Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Mental Snack (59)

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"The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." ~ Maya Angelou

What's your opinion on first impressions? Does your first impression of a person always stick or does it change as you get to know the person?

Song: "Iron" by Woodkid

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Performing "19" at the Uncultivated Rabbits Open-Mic

Here's a video of me performing "19" at the Uncultivated Rabbits final open-mic of the year. It was held outside because we couldn't fit our audience in the tiny little Ring Room that we usually acquire for open-mics. Yeah, it was that big of a crowd. Over a hundred people showed up! Enjoy! :)

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Song: "Never Gonna Leave This Bed" by Maroon 5

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

19: A Spoken Word Piece

(This poem was performed at the last open mic for Uncultivated Rabbits, at the Sierra Banquet, and Delta Sigma Talent Show.)

This poem is about the man on the microphone,
Who spits and admits that he has no home
Except in those buildings that he creates in people’s minds
Tension as the sweat drips from his forehead onto the wooden floors of his stage,
Which he has graced with not only his presence but his stories,
Standing tall as the mic absorbs all that he speaks
And he whispers to the people who listen to why he doesn’t have a place to stay.

I do not have a physical home,
I am a tenant in people’s hearts and souls
My vehicle into getting inside is this thing that stands before me—
This microphone
Which phones people’s psyches
My voice rides into people’s ears on sound waves
Splashes them with my thoughts, stories, and opinions
Can you hear them?
Telling you something that you  always wanted to hear
Or needed to hear
But couldn’t find it anywhere else.
I want to tell you some things that I’ve learned from only living nineteen years,
You probably know some or all, but it doesn’t hurt to remember again.

One.  Every time a person is born in this universe, a star is born in the sky. And when that person dies, the star still survives and that’s where their soul goes. Living in the night sky and watching those people that he or she remembered while they are living.

Two. Love can never be defined. Liking someone is not really love, it’s just a crush, infatuation, or obsession. At least, that’s how I’ve learned to see it. But seeing isn’t the same thing as defining.

Three. Hate shouldn’t exist, but it does.  And it consumes some people.  Don’t let it eat you and turn your insides as black as a furnace.

Four. I’m not a poet. I’m not God. I’m not even a man yet. I’m just a boy.

Five. Don’t let time stop you from anything even though you feel as though you are trapped in that hourglass that’s filling up with sand. Make time, for your friends by hanging out with them and having a few drinks and a couple of laughs. Put some things aside for your family, because they were the people who were closest to you first and cared for you the second you were conceived.

Six. Remember you are human.

Seven. Luckiest number of them all. And how many wishes did we make together? How many wishes actually came true? On genies, fairy godparents, lit birthday candles, eleven-eleven’s, and prayers. How many times did we wish we can go back home again? Go back to a time we had before. A time machine to revisit our happiest of memories, but knowing that we were trapped in the present and the clock’s hands seemed to grab us and never ever could let us go.

Eight. It’s never too late to right a wrong. Forgiving is difficult. Sorry is just one of those words that you can’t help but say, but make it count with your actions.

Nine. They say that three hugs a day makes a happier person. Hug someone as much as you can and never let go. Imagine how many times you wished someone back alive just to feel their touch again. Embrace those that are still there, while they are still there. You don’t have to limit yourself to hugs either. Hug. Kiss. Hold hands. Put your head on their shoulders and let their heads rest on yours.

Ten. Writing is not easy when you strip yourself in front of an audience that watches you, judges you, for what you say. So,

Eleven. Take criticism as long as it’s constructive. Know that some people will just criticize for the sake of criticizing.

Twelve. Believe in yourself.

Thirteen. Believe in yourself even more. It has to be repeated to really sink into that mind of yours.

Fourteen. Don’t let the media be the thing that creates what is successful and what is not. You don’t need six-pack abs, a tan, to be skinny, wear certain clothes, to be a lawyer, doctor, or engineer, to be successful.

Fifteen. My definition of success is happiness. So, smile for me and I’ll know you’re doing something right.

Sixteen. As these years go by and the going gets tough, learn to wipe the dirt off your knees like when you were a baby and learning how to crawl before you knew how to walk. If you fall, just get up. Easier said than done and actions speak louder than words, so scream out your actions as you do them.

Seventeen. You will get lost. Guaranteed once, but it doesn’t have to be a lifetime guarantee. So, find your way out by yourself or with the help of others. Never be shy to snatch that other person’s hand. There is a reason why it’s there.

Eighteen. Know that being sensitive, doesn’t mean you are weak.

Nineteen. The number of years that it took for me to know most of this, but I still have a lot to go. An endless road, a path, a journey, where the destination doesn’t matter and only that I’m happy. So, now I’ll take a deep breath, breathe, and believe.

I look back and notice all those homes that I built along the way
Inside of people’s hearts,
And how I became a part of them
By putting myself out there
And walking on these streets for years,
I’ve learned to do all of this, share my stories, and even though those are the things that I passed,
I still look back
And grin
Knowing what I have accomplished and take another step forward, into another year.”

The man on the microphone walks off stage,
But his story, his rhymes, his words still remain.

Song: "The Best of Times" by Sage Francis

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Mental Snack (58)

Share your thoughts...

"Sometimes people are beautiful.Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are." ~ Markus Zusak

What defines beauty for you? Who are some of the beautiful people in your lives?

Song: "Closer" by Corinne Bailey Rae

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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Return

I’m back.

A lot has changed since the last time you probably saw me (or heard from me, in this case). I’ve changed physically, mentally, emotionally, and any other way possible. But I think I’ve told you all before, change is the only constant in life, right?

I have been through a lot of things and a few personal battles within myself. It took me a lot of courage to start writing again, so sorry if I’m a bit rusty. I’m trying to pick up the pen again and write those stories, but it’s going to take some time. I’ve been writing in my journal though, but that doesn’t really count as creative writing in my mind. I’m just cataloging the events that go on in my life every few days, so I don’t forget what happened. Little by little, one word at a time, I’ll write my stories down.

I’ve crossed over—in a fraternity, that is! It’s a brand, spankin’ new fraternity on the Irvine campus known as Delta Sigma and I pledged for ten weeks. I wanted to try something new and branch out from Sierra, because I knew that my hall was soon going to disperse. I took the advice of several Sierran alumni and chose to branch out by pledging to this multicultural fraternity. It’s different from the party fraternities that you see on television and it’s not Greek. D-Sig is a co-ed and doesn’t have a “little” system like other fraternities, but a family system. We’ve done several fun events like tight-rope walking, a retreat to San Pedro, and salsa dancing. I’ve made new friends and hope to be a bigger part of Delta Sigma in the near future.

(Picture of Delta Sigma taken by Steve Nasser) 

Because of Delta Sigma, I’ve also have a new girlfriend as well. She is beautiful, smart, funny, cute, adorable, wise, and this big bundle of joy that you just want to take home with you. I wrote several poems about her and she has become my muse. She’s one of the people that helps me write this today.

School, school, school. A big part of my life, especially since I was living on campus. The Sierra class of 2010-2011 has been dispersed all throughout campus. Some have remained behind as S.P.’s (Sierra Programmers) and others have gone to do better things, but still keep in contact with everyone else.  A new batch of Sierrans are going to come in the fall and we’ll all meet up again, as many of us as we can muster, to greet the new Sierrans and tell them all the good times we had in the hall. Sierra lives on in all our hearts and memories, even though we don’t live physically in the building anymore. 

(Picture of Sierra taken by Alex Kim)

Also, my grades have kind of suffered though because of this quarter. I’ve had trouble keeping up with some of the more difficult classes and am now pursuing a second major in Psychology and Social Behavior along with my English degree. It’s become tough to juggle classes, social life, and my health but I’m going to pull myself out of this rut someway, somehow!

Speaking of health, I need to get back into shape. I’ve remained the same weight, but I want to lose some more chub-chub, gain a few muscles, and try to tone my body. So, I’ll be working on that as well this summer.

Besides all of this, I want to add a new addition to the blog. After every post, I’m going to post a video of a song from Youtube that I really enjoy. Music has always been a part of our lives since we’ve been born, especially to me, since I’ve been in college. Hearing a sweet voice at times, that knows how you feel at that very same moment, singing in those headphones, has really helped me throughout the year. So, I want to post a video after every piece now to share some of my favorite songs with you, my dear readers. Let me know your favorites by that same artist or bands that are similar. Maybe we can discuss topics about lyrics or beats and start a conversation going?

Lastly, I would like to thank all those who have stuck by me for this hiatus and didn’t leave me behind. So, thank you friends, family, followers, and everyone else. I love you all and I thank you for the support. It’s good to be back! :3

Song of the Day: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole