Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Mental Snack (44)

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"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be. Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." ~ Oprah

Agree or disagree? Is life a big evolution? Should we always be celebrating being alive or are there times where celebration isn't the best thing? What's one of the best moments in your life that you'll never forget and celebrated? 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bucket List

    After watching the movie, A Walk to Remember, with a couple of my friends in the hall. I’ve decided to make some short-term and long-term list of goals for myself that I want to have accomplished before I die.  Here’s the list:

Find the One and have children with her.

Learn French and speak it fluently.

 Get six-pack abs.

 Learn how to ride a motorcycle.

Own a motorcycle.

Be the best friend I can possibly be.

Make someone smile every day.

Visit England.

 Travel around the world.

 Meet Stephen King.

Publish a book.

Read all the books that I own…if possible.

 Become successful.

Learn about other religions.

Meet Takehiko Inoue.

Meet Naoki Urasawa.

Do you have a list? If so, what’s some of the things you want to accomplish?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blogoversary and Christmas!

Today was the first day I ever posted something, one year ago, on this blog.

Yes, my blogoversary is the same day as Christmas. I knew it was someday in December, but I forgot which day it was until this week came by, when I found out it was on Christmas Day. So, one year older, eh?

This blog has been with me through the best of times and through the worst of times. It's filled with not only all my passion and love, but also yours, dear readers. Every visit counted. Every comment. Everything you've done, has grown into this blog and has become a more experienced blog because of it. It's almost a person, I might say. And I hope for another year, it will be around with me. It will help me with all my experiences in Irvine and out, with my friendships and relationships, and of course, with my writing!

Thank you for everything, dear readers. Thank you for the criticisms, the comments, the likes, dislikes, the responses to my questions, the advice, the stories, the awards, and the letters that you send. I appreciate all of these things with all my heart. I couldn't have done anything without you. And neither could this blog. You, dear readers, are the best gift given to me on this day.

So, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Mental Snack (43)

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"We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood." ~ Editorial Page, New York Sun, September 21, 1897

Did you ever believe in Santa Claus when you were little? Sometimes, do you still believe in him? Share with us some of your favorite Christmas stories. Lastly, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Emily Haines and Songwriting

One of my favorite writers, is actually a songwriter that I discovered over the summer. Her name is Emily Haines and is the lead vocalist for the band known as Metric.  In the beginning of summer, I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where I was first introduced to the song, "Black Sheep," which wasn't performed by Emily, but was covered by a band by the name of Clash at Demondhead for the movie. It was a beginning though. Her writing process is a really interesting one. She was lost for what to write for her next album and decided to clear her mind in Buenos Aires. Here's a video of her story. Enjoy.


If you're curious of the song that started it all for me, here's a link for "Black Sheep" covered by Clash at Demonhead in Scott Pilgrim vs the World.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fifty People, One Question

Hello, everyone! I was just browsing the internet this week like usual and found a very interesting group of videos known as "Fifty People, One Question," where a camera crew asks people on the street the answer to certain questions that can have a multitude of answers. Watch them and ask the question to yourself. What's your answer to:

By the end of the day, what do you wish to happen?

Where would you wish to wake up?

If you wake up, where do you wish to be?

What's your favorite swear word?

Why are you here?

What's your secret?

What would make your day?

How would you address climate change?

What makes you happy?

These are just a few examples of the entire series that is now on youtube. Check them out, because I'm sure you would love to hear other people's answers towards the great questions that these cameramen pose to the people of the streets. In the comments section, if you want, answer one or two or all of the questions here. What would be your answer?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Mental Snack (42)

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"If you knew what was going to happen next- if you knew in advance the consequences of your actions- you'd be doomed. You'd be as ruined as God. You'd be a stone. You'd never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You'd never love anyone, ever again. You'd never dare to. Drowned now- the tree as well, the sky, the wind, the clouds. All she has left is the picture. Also the story of it. The picture is of happiness, the story not. Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there's no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road." ~ Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

What do you think would happen if you knew all the consequences of your actions, almost like a god? Would you be happy? Choose only the best options with the best outcomes? Do you believe in parallel universes? 

Monday, December 13, 2010

The First Quarter Ends

                                                         (Picture: Sierra after SimSoc Retreat, Taken October 10, 2010)

Finals are over and with them ends the first quarter of my college freshman year. I have learned a lot in just these ten weeks living in Sierra. I’ve learned about myself and the others around me, when to get involved and when to step out, when to help someone and when to know that people can learn more by helping themselves, and so much more.

I have almost an entire month off for vacation, which is a nice getaway from the craziness (the good kind, of course) that is college life. There are parties here, studying there, doing chores somewhere, and everything else on the side. It all took balance to have a somewhat control of it all. But in the midst of all of this, I learned how to be independent and not rely on my parents or anyone else for once. It was my responsibility to get up for class, do homework, wash and dry dishes, do my laundry, and take care of myself. But among all of these things, I’ve of course screwed up a few times.  Nearly falling asleep in the class is not always the teachers fault. My laundry never did itself. And sometimes drying the dishes was a pain and I learned to deal with water stains.

The people in Sierra, my hall, are well—people. The theme being diversity is shown by all our different nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, foods, etc. We are different people with different backgrounds and stories. No two people in this world are the same. Some have dealt with more troubles, while others were more blessed. Some never learned to deal with the loss of someone and it still lingers in their minds, while others have learned to accept themselves for who they are. Some are blunt, others are shy. Some are comedians; others end up with the bad jokes that still get a laugh.  Some party too hard, others have never been to a party in their lives. A lot are in the field of science and math and few in English and the arts.  But all in all, though we are all different, we are also part of the same. We are in the same hall and we live together.  So, even though we are different, we learn to respect everyone for those differences.  

I’ve learned that I needed to respect someone else’s space because they are not as open as I was. That people can deceive. That I can seem condescending when under a lot of stress. That I am a social butterfly. That I can read people’s emotions in the hall really well after spending some time with them. I’ve learned to watch what I say because it might offend. To think before I act or say. To always give something a second thought. I’ve found that sometimes people get scared and have phobias. There is so much that I’ve learned in just these ten weeks and I can feel the growth that has happened to me physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have become a stronger person because of this choice even though there were good times and bad times, I still survived all of them regardless.

And as I write this now, I’m at my home in LA, just waiting to go back and experience some more. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Technical Difficulties (2)

My computer just crashed on me for the one millionth time and I'm starting to get really frustrated! Thank God that it's almost the holidays and I might be able to get a new one if I start saving up. Not only do I have finals this week, but this happens. Life just throws everything at you when you're busy with so much. Anyway, I'm going to be away from the blog for a week or so until this computer problem is fixed.

Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Mental Snack (41)

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"A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least. you can't act if you don't know." ~ Ray Bradbury

Do you think Ray Bradbury is right about not knowing? Would you jump in front of the person if he/she was a stranger or if you got to know them better first? Have you ever wanted to know a person that was on the same sidewalk as you or sitting on the same train, bus, or airplane? What is one thing you always ask when you start getting to know someone? Their values? Their religion? Their ethnicity? Their hobbies? 

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Liar's Heart: A Poem

The liar does not touch his heart or chest,
Only unnecessary movements
As he talks about the love he lost,
So long ago
That he no longer cares for.

The liar does not look directly into her eyes,
Only looks away
At the cemented sidewalk
As he says that he loves her.

The liar does not say you, I, or we,
He leaves out all the important things,
Like the idea of being together,
He was only focused on the loss of another.

The liar says that he still loves,
Then why does he frown
Or have a delayed smile
Whenever he speaks those words to her?

The liar speaks almost too naturally,
Does not like silence or pauses
And things that cause tension
As he beings to sweat,
Begins to think,
About the one he lost again.

The liar has a lover, who is a lie detector,
Much like a polygraph
She knew that when he laughed he didn’t really laugh,
But on the inside was sad,
So she wanted to fix what was inside,
Wanted to fix that broken gear in his mind
But the broken gears were just not there
The cracks were everywhere.

The liar was a broken man,
The woman he lost before
Could never be replaced
So the lover of the liar walked away
And the man, at first, felt nothing
Until the footsteps grew in the distance,
Echoed off those same cemented sidewalks he stared at all day,
One broken gear in his heart began to turn, began to move,
He called to her that it was too soon,
But she couldn’t hear him from so far away,
And then the liar’s knees gave way.

He hit the ground
And heard the loudest sound
Now in his ears,
A beating heart
For the one he just lost,
The liar curled up into a ball,
On the floor,
Not being able to handle lost love anymore.
He was always focused on the one before
Rather than the one now
So he understood,
Why his heart began to tick
The way it did,
He never paid attention
Since his own heart was lying to him
But now it was finally telling the truth
And he didn’t know what to do,
Now, he loved that girl, the one he just lost, and no longer the one before,
As he was on the floor,
He sat and contemplated,
When a hand descended,
Another girl was there,
And the liar just smiled.  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Samurai Still Walks: A Poem

A samurai walks across the land,
Holding the hilt of his sword in one hand,
Crosses the fields of wheat
With wooden sandals on his feet,
Pushing through the dirt,
Through the rain and the mud,
There is silence in his mind,
Peace and quiet,
Even when the rest of the world is full of sounds,
The clashing of swords on battlegrounds,
Trying to beat the enemy with a single strike,
The sounds of grunts as people fight,
Drops of water beat their heads,
Until one of them drops dead.

Village through village,
He passes.
From town to town,
He hides
Underneath that straw hat that he made.

As the wind continues to blow,
As he continues to travel,
He feels himself getting old,
The sword in his hands
About to break
Every time he swings
At an enemy.
He had one last job to do,
Assassinate a woman of unparalleled beauty
But he couldn’t even withstand her
When he saw the fear in her eyes
When he attacked her in the dark by surprise,
He saw his fate at that moment
And fell to the floor
For forgiveness.

She could not forgive
For she knew all that he did,
He knew that he killed for money,
Probably killed for fun,
So she decided to end it all,
And so he did what he had to do
And did what no other man could,
He took his sword to save his own honor
And stabbed his stomach.
Suicide was the only way—
To get her
To forgive him.

The samurai
One single tear
In front of the woman he was about to murder
And she cried for him too,
Wishing he was never a samurai to begin with,
Wishing that no one was able to take away lives,
And as the blood slowly dripped to the floor,
The samurai quickly attacked the woman
For he wanted to finish the thing that he had begun,
Since assassination was his job,
And made her fall to the same ground,
Her face more surprised than his,
Together they bleed until Death comes their way
To take them both away,
But they go on separate paths ,
One to heaven and the other to hell.
The samurai still walks through this world and others as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Mental Snack (40)

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"If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and every day you have the opportunity to write a new page." ~ Mark Houlahan

What would you compare your life to? And since it's Thanksgiving weekend, what are you thankful for and why?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hero: A Poem

Burden after burden,
Piled on his shoulders,
No plan, no order,
And only chaos
is lost in his mind.

Ticks by slowly
Runs like a monster
Trying to chase him,
And people tell him their problems,
Their stories
Of heartbreak
 And love,
The lost
And found,
The death
And rebirth,
All the voices
And sounds,
And everything he heard
He took from them,
The storytellers.

He took their heartache away,
He took their pain,
Their insanity,
Their lies,
Their truths,
Their secrets,
All of it
Stolen away,
Put into the pocket that was his mind,
Made it his own,
Helped others,
But they did not grow,
They became his experiences
Because of the advice he would give,
He didn’t let them think it through,
They only did what he said.

He was trying to be a hero,
By taking their burdens away from them,
But sometimes the world needs someone different,
There are others in this world that needed to stand up,
So he fell to the ground to be human just for a moment,
And let the others live their own lives,
And they did,
So there he sits
On that park bench,
No longer giving advice,
No longer taking things and making their stories his own,
Still sitting all alone,
He watches the birds quietly on the bench of stone,
And listens to the stories but doesn’t reiterate anything.

“The park is a nice place to be.
Quiet and peaceful,” he said
As he looked up at the sky,
Searching for the heroes that he did not create,
But that he let grow by themselves instead. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Everyone's Puppet: A Poem

Peers try to change
What you do, think and say,
How you view the world,
And make you go astray, 
Feel the influences,
Feel the consequences,
Make you move the way you probably want to go,
Doubting every step you take, 
You never know,
Never sure,
Never know what to do
Until you’re pushed.

Breathing deeply,
Still taking one step at a time,
Pushed from behind,
Rushed from behind the scenes,
Pretend like nothing is happening,
Can’t see where you’re going,
No lights up ahead,
“It’s all going to be okay,”
Is what they all said,
Until you crashed,
Fell in between the cracks,
Could no longer breathe,
Could no longer move or see,
Everything was a false reality,
Illusion of the mind,
Fantasies come alive,
It was all so enticing,
But then you crashed and wanted to repeat the cycle all over again,
Don’t want to feel the pain, the hurt, the loneliness,
Want to be happy with all your friends,
First you got to smoke,
Then you got to drink,
Act like what they think was cool,
But you know you’re a fool,
‘cause that’s not the real you.

You were an individual,
A person, a normal human being,
Who can think
Without being told what to do,
You had control,
You knew where to go,
But you wanted to be just like them
So, in the end,
You probably deserve to be where you are now,
On the ground,
Still breathing,
But getting slower,
Almost gone,
Losing all focus and thought,
Can’t concentrate,
Too many things on your mind,
Drawing blanks,
Drooling like a dog,
Beginning to pass out,
As the sirens shouted and waned,
Should have never cross-fade,
Shouldn’t have done a lot of things,
Shouldn’t have let people pull your strings,
Shouldn't have let them push you around, 
Push your buttons,
And changed who you really are,
You’ve strayed too far
From your original path
What happened to that?
Silence and no answer was heard, 
Breathing harder and harder
until everything just became--
a white blur.