The Walking Dead. Come hell or high water, we were going to watch Survivor (if available) and The Walking Dead (also if available) every Friday, in the Cinema Room, at home.

Survivor was and still is a family favorite (how insane was the season finale amid the pandemic, with Probst hosting from his garage lol), but The Walking Dead I actually discovered and watched the pilot with my older brother (who has since moved on from the show) and now watch it religiously with my younger brother.

We don’t know how or why, but apparently my younger brother and I just stopped watching The Walking Dead after the first 5 episodes of Season 9! Since enough time had passed, Season 9 was already available on Netflix so we decided to watch the whole season from the beginning (because my brother had forgotten what’d happened).

Once we got to the episode where we’d left off, we couldn’t believe we’d stopped watching at that point (it was a cliffhanger). Neither of us could remember why we’d suddenly stopped watching and why there of all places. In any case, we watched the episodes 2 or sometimes 3 and rarely 4 at a time. We didn’t just binge the whole thing in one go. This was The Walking Dead and it was sacred, so we savored it!

Once we were done with Season 9 we moved on to Season 10. As soon as the first episode was over, we started talking over each other with excitement. Literally, both of us had the exact same thought that “10 seasons in and they still somehow managed to keep things fresh”!

We stopped waiting for Fridays (because of the lockdown) and just watched them in the Cinema Room whenever we’d gathered 2 or 3 new episodes. We watched the penultimate episode (Season 10, Episode 15) which aired on April 5th, 2020.

… and then the season ended!

There was no finale! There was no news on when to expect the finale! There was no nuthin’!

Apparently, thanks to Covid-19, the season finale had to be delayed…

Eventually, word got out that the season finale was going to air in October 4, 2020 (which was months away, at the time).

Also, unlike the rest of the season which were 16 episodes each, Season 10 was going to be 22 episodes in total (the upcoming one-off episode and 6 more “bonus” episodes in 2021) and Season 11 was set to have 24 episodes (airing God knows when) which all sounded well and good, until they announced that Season 11 was going to be the final season!

I can handle a lot of things, but I cannot handle The Walking Dead ending! Sure, there’s going to be half a dozen spin-offs, but still, I want the OGs!

It’s been my favorite, favorite show for the past 10 years! I’ve even tried blogging about it several times now and might even do so when I inevitably re-watch the show (once it ends).

Such an unexpected blow. I mean 2020 was a horrible year all around, but this was the cherry on top.

On the bright side, it’s finally time for the Season 10 finale!

I know it’s October 4 in Kuwait today, but the season finale is actually going to air tomorrow (when it’s October 4 in the United States) because we (in Kuwait) are in the future lol

News

Aside from the usual news channels on tv (Al-Arabiya and CNN and so on), I like to get my news from other sources.

Internet Today is one of the many sources I enjoy, because those boys (Ricky and Eliot) make me laugh! I like their segments Weekly Weird News and Tech News Day and News Dump. I’ve actually been watching/listening to those two from way back in the day (during their Machinima days).

The Philip DeFranco Show I have to be in the right mood to watch. I mean, I can be in bed and watch Internet Today while I try to fall asleep, but I just can’t do that with this dude. He talks so fast (which is part of his appeal, he gives you the info quick, but also a drawback because he talks so fast it can get… irritating at times lol).

Last but not least, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver which wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I watched the Coronavirus Episode (first of many) and he totally won me over about 7 months ago when he said “This song slaps!” in reference to the Vietnamese Public Information Video on how to limit the spread of Covid-19 (about 7 minutes in).

The news is pretty depressing so I try to not focus on it too much, but also, I try to stay up to date because it’s not smart to be willfully ignorant of what’s going on around me and in the rest of the world. Also, true story, I get curious!

That said, most of the official news sources are biased so when it comes to certain issues, I’ll take it with a grain of salt and try to find sources that are the least obvious about it. For example the First 2020 presidential debate between Trump and Biden in Cleveland which I watched through The Washington Post on YouTube, mostly because it was a full live stream.

Gaming

I wasn’t in the mood at first (because of my heart palpitations), but after I realized they weren’t going to go away, eventually I went back to gaming. Truthfully, there was no time for gaming, but like if you love something, you make time.

I had Call of Duty: Warzone installed on my Xbox but didn’t love it. I only played because my friends were playing it. The theme of this summer was Gulag lol

I didn’t love Call of Duty: Modern Warfare either (haulage here). My poison of choice was Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (haulage here) because… zombies!

That’s why I’m super excited and can’t wait for for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to come out next month (Nov 13) because it promises… zombies (which means more Easter Eggs to complete, yaaaas)!

Don’t get me wrong, murking other players on hardcore team deatmatch is fun and all, but nowhere near as much fun as just messing around on a zombies map.

Honestly, I feel like the same high I used to get from playing my old-school Role Playing Games aka RPGs (Final Fantasy, Suikoden, Wild Arms, Xenogears, etc…) I now get from playing zombies on Call of Duty and attempting the Easter Egg.

Also, I never, ever, ever thought I’d say this (because it’s ultra nerdy), but I’ve been introduced to Dungeons & Dragons (registered my character on the official site and everything) and have actually been enjoying our current campaign!

Ideally, each player would have their own set of dice, but since we’re beginners, we all use the same set.

We’ve been using the regular dice, but I found and chose the galaxy-themed dice for the photo above because they look gorgeous!

Skillz, yo!

Except for those on the front lines (medics and other first responders and whatnot), we all had a lot of time on our hands in 2020, particularly during the lockdown. I chose to use that time to develop a skill and eventually master it (I practice what I preach).

It wasn’t really a new skill because I’ve dabbled in it before (Awesome Blossom/Blooming Onion and Elote Mexican Street Corn), but during the lockdown, I can confidently state that I’ve mastered it.

It started off with the best tasting cookies I’ve baked on March 3 (here). After that, I became obsessed! I started looking up recipes online and trying them out and customizing them as I went along. You name it, I made it!

I say mastered, not because I omitted this ingredient or added a little more of that ingredient. I say mastered because THERE WERE NO INGREDIENTS.

I had to recreate specific dishes using only what I could find at home (which thanks to Covid-19, wasn’t much, other than the basics).

It wasn’t the money that was the issue. It was everything else!

Every other day, you’d hear of a local co-operative closing down because of several people who worked there or volunteered to work there had contracted the coronavirus. Ordering groceries online wasn’t any easier because of how glitchy the websites were (they’d either freeze on me or log me out or so on).

In fact, about a month or so before Ramadan, I tried ordering online from Sultan Center. Sadly, the website was excruciatingly slow!

It took me 3 hours to track everything down for everyone (11 people, 14 if the kids are over) on Sultan Center and add it to my online shopping cart, at which point it automatically logged me out. I checked the cart, only to find everything gone!

Around 9pm, I went back to my room and got back on my computer and made my second attempt to order the stuff. Again, it took me 3 hours. Again, it logged me out and everything was missing from my online shopping cart. By midnight, I was ready to call it a night.

I was up way before 6am (because insomniac) but at 6am was ready to give it a third attempt. I added the things for the millionth time, only to find that some of them were no longer available.

So, I had to find substitutes and check with each person if they were ok with what I chose as a substitute for them.

By noon, everything was all set, up until I logged in and checked my online shopping cart which had double the amount (too much) of everything I’d wanted. It meant I had to go back and delete the extras in increments of 1 (which took about a minute or two, sometimes three, per increment, now factor in the 200-300 items in the cart and that’s what I had to deal with).

Once again, I felt the urge to smoke and then when I remembered that I’d quit, I felt the urge to cry. That said, I did neither.

By 3pm my order finally went through (and it had only taken me almost 24 hours lol). The estimated arrival date said something something Friday. Since it was a Thursday, I just assumed it would arrive the next day.

The next day, nothing arrived. So I figured, maybe they needed an extra day. Again, nothing arrived. I waited and waited and waited.

After about a week or so, everyone started asking me about their stuff so I went online and checked. Apparently, it said Friday not the day after I’d placed my order, but Friday 3 weeks from the day of my order.

Basically, the stuff would arrive a few days before the beginning of Ramadan lol

The other sites were no better. A lot of other sites and apps were super glitchy. People weren’t getting access to groceries (my friends and cousins were all complaining about the same thing).

In the end, my sister in law suggested we utilize taw9eel.com which we did, but even then, you had to place your order as early as 6:30am and not a moment later, otherwise you’d get a message saying they were full (no more free order slots available) and had to wait for the next day to place your order.

I started off with side dishes to accompany whatever the main dish was for futoor (during Ramadan). I’d also make the occasional dessert. Towards the end of Ramadan, I was making main dishes for our entire household. Consequentially, I gained a ton of weight.

All in all, cooking was surprisingly fun! I’ll definitely be writing another post on all the dishes I made and what worked and what didn’t.

Swimming Pool

Sadly, because of my newfound passion for cooking and the fact that I’d quit smoking (full deets, here), I put on a ton of weight!

By the time I’d realized the fact that I’d gained so much weight, it was already too late. I’d gone from a size Extra-Small, past a size Small and straight to a size Medium, currently working up to a size Large!

So I decided to lose weight the good ol’ fashioned way, by exercising. At least, that was the plan.

I started swimming daily! Then, once the lockdown was lifted, after swimming during the day, I’d go walking in Shaheed Park in the evening (with my mask on, the proper way, in the unbearable heat).

To this day, I have yet to lose half a kilo lol

Regardless, it made me even more grateful and thankful for all the blessings in my life. I mean, at a time like this, when people were stuck indoors, at least we had a nice front yard to walk around in or walk my baby niece in her stroller or just sit outside and watch the sun set, while we had cold drinks.

I was even more thankful for our swimming pool! I don’t think I’ve ever swam this much in my entire life! During this past Summer, unless it was “that time of the month”, you could count on me being in the water.

It was good for the kids to be active, instead of staring at a screen, playing Fornite. Plus, when most of us had huge chunks of free time because of the lockdown and the curfews, swimming was something to do. It was an activity. The whole family would be swimming!

I’d fire up the grill, throw some burgers and hotdogs on there and we’d make a day of it!

Being surrounded by so much love and happiness, made the ongoing pandemic on the outside seem… surreal. I liked our happy little bubble and was happy to stay in it for as long as it took.

Shopping

It was the start of July when I realized I hadn’t left the house in months.

Aside from the groceries I’d ordered regularly from Taw9eel.com it occurred to me that I hadn’t purchased anything in months either!

That’s when I got the itch to shop.

I think it was on Snapchat where I saw an add for Centrepoint which led me to their website.

I couldn’t believe I’d found a store that was open in Kuwait! I could finally buy something (anything) that wasn’t food!

Sure there were people ordering stuff from Victoria’s Secret and whatnot, but I wasn’t about to squint at a tiny pdf catalog on my phone to try to figure out what I was ordering. Nor was I interested in purchasing something blindly over the phone.

I wanted to browse online and order online and pay online (meaning on my computer). Sure, they didn’t deliver (I had to go pick it up from whichever branch was closest) but whatever.

You could tell I had a problem because looking at my Order History right now on Centerpoint, it says I had placed 17 orders in total (starting from June 30th).

To be fair, they did have a 15 item limit per order. They increased the limit to 25 items just recently. Also, they slowly started delivering to certain areas and eventually even started delivering to my place.

I ordered everything from Hair Accessories and Jewelry (I felt the inexplicable need to own Hoops) to Shoes and Clothes.

I also ordered some more Bikinis (using the July 4th promo because those babies were expensive) from Voda Swim Bikinis. Those didn’t arrive until much later (more than a month or so).

Then, once they started delivering, I went crazy on the H&M site and ordered even more Bikinis. I also got a ton of Tank Tops, for some reason.

In fact, I actually spent KD 300 on my first H&M online order. It was to be the first of many H&M online orders.

Then, Snapchat gave me another promo code for American Eagle of which I took a screenshot of and got on my computer and promptly placed an order with them.

When I realized I had accumulated a lot of clothes (too many clothes) and nowhere to wear them, I moved on to… other things.

I got several sets (not to mention the singles) of bright and cheerful pens from Pilot Pens. I also bought a ton of toys and floaties for the pool (not all of them for the kids heehee) from Fantasy World. I even placed an order or two with the local online Bath & Body Works store.

Thankfully, the itch to shop has long since passed and I’m no longer throwing mah monies away like a madwoman.

Still, it’s very interesting how we (as humans) cope with certain situations. For example, I went through my shopping spree (spiral?) early on and got it out of my system early on, but I could foresee the tell-tale signs in my friends and family, right before it happened to them too.

It’s like we were all trying to fill a void, by buying things. Pretty yet effectively meaningless things. Personally, I’m glad I got a handle on it and now it’s over and done with.

That said, there’s definitely going to be more haulage posts (of all the stuff I got) in the future.

You guys seem to enjoy these chatty types of posts but I don’t know if I should have them all be in one (like this post) or break them up into separate smaller posts.

Stay Safe!

8 thoughts on “2020 (The First Half)

  1. Gurl, i enjoy reading such long chatty posts. Kinda makes me feel that we are having a real conversation :) Btw, i too binged watched Tiger King but my friends didn’t like it at all.

    I can so relate to the whole sultan center fiasco. I used to be on their website at sharp 12 as that’s when they used to release new delivery slots and managed to get things that way. Am so glad that the whole lockdown thing is over but also worried if those days will return given the current situation. Hopefully not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww thank you! Your comments are always the sweetest ♥

    Yeah Tiger King was fascinating and I was so happy about the bonus episode that Netflix released so we could see where everyone ended up lol I’m not surprised that YOU binge watched it. It’s because you’re cool (unlike my friends and apparently yours too lol) ;)

    Yeah the whole ordering thing was a nightmare. Sometimes my order would arrive with a lot of groceries missing because they’d already be out of stock. The whole thing was insane lol

    Not to fuel the rumors (because it would irresponsible blah blah blah), but I’ve been hearing (as I’m sure you have) that we might be going back to an 8pm curfew. They’re going to be having a meeting in the next few days and then we’ll find out for sure.

    Like

  3. I’m so done with PEOPLE lol

    The ones that bug me the most are the ones that wear the mask, but pull it down exposing their nose (completely defeating the purpose of wearing the mask).

    I knew people were dumb but this was next level stupidity lol

    Like

  4. Oh my God… Don’t get me started! I was invited for an event by Aveda for their new product launch and wasn’t sure if I should go coz I hadn’t stepped into Avenues since Feb. But she assured me that it is a private event with just 4 people and so I went. Everything at Aveda was fine but by the time I got done and stepped back into the mall, I was shocked to see how people were just roaming about without masks and the place was super crowded. I literally ran out. Like how do you put sense into ppl?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh the event at Aveda sounds like it was fun! I hope you had fun, love!

    As for the people without masks, even if someone speaks to them, their reply is “It’s fine. I’m not scared” :/ It’s not about you being scared or not. It’s about you getting the virus and spreading it to others. Ugh, so stupid.

    Like

  6. Yup it was fun :) They talked about the products for a bit and also treated us to a hair spa using the new range. I wasn’t a fan of the scent but the whole experience was really good. I ended up getting some products from the Invati range to try out.

    With regards to the response for not wearing a mask, I swear that’s exactly how they will respond. So annoying! There’s this guy in my office who keeps coughing and sneezing the whole day and he wears his mask on his beard.. Like seriously dude?! He says its
    the seasonal flu. Smh! I told him I don’t care, wear your damn mask! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hair Spa sounds awesome! Glad you had fun! Hope the stuff you got turns out great ;)

    I feel bad for you for having to work with that idiot. Also, I think it looks pretty stupid when people wear their masks down low on their chin with their nose and mouth exposed.

    Like

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