28 May 2015

Try Party Hosting


For the first time in my life, I hosted a party, and it turned out to be... interesting.

Most of you know that I am an introvert. I don't like going to most social events, and when I do, I usually go about them bringing a book or music of some sort to pass the time. I cannot hold really conversations without actual depth unless they are talking about that interests me, mainly ideas and imagination, and these are things that most people don't usually like to discuss about.

I decided to host the party because my friends from middle school and I needed a concrete address to meet up at rather than saying, "Meet up at this place several blocks away from my house." Plus, we all wanted to try to meet up all together once again, and what better way to do it than the day after school and finals ended?

Most of the people I invited showed up except for two, both which had prior commitments. 
 

One of my friends arrived nearly an hour before the party was supposed to start, dressed up as Quicksilver, remembering that we were all supposed to dress up like some sort of Marvel super hero. She and I, while waiting for everyone to arrive, watched the Filipino soap operas (with English subtitles) that were airing on television. Though there were English subtitles, I had to keep translating for my friend, because I kept complaining that the translation was "off".

If you are not aware of how Filipino soap operas are, they are intense: in one of the shows, a man nearly dies and a girl finds out she is adopted... and this all happens under the span of thirty minutes!

Plus, the show I mentioned is geared toward younger children.



When the fourth person showed up, we all ate. My family cooked and bought simple foods to eat, because we weren't sure how it was going to fare if we got foods that required a lot of utensil work.




Before there was a thought of having a party, there was an original plan, which was basically to meet up over at a track and field area several blocks from my house and just talk. The original plan was improvised and tied into the new plan, as instead, we all ended up going around to play card games in the enter of the field.




If you go through some of the wood in the back area of the track and walk the path for awhile, there will be a way to get to an elementary school. It had been awhile since I had last been there and since my friends said that we should replenish "the long lost hours that growing up has brought on us", then we stayed in that area for awhile. The nature you get in that area is quite beautiful.







At last, the party came to an end, and while waiting for everyone's parents to pick everyone up, we all played Just Dance, because why not? I would advise you, if you ever dance to the song Tetris, do not play the blue guy. I repeat: do not play the blue character. It requires bending down on the ground. Or, if you play the orange character, get ready to be carried.


How have you all been doing, this summer (or winter)?
Are you still in school, or have the doors let you out?

24 May 2015

The Ladder


"Evelyn! Evelyn, stop!" The brunette bearing that particular namesake stopped and turned to see who may be crying out to her. Fumbling down the hill was the mayoress, a tiny double-chinned lady about the age of fifty and gray hair strands matching the dense fog that has encompassed their small province. 

Drat, Evelyn thought. How could Ms. Randell have possibly known that she would be escaping? The night was in an ideal condition to leave leave this town: misty weather and the distraction of a committed crime. But again, what she was about to do was punishable by death. 

"You shall not go up there!" Ms. Randell, with her stubby stock legs, attempted to waddle gracefully, but it had only caused more tripping and scurrying. "You shall not climb up the--"

"Ladder?" Evelyn answered inquisitively. Her hands clenched the cold sides of the ladder. The object was old, created of rough twig. Stringy grass bonded together the ends. The ladder went for barrels and barrels up. There seemed to be no end, from a ground point of view. "I'm afraid I cannot heed your advice, ma'am."

Ms. Randell put her hands to her hips and cocked out a hip. "Young Evelyn, I do not know what has caused you to believe such oddities and atrocities, but there is nothing at the other end."

"Yes, there is." Evelyn adjusts her backpack's strap. "Don't try to change my mind of letting me go." With determination in her voice, she groveled, "I have to reach the top."

"My husband and I can assure you that there is nothing at the top. No one has ever arrived back. Not even your foster family, leaving you in this village to die off cold."

"Just because they haven't done so yet does not mean that that will not ever come back! I know they will! Have not we all heard the tales of there being a better life up there?" Evelyn pointed her fingers aggressively to the sky. "They are my family, blood wise or not. I have lived in their care for over fifteen years, and I know they did not mean to leave me on purpose. I know they are up there, somewhere."

"Now, stop with this nonsense! My husband, if he finds out of this ordeal, he will kill you. As you may know, climbing up this ladder is treason. It is better to live safe and content than to live a life of the unknown."

Evelyn gasped and walked to look down upon the old women, being the shorter one of the two. Her breath came out in a form of vapor as she whispered, "That's why no one is allowed to go up this ladder, isn't it? You are afraid of the unknown."

Ms. Randell's silence acknowledged the fact. The cold night air blew gently to their direction, causing the brunette and the silver one to have their hairs flying in both directions. Evelyn looked uneasily at the hill which would lead to the village, trying to keep sight of any men who would catch them out here. Her nerves relaxed when the only noise she heard was a cow's moo.

"Ma'am, you know that I am fifteen. I am unaware of my biological parents' identities and of the whereabouts of my foster family. At the sixteenth anniversary of my birth I will be presented to men who I have no interest in to go off and marry. It may be best, for my sake, to leave the village."

"Bah! You are attempting plain foolishness, I assure you--"

"My deed may be selfish, but you are one who knows me best next to my foster family. I need to find answers of my family-- both families." The fifteen-year-old gazed up to the ladder with green keen and hopeful eyes. "There must be more than this life, and I intend to find out of these things."

Ms. Randell smiled sadly at the girl, and she shook her head. Of course, letting her go would be hard, but the young girl beholds much potential and excitement. It would have been a pity to let that all go to waste, just as the old woman did at her age. 

Should she let Evelyn go, Ms. Randell would be greeted in the village with treason. But perhaps, if Evelyn returns, her husband would understand that not all of the unknown and magical could be bad. The old women grasped the girl tightly and embraced her. "Please, my dear, do come back holding great news of the world up there."

"I promise." Evelyn tugged away and latched onto the ladder, starting to climb.

"Now, go. Go off at once, before dawn should dare to catch you! For once the day has awaken from it's slumber it will try it's best to work against you! I wish you best on your journey!"

Evelyn did so. Her first several steps on the ladder caused her to slip due to the dew collectively forming, but she brought herself together. The wind blew, hiding the squeaks and noises. Surprisingly, the ladder did not sway unevenly; its base is stubbornly in place. Her eyes squinted to see the end. 

The journey may be long ahead, but the brunette knew that at the finals pages of the journey, it would be hope that brought her to where she was meant to be: at the end of the ladder, with answers and a fresh sight on the future ahead.

---

17 May 2015

Presenting the Summer Photography Challenge


Hello, everyone! By the time I have posted this, I will have placed my new blog design up, refreshed nearly all of my pages, and will be off from my laptop for most of the time, since I have finals coming up. I am proud and glad to present to you today a little idea that has been running around in my brain for awhile: The Summer Photography Challenge!

The idea? It's pretty simple. Throughout May 18th up to August 30th, try to take a photo of nearly everything that I have on the list below, and then, around the end of the challenge, go on ahead and write a post featuring all of the photos you took. If you aren't in the summer season for all of you people in the southern hemisphere, then go on ahead and take on the challenge anyway! I'll also be posting a mini challenge every two weeks or so. Isn't it awesome?

Ignore my edited thumb; there was something weird on there that I had to just try to blur it out.

Here's the thing that I want to get out of this, though: it can be easy to take photos of nearly all of these things if you go and search for them, and that's not the point of holding this challenge. Don't go looking to take the actual photo; let the moment come to you without you being necessarily conscious about it.

When I went to Disney World last December, my family went to watch a light show at Epcot known as IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth three times. The first two times my family went, I constantly was in this rut of whenever there was a firework, I was literally like a dog on squirrel alert.


That drained the fun out of enjoying the show. So, the third time, I placed my camera away and watched the show, and the total experience was surreal. Don't go searching, just let it come.

Ready to join? Want to join? Then go on ahead! And if you want, you may go and post this badge on your sidebars to help spread the word. I'm sorry that it isn't as epic as a Wilderness Explorer badge. :)

Summer Photography Challenge 2015

10 May 2015

Down by the Banks of Crayons and Nerf


I have just experienced one of the greatest weekends that I have experienced in quite a long time. Some of you may have been wondering as to why I was leaving comments on blogs such as, "I'm going to be playing Nerf guns against the Avengers while I'm dancing," and well, this is the answer to that confusion! On Friday, as I was chewing down my Personal Record bar, the fabulous 100 Grand Bar, I was convincing my dad to take my brother and I to go and watch Avengers: Age of Ultron. Three hours and a dance class later, the three of us were off scrambling to find seats.

Is it better than the first Avengers? I'm not sure; I'm still stunned by the movie. Just as I texted to my friend Autumn, "If you want me to describe to you the movie on a scale of one through ten, Baymax would not be able to comprehend the awesomeness of it." 

For those of you thirteen or older, if you are interested and want to see something Hawkeye related, watch a video called "Hawkeye Sings of His Superpowers", which has Hawkeye singing about how he is super as the Avengers. It is very amusing. I am only setting an age limit. In short: if you are not allowed to watch the Age of Ultron because of the reasons why it is PG-13 (especially suggestive comments), then do not watch the video.

Okay? Okay. And no, I did not mean to reference The Fault in Our Stars.

Don't worry; I took this before the movie started.

Saturday I had such a busy schedule, and when I woke up that morning, I was wondering how in the world I was supposed to tackle it all. The first thing on my list was easy: picking up trash on the streets for extra credit for school. The other two things were not.

Twelve thirty during noon I ended up having to go and perform at a recital for dance. It was stressful, because not only was I, along with my friend, in charge of warming up the younger kids, but the fact that one person from our class nearly keeps missing her calls to come up because of the number of pieces she is in. 

I didn't get any photos of the performance itself, but I did get some photos backstage. The little kids were coloring and people from my class were messing with the makeup mirrors.

The one annoying thing was waiting in line for the bathroom. As I stood waiting to go and change into my second costume, since there was only one stall, there was a line and the little kids would stare at me with their mouths open. When people stare at me, I either make a remark or I stare back at them. I did the later. I could have sworn it was like a western cowboy stare down and a tumble weed rolls by in the middle of the scene and crickets, though they don't survive in the desert, chirped.


Anyways.

The girl, in our dance class and performances, who had to keep changing outfits.


Someone in my class drew this, and it is amazing. Very much Lion King like. Kudos to them!

Immediately after the end of the performance, I said goodbye to those in my class and left to go to my friends-- the twins' -- birthday party. I'm usually not allowed to go to birthday parties of my friends for reasons that I won't disclose, but this was an exception. When I arrived, I missed the Nerf Gun war, but instead, came in time for eating burgers and playing Chinese Spoons. 

If you haven't heard of the game, someone takes several spoons and make a figure out of them, and then you have to guess which number it is on a scale of one to ten. There is a trick to it. Does anyone else know this game? I don't know the secret to it, but I feel as if the game, it's distracting you from something-- maybe your hands. If the secret to the game is to look at the person's hands, then it's going to be aggravating that I did not catch on. 

The birthday party was pretty laid back. The birthday people lived right close to a school, so we spent an hour playing Mouse on Ground and just acting very child-like. When we came back, everyone sat down around the tiny tree planted in the front yard and played "Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky" "Ninja, and "WHAAA" for hours. We all sat out there from five until eight in the evening up to the point that the temperature began to drop.

How big was the party? Well, there were about twenty four of us there at the twins' house, not including parents and siblings who came along, too.

Everyone bending down for nose-goes to decide who was going to be the Cat in Mouse on Ground.
I was too busy taking photos, so I was "it".

The birthday cake-- erm, cakes! As the wise words of Fred of Big Hero 6 says, "It's glorious."


My friend's cup. The cups weren't to be wasted, so everyone had to write down their names in this huge black sharpie thicker that my index and middle finger side by side.

Behold, the tree which we played "Down by the Hanks of the Hanky Panky"!

Today was Mother's Day and for lunch, my family went out to go and eat at a Japanese restaurant, and that was when I realized the enormous size of Bento Boxes and how you should never underestimate the size of them. Never. For dessert there, my brother and I each got ice cream, mango and (the flavor I got) green tea! I wish all of you Happy Mother's Day!

I am really happy about how this weekend turned out, for, as this quote by Gilda Radner says:
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.” 

08 May 2015

The Power of Hands


hand \ˈhand\

noun
1. the end part of a person's arm beyond the wrist, including the palm, fingers, and thumb.
2. an active role in influencing something.
3. (in sports) skill and dexterity.
4. a person's workmanship, especially in artistic work.

verb
1. pick (something) up and give to (someone).
2. make (abusive, untrue, or otherwise objectionable) remarks to (someone).
3. make (something) easily obtainable for (someone).
4. hold the hand of (someone) in order to help them move in the specified direction.


There are so many definitions to the word “hand” that I have decided to choose only a few. 

Right now, I want you stop for a minute from reading and take a look at your hands right now. Then, read the definitions again. Look at us! We have the power to create, to make, to inspire, all with words. Our hands can just be a physical part of our bodies, but it can be much more.

Out of all the definitions, my favorite is the last one: hold the hand of (someone) in order to help them movie in the specified direction. As a little kid I would always mess with my hands, but I never partook to take notice of them until I volunteered to help with the kindergarteners. The little kids would always be saying, “Can I hold your hand?”

“Um,” I’d say. Little kids are sweet, but sometimes, it would take me a while for me to process what they said. Besides, I wasn’t exactly the type who liked holding hands often. “Sure?” 

They’d take my hand and pull me. Hands had a lot to do with the projects they embarked on; they would make lots of hand-based animals, like the turkey (fact: I had never done that art project ever in my life). I love the relation with younger kids and their hands; they are so tiny, petite, and fragile, and yet they hold the power to create and inspire.


Simultaneously, within all this good, we have the power to destroy. We can take apart what others have created and break it. We are all capable of doing the good and the bad. But in the end, after all of this destruction and dismalness—we hold the ability to lend a handing hand and recreate it, stronger.

Hands can
make
break
shape
form
create
destroy
hold
i n s p i re

What will you do?

03 May 2015

May's Sun Rays

May has been great so far!

The last several weeks of school are wrapping up, and my days are either a success or undergo through a crash-and-burn process. Algebra II and Biology, my two most difficult subjects, are two major factors as to why I have such grumpy days — I'm striving to get A's in both of those classes by the end of the semester, and I am studying like crazy to achieve that! I rarely have time to even read anymore, which is such a pity.


Two friends of mine and I laughed at this sign!

This last week of April I ended up going on a field trip to see an old eighties movie at the one of the movie theaters in town that manage to give a twist. Instead of popcorn being the main delicacy for the movie, it is pizza that is bought when you go to watch a movie. These aren't just your average store or brand bought, five dollar pizzas; these pizzas were made by its sister store that has some of the best food in my town. The movie itself wasn't memorable, but every single comedical interaction pretty much described all the awkwardness that clumsy teenagers carry.


The following day after the field trip, I went to the doctor's. I won't elaborate what happened there, but all I will say is this: nothing bad is going to happen to me!



The first day of May was quite a festive day. Everyone was wearing their spirit colors and preparing for the festival that came right after school. In choir we were nearly all dressed fully and sad when we had to say goodbye to the intern teacher who taught for about a semester. To handle a class that carries such drama and still like us in the end, as one person said, is amazing. I applaud and respect intern teachers, which I am lucky to have been taught by many intern teachers since the beginning of middle school, for being able to deal with the concentrations of sass and backlashes and still be happy.

There is an assembly that happens before the festival after school. Apparently there is a tradition at my school where the upperclassmen take the seats of the class above them. So, for example, if you were a junior, you would, at the end of the assembly, run wildly and take the seniors' seats. (I am, by the way, not a senior.) When it came for my class's time to go and "cross-over", we all walked cheering. I'm not much of a fan of school spirit weeks, but hey, they only happen every once in a while! Might as well take the chance, right? I'll have to remember that for next year!


(Note: the person above is not me. I have not dyed the ends of my hair.)

Track and field—I am so sad that I wasn’t able to bring my camera, but I got third place! Usually I get about fifth or sixth out of eight, but today, I managed to catch up to almost all of the girls and overtake them. Yes! Thank you to my coach who insisted for me to be working on block starts all week!

To be honest, I didn't have a great start to this week, in fact, the week began off wading in last week's troubles and trying to dry myself clean. I could have awoken up to every single day of this week feeling all horrible and saying, "Today is going to go bad." But what kind of mindset would that be? In class, the reading assigned, Enchiridion of Epictetus, often speaks of the "life rules", as the reading acts as a sort of how-to-live-a-great-and-meaningful-life guide, talks about so much mindset. I want to be surrounded in positive, and even when times of day look bad, I need to stay positive. Thinking positively will end up bringing good vibes for the weekend.

Scroll past the spider if you are terrified of them.

Thank you to all the comments that I have received in last week’s post, “Balancing the Good and the Bad.” I’ve really loved hearing that you all have bad days, too. They stink, but at least we aren't all alone! If I don’t post twice a week for the next two weeks it is because I will be studying for finals and I will be attending photo shoots with friends in which we use Nerf Guns and climb aboard the monkey bars. (We are very mature; we're just pretty childish at heart.) This is it, folks; the reunion is actually going to happen! Perhaps this cheeriness has got to be coming from the happy May sun rays.

01 May 2015

Summer Bucket List Tag

Hi! Several people have tagged me for the 2015 Summer Bucketlist tag! Tags aren't something that I tend to do much on my blog anymore but if it's a unique one that sparks my breeder then I shall gladly participate like so. Without further ado, my bucket list!


Write 15 things that you want to do this summer (if you can't think of 15 that's ok) and publish it in a post. 


1) Get outside and meet more people. This is just an equation die an eventful dumber in my opinion, the summer isn't a time for routine or being cooped up inside; it is a time for a bit of unpredictability as to what the world holds! When I was younger, I spent some of my summers doing camp and forced studying (not exactly my thing), but over the recent summers I have loved going out and taking huge opportunities.

2) Complete a summer edition of the 365 Photo Challenge (or the 365 Grateful Project). The 365 Photo Challenge was something that I discovered on Instagram. What you did was that you took photos and every day, you would "post" (or print, if you are not using social media) what you felt most grateful for. When I was in the Magical Adventures of Merlin, I, without consciously thinking about it, did this exact same thing and it gave me a brighter outlook on my life.

3) Perfect my theatre skills. I want to land a lead role (double points if it's a musical), but I need to practice on my own time. I'll check out monologue books from the library, memorize and rehearse pieces, attend workshops... It will be great!



4) Reunite with my middle school group. If you have seen my post where I inserted a photo of friend's trying to plan a reunion (now, the document is up to ten pages long), this is what it is all about. My middle school group, which I have mentioned on numerous occasions during my first several months of blogging, helped me through middle school. To hang out with the people who have accepted my shortness and mad scientist flash when I have a burst of ideas, all together for one last time, would be nice. We're planning on going out to eat and visiting old playground sets with Nerf darts!

5) Play and improve my musical skills, namely vocals and ukulele. I've been prospecting about getting vocal lessons and it wasn't until someone suggested it that the idea settled into my brain. I've also had a ukulele where I can play only four chords. The only songs I know how to play are "Amazing Grace" and "Clementine." I want to learn!

6) Go back to writers meet ups. So, at my public library there is a teen meetup once a week for writers to improve their craft. I was one of the original members when the group started to form, but because of other timely commitments I had to be absent. Those were the glory days when I won Word Wars and hid all of the donuts with my friend Michaela!


7) Read 50 books. With what is happening over the summer I am not sure if I may commit to this goal. At my library there is a summer reading competition and even since that competition existed, I have been entering and reading books like the subways of Manhattan during lunch hour!

8) Use my bike more. Let me get this straight: I have a bike and a scooter but because I'm rarely ever allowed out with friends or on my own, and my grandma likes walking, these items collect dust. It's time I use these eco-friendly, efficent modes of transportation, before I learn how to drive pretty soon. It's not going to feel right driving when I haven't walked, biked, or scootered by myself or with friends.

9) Watch summer blockbusters. If I watch at least Avengers: Age of Ultron, Minions, Paper Towns and perhaps Tomorrowland while in theaters in summer, I will be a happy camper.

10) Let the summer grow wild.

I nominate anyone who wishes to do this! ^.^ Tell me in the comments, what do you all want to do or accomplish over the summer, or winter, if you are living in the southern hemisphere?