to watch / spy dramas and more

Spies and Assassins

The Americans series finale aired in 2018. Watch it if you like spy drama, Keri Russell, or slower character development. It’s set in the 80s towards the end of the cold war and focuses on two illegals. It’s not as action packed as Homeland. Stream all 6 seasons on Amazon Prime. I like it enough that I may rewatch it when I have time.

Deutschland 83 is another cold war spy drama set in 1983 on the East vs West Germany front. It’s in German and subtitled. If you like The Americans, you’d like this. I found it very addicting. Great soundtrack. The season is shorter and easy to get through. Anxiously waiting for the release of the second season, Deutschland 86! Stream on Hulu.

TURN: Washington’s Spies is based on a Revolutionary War Long Island spy ring. I thought season one was a little slow but perhaps it picked up after it knew it was getting renewed. It’s beautifully filmed and you see a lot of colonial homes and fashion. Washington, Hamilton, etc. all make appearances. Stream all 4 seasons on Netflix.

Killing Eve is a heavy yet lighthearted drama with two female leads playing a very well dressed assassin and a MI5 agent. I liken it to an airy cake donut (it exists, check out the Underwest dark chocolate donut). This was the best new series I saw in 2018 and if you didn’t notice, Sandra Oh won a Golden Globes for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. Stream on Hulu.

Continue reading “to watch / spy dramas and more”

I’ve been taking R&R in Taipei and didn’t bring a laptop with me. After a week of detoxing from a computer, I itched to write real emails and keyboard shortcut my way through my inbox.

  • I’ve been indulging in super affordable tui na and acupuncture and will be sad to give them up once I return home.
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that most food in Taipei is good – no matter where you go. I’m not as diligent in exploring Taipei food options because there are family obligations and because I’m content.
  • Yelp just launched in Taiwan. It’s too new to be of substantial value though. Foursquare was in use.
  • I’ve been thinking of purging (and I’ve been talking about it for years but time has always been a deterrent) and browsed through Marie Kondo’s much talked about book. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten wiser about purchases so there is a lot less to buy in Hong Kong and Taipei. So far.
  • If you have any recommendations for items to buy from Taipei (or Narita airport), let me know! I always end up in Muji and Watson’s for hours. Even though I can read traditional Chinese, it is more tiring. Thus, it’s harder to find reviews on products.

I. Shopping

  • Get $10 off your first $50+ order at Peach and Lily!
  • I always stop at the original Sogo department store in Taipei and did a walkthrough of the first floor, which I usually do not do. They have a HUGE selection of Repetto ballet flats — I think it rivaled the flagship in Paris and definitely beat any US retail outlet. Retail pricing is hefty but there were a bunch of styles that were 40% off.
    • I tried on the new pointed ‘Brigitte’ style (currently 25% off through link). It runs TTS and I never realized before the bow could be tightened. If feels different than the Cendrillon ballet flat due to the lack of curve. It’s currently online at:
    • I also saw a black rubber version of the popular Cendrillon style — perfect for drizzly weather — but I can’t seem to find it online.
    • A Repetto store is rumored to be opening in Soho, NYC this year…
  • Petit Bateau private sale up to 70% off. 3 days left. Sizes are limited.
  • Two thumbs up to the Better Business Bureau! I’d purchased something from a popular home decor e-tailer. I got tired after waiting an year for a backorder and they didn’t respond to my emails. It was too far back for me to contest with my credit card. I filed a case on BBB, who then forwarded it to the local BBB. The e-tailer took immediate action. The e-tailer has similar bad reviews on BBB, so buyer beware.

II. Other

I am not categorizing for the sake of time. I will say that I really wish more RSS feeds didn’t force me to click to their site to read because now I have an exorbitant amount of saved items. I spent a good deal of time bookmarking instead of reading on my flight here. Or is there a way to easily bookmark into folders, on the iPhone, while offline?

III. Watching

  • I detest inefficient browsing. Enter Netflix God Mode. I usually add to my queue on the desktop. (PSFK)
  • How long it takes to binge watch a show. (via Apartment Therapy)
  • I’ve also been on a TV detox, but can’t wait to dig into:
    • Mad Men, last season (AMC)
    • Orphan Black, starting April 18 (BBC US)
    • Grimm, returns (NBC)
    • Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, Wolf Hall (PBS)

general / brain dump {happy hump day!}

I. Shopping

  • Chloe ballet flats. I encountered an amaaazing (70% off) sale that I couldn’t resist. Final sale? There’s always eBay or Amex return protection. While they didn’t have their classic scalloped ballet flat in a reasonable color or in my size, I did figure out my Chloe size. It’s true to size, folks, i.e. 38.0 = US 8. I’m keeping a pair of pointed ballet flats, but am not sure if I like pointy (sometimes I walk into things and the extra length does not help) or the excessive toe cleavage. As seen here, here, and similar here.
  • This little piggy went to the market => I’ve been keeping an eye on the custom Baggus for Crate and Barrel and love the current pig one.
  • My Clarisonic Plus of 5+ years died. The sad thing is that it was in storage for the last 2 years and is out of warranty (both manufacturer’s and extended credit card). Clarisonic offered a 25% off discount as a consolation, which I asked Nordstrom to pricematch. (Note: They said it was a one-time courtesy since it’s not in their pricematch policy to honor non-public discounts.) Although I would’ve preferred this QVC bundle, I value Nordstrom’s customer service much higher than a small discount. It’s still a pricey gadget especially one with a finite life, but if you compare it to a few spa services, it’s a smart investment. I still went for the higher end model, Clarisonic Smart Profile, since there are brushes for the body, and the less advertised, feet — all of the pedi brushes work with the Smart Profile!
  • TheRealReal is an online consignment store and has an alarming amount of new, recent season Clare Vivier bags at a really good price. There’s the spotted Sandrine and Madeleine Petit in British Tan or Royal Blue Croco. The starting price is 50% off – $25 first timer credit* – 20% off with code PICKMEUP.
  • Clare Vivier Margot Tote fans, Piperlime has the spotted tote on sale and Malia Mills has the solid totes on sale. It has a waxier finish than her other bags. I have a simple tote from her earlier collections and wish she had more simple designs.

II. Design

Continue reading “general / brain dump {happy hump day!}”