Monday, August 30, 2010

Rewind, Summer, Rewind

Last Saturday, I had my official Farewell Party. We all had fun, but it was sad because summer was coming to an end and I could see it on everyone’s faces that they didn’t want it to. One of my friends said that it was an “enchanted summer” and I agree that it was, but it won’t be our last.

What is summer?

Summer to me is playing video games with my friends and laughing at the way we can be so cheap even though we are just smashing buttons. Summer is when I meet some new friends from all parts of the world and spend time with the old ones.

Playing at the beach, that’s summer. Watching the seagulls caw and fly around me because I seem to have a bunch of chips in my backpack.

Going to the carnival, Six Flags, or Disneyland. Lots of people do that over the summer, don’t they? Screaming my lungs off and getting blow dried by 60 mph rides or getting wet on those man-made river rollercoasters.

Summer is when I can pig out at barbecues and go swimming. When I cannot care about my diet for that one moment, because the burgers are so tempting, the ice cream is melting, and I want to eat them for once. So, I won’t hold back.

Summer is about learning about myself and about others. I’m out of school and I don’t have homework on my mind 24/7. The only thing that’s going on in my head is going to be “What am I doing today? Tomorrow? This week?” I find that I’m am living in the moment for once. I’m not thinking about my future as much, but at the same time I find myself thinking about it after living in the moment for too long. Where will I be in life? What am I going to do? What college am I going to?

Summer is about those long nights talking to friends whether it is on the telephone or online, email or facebook. The communication is important. That is another definition of summer.

Summer is about hugs. Smiles. Tearful faces after seeing my loved ones only for an hour, because an hour is all that I need. It is about the long trips. The water balloons that we made together for fun. The games I play and participate in. The long walks on the beach holding each other’s hands. Sitting by my friends in the movie theaters and whispering our comments into each other's ears. The crazy nights in Santa Monica. The pecks on the cheek. The wildness of screaming stupid songs on someone’s ipod in the car while everyone stares. Learning that I am not alone in the world and that I have someone else on my side. Tutoring my neighbors and playing games with them so they can solve some math problems. Summer is about surprises and sunrises. It’s about sunsets and finding about what love really is.

That’s what summer is about.

The sun will rise everyday for thousands of more years. Hundreds of other summers will happen again and again. Yes, this was an enchanted summer, I have to agree. A summer to remember, a treasure chest of memories in my mind now locked tight. Summer will happen again next year and the year after that, but the thing that made this summer enchanting was you, my friends.

What is summer to you? Here’s some of my friends’ answers:

Mel O. Dramatic: Summer is when you're productive by not being productive. And this...


Sam: Summer to me is a great big mushy mess that I keep in the back of my mind. I can't distinguish what happened what summer, it's all tangled in my brain and intertwined with each other.

It's a time when order doesn't matter, when I literally live in the moment to the point that I don't know what day it is or what time it is, even where I'm supposed to be or where I am is hard to distinguish at times. My future doesn't matter. My past doesn't matter. All summer is, is a time for me to be purely me. I don't think about who that is, I just go with the flow.

Summer is a time for love. Love that I didn't know I would allow to happen while in school, love that changes me in a way each time I experience it. Not just the typical summer love, even though that's happened to me too, but the love that stays with you forever... that love that I keep in my pocket and pull out during fall and winter to remind me of what I'm capable of.

I can't define summer in a few paragraphs. It's everything for me from friends to sunshine, but I know that each summer will be added to the tangled mess I've grown so fond of.

Shantay: Summer means catching up on life. Friends. Memories. Art. You.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chocolate Dandelions

Hey, everyone! I don't have a post today because I want you to follow and pay attention to a person, who I think deserves your attention more than I do today. So, Shantay, one of my best friends in real life, is an artist/writer/comedian/multi-talented person. She has started her own blog now, Chocolate Dandelions, and she's started off with two very strong, short pieces. Even though they are short, I guarantee you that your jaw will drop. So, take a visit, drop a few comments, and follow her.

Here's a link:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Mental Snack (31)

Share your thoughts...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~  Marianne Williamson

Do you think she has a point? We are scared of what we can accomplish and that is why we don't go beyond our capabilities? Do we create our own obstacles? Do you think the brighter side of a person should be more feared? Or their darker side? 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thank You for Letting Me Live

So, I almost died this weekend, because a pull-up bar hit me in the head. I realized how much I didn’t want to die and how I didn’t get to say anything to my friends or anyone. I didn’t get to tell them how much they were worth to me. I didn’t get to tell them why it was worth living. In the end though, I was worrying for nothing. I bled for three hours, sure, but I didn’t die. I did learn something from that experience though. I learned that I needed to say, “Thank you,” to everything and everyone just in case something like that happens again. Just in case, I don’t make it. So, here’s my message, here’s my thanks. (Even though, it isn’t Thanksgiving just yet, I never really took that holiday serious though, but maybe it’s time for a change.)

Thanks: (noun) – 1. Grateful feelings or thoughts; gratitude.
                            2. An expression of gratitude.

Thanks for being my friends. Thanks for the awesome phone conversations. The beach days. The days where we just chilled.  The ultimate mind games during Jenga. The funny prank calls. The talks on Facebook or Chatango. For all the awesome hugs that you give. The pecks on the cheek. The tears we shed together.  The discussions of anime and manga. Describing how a piston engine really works. The awesome hamburgers that your parents cooked and the terrible hamburgers that we cooked. The days when you cheered me to dive into the pool. The time when we told scary stories by flashlight. The endless birthday cakes and cakes for no reason at all. Thanks for all the laughs, the sharing of secrets, and the taunts.

Thanks for following my blog, dear readers. Thanks for the critiques, sharing your innermost thoughts, and opinions. Every two cents has added up to a billion by now, but don’t stop adding to the jar. Thanks for being a troll, a critic, a lover, a hater, and everything in between. Thanks for the one-word sentences and the endless essays. Thanks for responding back to my responses. Thanks for being a part of my journey.

Lastly, thanks for this awesome life. Thanks for chocolate chip cookies. Thank you for cakes that taste like heaven and cakes that taste like nothing at all. Thanks for smiles. Thank you for the sun, stars, and the moon. Thanks for books and eyes, so that I may read. Thanks for my two hands, so that I may write. Thanks for swimming pools for summer and the warm blankets for winter, the parks and the birds, and a working mind so that I may learn. Thanks for the internet, because without it I wouldn’t have been able to make so many new friends.

Thank you for everything and thank you for reading again.

Have you had a near-death experience? What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for? 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forever by the Lake: A Poem

(My 100th post)

“Your hand is in mine,
Mine in yours,
The stars are our warmth,
The night is our blanket,
The grass is our bed,
Let us go to sleep here instead.”

Cars pass by,
Headlights flash on the road behind,
They don’t see the two lovers in the darkness,
She grasps his hand tighter,
Grasps it with all her might,
And he’ll never let go.

Crickets sing them a chorus,
Frogs drum the beat,
Their hearts collide as one,
On this summer night,
And he feels her body heat.

Her skin like white silk,
Smoothest texture he has ever touched,
Her sweet kisses taste of honey,
The smell is damp by the lake,
Their breaths are synchronized
On this lovely, passionate night.

Tossed and turned,
Their hands are still in each other’s palms,
Birds whisper and owls call,
Animals sleep the night away while the lovers remain awake,
Running fingers through their hair by the lake.

The word “love” is repeated a thousand times
Throughout the night,
But words do not convey the immense thoughts,
Those thoughts do not measure up to the feeling of each other’s touch,
Their touch doesn’t compare to their heavy hearts
For one another’s mind, body, and soul.

To be forever together,
They wished upon a shooting star that they saw,
And that is what they got.
Forever they remained by the lake
Feeling the same
Nothing more, nothing less
As they watched night try to turn to day,
But the night only stayed,
And everything repeated itself once again.
They didn’t know they were caught in this precious moment
Forever. Trapped. Frozen in time.

Some say that you can hear their tickled laughter and warm whispers by the lake,
As the legend goes, they were trapped in that space and time forever,
While the rest of us continue on with our lives,
They are still there,
By the lake,
Looking deeply into each other’s eyes.
They will not age, they will not die,
But remain forever in that time,
Because of that stupid star, because of that stupid wish,
They will remain in forever bliss. 

Do you think the lovers on the lake are happy? If they ever knew what they had done, would they still be? Ever encounter any ghosts in your lives? Ever wish you could stop time and live in a moment forever? 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Mental Snack (30)

Share your thoughts...

"Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you- and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!" ~ John Irving

Do you believe that memory is a monster? Is it something else to you? Do your memories ever haunt you? Ever wish you could have done something different? Tell us your stories of your worst/best memories in the comments below. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Creative Writer Award

So, I received this award from Cruella and RosieC, who are both creative writers themselves, last week. Apparently, I’m a bold face liar creative writer, so I’ll play by the rules and tell you, dear readers, six truths and one lie about my life. You have to guess which one of the seven is the lie. I’ll tell you in the comments section if you got it right or not, but I think you can probably figure it out. 

The Rules:
The Bold Face Liar Creative Writer Award requires you to: 

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them.

2. Add the award to your blog.

3. Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and one truth. (Another variant: Tell six truths and one outrageous lie. YOU get to guess which variant I chose – and which statements are true, as well as which are lies.)

4. Nominate six creative liars –I mean writers– and post links to them.

5. Let your nominees know that they have been nominated.

Six Truths + One Lie
1. When I was three-years old, I was attacked by a mountain snake. However, I remember my grandmother taking me away from it and putting me inside the house, while my father fought it off with a shovel. I still remember until today the blood that was splashed on the walls and the black trash bag that he put it in. Here's what it sort of looked like: 

2. I nearly drowned when I fell into my backyard’s swimming pool when I was only two-years old. I was saved by my German-shepherd though, whose name is Sheba. He’s the equivalent of Lassie in my life. Here's a picture of Lassie, if you don't know who or what Lassie is.

3. I’ve only seen a ghost once and it was in Armenia when I went for a field trip there during my senior year.

4. I used to be a sort of escape artist when I was younger. My mom had bought several car seats, which I’ve all gotten out of, before finally giving up and wrapping me with a seatbelt. Yes, I was a troublemaker when I was a kid.

5. I used to believe that I was adopted until the age of ten, because I saw no similarities between my parents and me. I would always ask my mom, “So, where are my real parents?”

6. Many of my new friends from Irvine have some of the oddest accomplishments that I have ever heard of. One used to be a monk. The other is a fire breather. I have yet to hear the others, but I will tell you any more of the outrageous ones when I do hear them. 

7. I AM BATMAN! I’m a writer by day and a crime fighter by night. Best. Job. Ever.

I will pass this onto six people, who I believe really deserve it.

Terresa has always been an awesome follower. Her blog is amazing with a range of thoughts, ideas, poems, and articles.

Mel O. Dramatic for her new creative post that made me laugh out loud literally.

Amanda Sablan for her intriguing posts and great writing style.

Tabitha Bird for her inspiring posts and jaw-dropping stories.

The Words Crafter for the crazy, yet true posts that she writes and for always commenting on my blog, no matter what the subject. Thank you for that! :D

The Creepy Query Girl for her creative imagination and hilarious posts. She’s always good for a laugh, something I got to learn to do with my own writing sometimes.

Which one is the lie? Also, if you want, tell me which one of the stories you want to hear more about, because I can definitely go more in depth rather than just paraphrase it here. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tag! You're it!

Okay, so first of all, I was tagged a few weeks ago by Amanda Sablan to show off my handwriting. I couldn't do it before because I was often busy partying working and my camera had a few glitches. So, finally, here it is:

Here's what you do: On a plain sheet of paper jot down the following:

1. Name/Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed, or both? 
3. Favorite letters to write (I picked my favorite word)
4. Least favorite letters to write (I picked my least favorite word)
5. Write out the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
6. Write in CAPS:


7. Favorite song lyrics
8. Tag 7 people
9. Whatever else strikes your fancy

My lucky tagees are: 

John Smith, RosieC, Tabitha Bird, The Words Crafter, Cruella, Nicole MacDonald, Terresa

The lyrics that I wrote down are from the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, but I enjoy the cover from Maroon 5 better. Here it is:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Mental Snack (29)

Share your thoughts...

"If wrinkles must be written upon our brow, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old." ~ James A. Garfield

Are you a person who lets anger get the best of you? Do you wallow on the past a lot? Do you ever regret anything? Would you consider yourself an optimist, realist, or pessimist? 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blogs You Should Be Following

Hello, dear readers, friends, followers, and minions! Today, I don't have a regular post for you, because I want to share with you two blogs that might entertain you more than my post!

One of them belongs to my best friend, Rafi, who leaves all those sarcastic and hilarious comments on my blog. His blog is titled Escape from Apathy. Here's a link:

The other belongs to my other best friend, Mel, who is Rafi's girlfriend, encourages me on my writing, and is way more creative than I'll ever be. Her blog is titled Whimsical Melgasms. Here's a link:

So, I'll leave you to their blogs to follow, read, and comment. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The boat in the darkness that swayed back and forth. The rusted chains of empty swings squeaked as they were pushed by the ominous wind. Window shutters opened and closed as a storm raged on. Creepy laughter at the top of an attic filled with junk. Lastly, a hand lit a match for the TV show to begin. This was how I ended my Saturday nights when I was a kid. I ate dinner and watched my favorite show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, with my brother.

The television series revolved around a bunch of teenagers who called themselves “The Midnight Society.” Every week, at their secret spot in the woods, one member of the Society would tell a scary story to the group. The actual story was then displayed to the viewers. Each time one of the kids started their story by saying, “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story...” and then the storyteller threw a handful of sugar from a leather pouch into the campfire, which heightened the flames and created a creepy white smoke. The storyteller would announce the title of the story and then begin.
I remember watching this in the corner of my yellow, floral couch with a colorful, checkered blanket that covered my lap. I would be entranced by the stories that the teenagers told on television of dragons, werewolves, cursed soup, gargoyles, leprechauns, and ghosts. It was like The Twilight Zone, but aimed at my age group and in color. There was no Rod Serling, but there were these storytellers that were kids.
Every night I would watch these scary stories and even get nightmares or stay up at night because of them. I loved their atmospheres though, which is why I couldn’t stop watching. It inspired me to write my own scary stories and to submit them to the Midnight Society. I wanted to be a part of the campfire and stay up at night to tell my stories of epic adventures and horrible horrors. So, I wrote.
I must admit that I did write some stupid things, but I still loved it. I loved the idea of one day joining the ranks of the other storytellers. I loved the idea of one day telling my story among them. I loved the idea so much that it carried onto my teenage years and until now. I still want to be a part of the group of people who love to tell stories, regardless of them being scary or not. I became a writer so I could tell those stories that I couldn’t tell when I was a kid.
Now, I look back on the show and watch it on the internet and I noticed the simplicity of it all. It still delivered all those eerie vibes and goosebumps after all these years. The memories I have of hiding underneath my blanket and watching that show with eyes of wonder and fear. I want to convey those same strong emotions to my readers today.
One of the teenagers would put out the fire after the story was finished. They would all leave and the smoke would still rise from the dead flames. The ashes flew into the air, only to be carried off into the wind. I would be there on my couch waiting for them to come back. I wanted to tell them my story still.

I’ve waited all this time and that little kid is still waiting. It’s been over ten years now, but I still have my stories. I guess that I just have a bigger audience now. I’m ready to tell my scary story to the Midnight Society of the World.

“Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…” I threw the sugar onto the flames of the campfire and let the night begin with my words.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Mental Snack (28)

Share your thoughts...

"All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, For they dream their dreams with open eyes, And make them come true." ~ D. H. Lawrence

Do you daydream a lot? Do you believe that dreams can come true? What do you dream about? If you're a writer, do your dreams ever seep into your writing? 

Monday, August 2, 2010

What Real Friendship Is

Last Friday, I was talking on the phone with my friend, Melissa. We were talking about friendship and how we viewed it. We usually went on and on with these philosophical questions, but this seemed like an easy topic to discuss.

“I think you know who your true friends are when you can still be friends with them, even if they do some of the things that annoy you,” she told me.

“See, Mel, I don’t see it that way,” I told her. “My view of friendship is different and I’ve been struggling these past few weeks with the thought of what true friendship really is. I think true friendship is something like having friends that you admire. They have the things you want. Like Rafi, for instance, I wish I had his indifferent attitude about everything, his ability to make witty lines on the top of his head, and even his height. I think friends, true friends, are those people that complete me. They have the things that I’m missing in myself. They have the character traits that I want, so that I can become a stronger individual. I’m a puzzle piece and they connect with me. My friends show and give me the traits that I could never have or obtain.”
“Wow, that’s a good way of looking at it,” Mel’s voice grew in strength.
“I’ve been struggling with the thoughts for sometime. I guess that I finally arranged them. I mean, my friends are the people that I look up to and I even try to show my readers that.”
“What do you mean?” Her voice was a soft, soothing tone.
“Well, I use my friends as characters in my stories sometimes, but not exactly. I sprinkle a little of their traits, the traits that they showed me and that I admire, onto the characters in my stories. It gives my characters that three-dimensional feel and makes the reader feel as though the characters are real. Truth is— they are real. They are the people in my life.”
“That’s deep,” she told me. “See, I have a more pessimistic view of it. You’re so optimistic. I’m going to just, you know, adopt your take on it!” She laughed on her side of the phone. “I think something I admire about you and wish I had is your optimism. You’re always optimistic!”
“Not always,” I told her.
“Still, I’m trashing my idea and adopting yours.”
“Thanks,” I laughed. “Well, I admire your dance moves, your spunky attitude, and your writing style. I’m seriously jealous sometimes of how you’re able to construct such beautiful stories and weave those stories with such powerful words.”
           The conversation continued for another hour or so and she ended up wishing me luck for orientation at Irvine.

In Irvine, the first five hours or so, I had knots in my stomach. I was nervous because I was afraid no one would like me and that I wouldn’t have those great friends that I admired back home. After I got my classes, I was introduced to my hall, Camino, which had changed my perspective on life at a university.
We ended up playing some crazy games with each other. One game after another, I opened up and did the craziest of things. We had to make music videos on the spot, do a fashion show with dorm supplies, and propose to our counselors. I did my best to make people laugh or smile. I did my best to make friends. I did my best to be my kooky self.
I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning just playing games with my newfound friends. My body craved sleep but I didn’t want to, because I was having so much fun. And on the last day, I found out how much of an impression I really made on people. We played a game. A serious one.
We sat in a circle and faced the walls. The counselors brought out tissue boxes and told us to close our eyes. We did. They selected a few people from the circle. The people then did as the counselors instructed, “Touch someone on the shoulder that made you laugh.” I was touched a number of times.
“Touch someone, who you want to continue to be friends with.” Another few touched my shoulder.
“Touch someone, who you think is sincere.” I felt the hugs and the strong hands that tapped my back. The great embraces of true friendship. I held back my tears and tried to be a man. The counselors allowed everyone to say what couldn’t be said face to face. This was a game for those shy people, for all of us, who couldn’t put our feelings to words. This game made me realize I had actually made a positive impression on everyone in my hall.
The one that actually broke me down and made me cry was, “Touch someone who you think is a beautiful person.” I let out my tears of joy to know that some of the people that were chosen had touched me. I had never thought of myself as beautiful. I had never felt so much love. I had never experienced this rush of emotions. I broke down and wiped my tears with the back of my hands.
In the end, we all got a chance to touch a person and make them feel great. I ended up crying in front of everyone, but I couldn’t help it. So much for being a man. I was glad that I had stayed in Camino hall. I’m glad I met all these people, who ended up becoming my friend in just thirty-eight hours. And thirty-eight hours was plenty of time. It was plenty of time to see that these people had evolved into my family. My last words to the circle were:
“I’m glad I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning.” They all chuckled. “We are a group of people with a bunch of distinct personalities and unique faces. We are like pieces of a puzzle that complete each other. You guys are my family.”
My friends are my family. My family is my life. Plain and simple.