Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 End of the Year Cheers!

I'll be honest- 2013 was definitely not my year. It was the worst year of my life (well, it is for now). The only thing good about it was the first half (hello summer friends!), but I remember everything else to be a horrible mess- failure, disappointment, and psychotic emotions.

That being said, 2013 was also the year I grew the most. It was the year I started trying- trying to write better and blog more, trying to rekindle my interest in the piano, and trying to become a better person. It was the year I came to a lot of realizations- more than I ever have in my past years of existence. And admittedly, it was the year I turned slightly darker and less happy-go-lucky, which makes me a bit sad, now that I think about it.

2013 was the year I fell in love. Or... perhaps I don't know what love is yet. But it was the year I got a peek at what love could be- which is everything between admiration and inexplicable happiness to resentment and the urge to disappear forever. It was the year I actually found interest in someone, became gloomy and depressed for a few months, and eventually got over it.

Most of all, 2013 was probably the year I turned angsty. It makes me laugh now that I think about it. 2013 was The Order of The Phoenix to my life's Harry Potter- a startlingly good analogy, but kind of on the weird side. I started hating everyone and everything and kept to myself in my bedroom like a hermit for more than enough times I can remember.

And now that it's time to bid goodbye to this time period, I don't feel particularly sad like the rest of my friends are. Instead, I am looking forward to 2014. It'll definitely be a year of change- a new environment, new responsibilities and dangers, and new insights. I don't know if I can handle these changes, but I sure am up for them. Whatever may happen, I am certain that 2014 will be big.

I just hope I don't die next year, because that will suck a lot. (Random thought, sorry).

Things I liked about 2013:
1.) A certain summer program
2.) Catching Fire and Doctor Who 50th Anniversary
3.) Deepening friendships
4.) Actually not being a robot and... experiencing emotions.

Things I'm excited for in 2014:
1.) College!
2.) Living in Manila
3.) Being less uptight.
4.) Not seeing all of my horrible teachers anymore.
5.) Lots of free time!
6.) Movies! (TFIOS, etc)
7.) Reunions!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hong Kong Trip Day 1: Marco Polo HK Hotel

This is the first of what I plan to be a series of posts highlighting our Family Christmas get-together at Hong Kong. Here I go:

We got up at around four o'clock am (my parents probably woke up earlier though), left my aunt's complex at five, and reached the airport sometime after that. It felt more relaxed compared to our other to-the-airport travels- which usually involve a lot of rushing, yelling, leaving things behind, and stress.  Plenty of stress.

The plane ride was kind of crappy. The airline service didn't include free snacks, our seats were cramped up and we barely had enough legroom. Moreso, my eye popped when I was asleep. I spent most of the plane ride asleep, and pressure started building up in my ears. My theory is that pressure first builds up in your ears and nose, and then it goes to your eyes. That's probably what happened. I woke up with a horrible ache in the internal part of my right eye, and it hasn't been the same since. I just hope it'll be gone tomorrow.

We met up with my relatives (from the mother's side) and spent the rest of the day walking around places, checking out some stores as we waited for the check-in hour for the hotel we booked at. There was this really beautiful park we stayed at for quite some time. It's a shame I couldn't get a picture of it. The architecture was amazing.

Speaking of that, the architecture in Hong Kong is spectacular. Compared to my own country, you can really feel that the citizens pay attention to the external structure of their buildings. Most of the structures in Hong Kong are carefully planned out and well-maintained. 

The weather, meanwhile, was chilly, but not too cold. Or not as cold as I thought it'd be (but perhaps that's because of my thick sweater). The heat of the sun and cold air make a wonderful combination.

When we finally had access our hotel room, it was like the cherry on top of what is (for now) a very fun and relaxing vacation. I think choosing a highclass hotel, though somewhat expensive, really pays off because the quality is very different.

(I'll post more pics when I get home)

The room was sufficiently spacious, had beautiful decorations and a great feel. The best part about choosing to stay at Marco Polo HK Hotel, however, is the jaw-dropping view of the ocean/harbor outside our room. You are able to watch the sunset (which is what I'm doing at this very moment) while relaxing in your bed and listening to calming instrumental music.

One thing that can be improved, though, is the bathroom- which is tinier and less grand that what you'd expect. Of course, that's the only flaw of this otherwise perfect room.

(Extra note: the wifi speed is really fast!)

That's it for now. My family and I might go to The Peak later. I'm not really sure.

Future destinations:
Hong Kong Disneyland
Ocean Park

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gamer Girls

Give me a moment to rant about this:

I saw a status on Facebook in which someone asked if people preferred 'gamer girlfriends' or 'chicks'. This girl's post was going along the lines of- non-gamer girlfriends indulged themselves in 'typical girl shit' and gamer girls were better than 'regular' girls. She didn't consider herself to be part of the female population and therefore immune to whatever insult she threw at the rest of us.

I know that the status wasn't meant to be offensive in any way, and I have nothing against girl gamers, but this way of thinking, to me, is just... I dunno, insolent and narcissistic?

It's as though being a 'girl gamer' magically makes one special and above all the other girls out there, as though one's personality is irrelevant, and a woman's value can be determined by a label she associates herself with. This goes for all 'types of girls' out there - weirdos, hipsters, nerds, heavy metal fans, fangirls, etc.

At the end of the day, what makes you special is you. This line is horribly cliche, but it's something a huge number of people hear but don't understand. When you refuse to change yourself, when you refuse to consort to the standard of society, you are unique. You are special.

So, stop believing that gamer girls are special because they enjoy hardcore games and 'typical girls can't'. They are special in the same way that everyone else is. Let us not associate ourselves with a label so much that it overrides everything else and becomes the only thing we are- writers tend to avoid those kinds of characters because they are one-dimensional. Humans are complex. Be complex, embrace every part of yourself, and don't put down others who might not like the same things as you do.

Everyone is and should be more than a label.

Intense Questions from Tumblr (part 2)

  • Let's Go!

  • J. Could you live without having sex ever (again) in exchange for eternal youth?
  • Eternal youth isn't that tempting anyway. Your friends and loved ones will grow old and die but you are trapped by your own body, forever having to distance yourself from people because they'll die anyway, and unable to kill yourself because of this curse. Yup, I'm kind of dramatic.
  • K. Have you ever watched a full length pornographic movie?
  • NO! :)
  • L. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
  • I don't have sufficient knowledge on either, but I'll pick The Beatles because I know more songs of theirs.
  • M. If you could have the ability to manipulate matter or energy, which would you choose?
  • Energy! Because... that'd be hella awesome!
  • N. What was the worst nightmare you ever had?
  • Can't remember, but I did have a recurring dream in my childhood in which three witches chased me around the house and it just went on and on until I woke up tired and sweaty.
  • O. Would you rather spend one year with your one true love just to never see them again or the rest of your life with second best?
  • Uh, uh, uh... rest of my life with second best!
  • P. All the sequels/remakes/adaptations/rip-offs in movies nowadays, good or bad?
  • Good! Fans are so aggressive that the movies are mostly pressured to be perfect and accurate.
  • Q. Would you rather be dirt poor and emotionally fulfilled in life or be rich beyond imagination and emotionally dissatisfied for life?
  • Dirt poor... because I wouldn't go asking for more if I'm emotionally fulfilled, and therefore what is the use of money if I'm not asking for it? That being said, I do wish I'd be at least a middle class citizen... I dunno...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Intense Questions from Tumblr

I came across this while browsing on tumblr. Seemed fun. I'll do A to G first, and the rest later.
Source: http://spacedoutsparrow.tumblr.com/

  • A. If you could get away with one murder in your lifetime without any legal, social, or emotional repercussions, would you kill someone?
  • I was trying to think of someone I wanted to kill or a reason to murder, but nothing came up. Nope.

  • B. What is your first thought when you receive a message on Tumblr, are you excited for the idea of someone from potentially the other side of the world wanting to talk to you or fearful that someone will criticize you?
  • Really excited. :) I don't get messages often, so every message is special.

  • C. Have you ever looked down on someone because you thought your religious views were superior?
  • Possibly when I was young, but nope nope nope.

  • D. Would you rather know everything the universe has to offer but in exchange lose all emotions or remain the way you are now?
  • What is there to be gained from knowing everything in the universe? I mean, humans are naturally curious. We love exploring ,discovering, and witnessing the world around us. Knowing everything wouldn't make life more fun or exciting. It would make it boring and useless, since... well, you'd be able to predict everything. What else do we humans thrive on?


"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." -Stephen R. Covey

This quote appeared in my feed this morning and it had too much of a semblance to something I told someone the other day for me to resist blogging about it. A couple of days ago, my mother and I got into a huge fight. I was livid, she was miserable, she bribed me with food, and I forgave her (sorry, food is nice!). Things were back to normal- that was, until she did another thing behind my back 'for my own good' and admitted to doing it via text. I'm not going to go into detail about it, because this is not what it is about, but basically, it supported an idea that was forming in my head after the fight. An idea I already had monologues about.

This theory was about my mother in particular, and it explained why she kept... forgetting about certain things she did that bugged me (be this in small acts or big acts) even after she'd promised never to do them again. I thought I was the only one who possessed this flaw, and my family certainly painted it to be so. However, I realized that my mother has for the longest time, but her acts, unlike mine, often go under the radar.

The first proof of this is a very simple and common occurrence. Sometimes I'd tell her something, she'd nod, and we'd think we understood each other perfectly. Then, a few days from that, we'd be arguing over what had really passed between us- with a lot of you-said-I-said's.

The second one wasn't very obvious at first, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. You see, there's a pattern I've come to notice during the times I get upset with my mom. I'd act very coldly towards her, she'd beg me to forgive her, and when I don't, she'd start crying, which would prompt me to do so. I'm not saying my mother has crocodile tears, or uses them as a strategy, because her tears and the emotions behind them are 100% real. What I'm saying is that the last time she cried in front of me (which was over my Coloring pencils, check out the other post), she was talking about her struggles and how stressed she was at the office and at home, how horrible the feeling was. Perhaps my mother is one of those people who are perpetually stressed and slightly depressed.

And you know what? Every time she did cry and released these suppressed emotions in front of me, she was talking about herself. I don't mean to be insensitive, but I would be lying if I said I didn't grow tired of her excuses. They don't affect me as much as they used to, even though I don't doubt the truth in what she is saying (most of the workload usually falls on my mom, as my dad is a happy-go-lucky fellow who strolls in the mall everyday). But honestly... talking about your own horrible feelings to someone who is also feeling awful doesn't always work. Sometimes, the person doesn't want to hear about your crappy life story. Most of the time, the person just wants you to leave her alone or apologize.

And so, a day after the event, I came to a realization, and two days after the event, I replied to her text with this:
You hear what I say but you don't listen. That's why you keep doing the same things to me.

Of course, things are all right now. I wasn't really that mad at mom anymore. Hopefully, she'll start listening more to me this time around.

I do believe that this mentality applies to humans in general. We are narcissists and care about things that concern ourselves. I assume this is something natural and goes all the way back to Charles Darwin's  theory or that popular phrase everyone's heard a thousand times- that you need to look out for yourself in order to survive.

But this has also given me a new view on everyone around me- my family, friends, classmates, and teachers. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. I shall observe them and find out just what kind of people they are.