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Being


As I sit here crying because I’ve just rewatched my favorite film “Cloud Atlas”, I am reminded of change and dreams.

For a long while now, maybe a year, I’ve been in a slump. I’ve been thinking over and over about how my life is a “drop of water in an endless sea”. Pondering over how tiny I am, how mortality is so finite how could any of us bare the idea of immortality? How I will die inevitably and everything in our waking world is a distraction away from this death, it’s a monolithic movement toward a fake idea of eternal life. It doesn’t come from the Christians, although they now propagate this idea, and it was before the Greeks, before the Babylonians (pre-Judaism), and it was before writing. Humans lie. We lie to ourselves about our fate.We try to block it out, pretend death isn’t lurking under every rock, waiting to trip us up and break us, we shout “DANGER” so quietly.

I’m trying to be honest to myself. Telling myself of my death, that whatever I do, I will die. I’ve been giving up hope, I’ve let all my dreams go. In my depression and in my turmoil I have said “It’s impossible, I’m 1 and 8 billion+ and I am nothing.” I am nothing because I choose to be, but not because I am.

In Cloud Atlas Sonmi said “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”(David Mitchell, author). When she said this, she is staring at a room full of fighting. Everything knows death is inevitable but they are fighting for a better life. Dying for a better life for the other.

My eternal best friend Savannah said to me: “You aren’t great because you are great, but because I say you are great so you have to be, because I want you to be.” Now this sounds very backwards, but I knew exactly what she meant. She meant that even though I don’t think I’m great, or have purpose, or meaning, I am great because she knows so. Then she said “You may think you don’t have a purpose, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself one. Make one up!!”

A few hours later a woman came out of an Irish bar on to the sidewalk where Savannah and I were standing, I gave her a light and she said to me “I want to be your mothah!” and then “Go do something amazing, change the world.”

More than all the religious and socio-political philosophical truths, I know that humans are only human with other humans. And we can only change when we step into the view of the other. The moment we see the point of view of someone unlike ourselves who is apart from us can we begin to understand we aren’t so different. The only way we can learn or affect the world is by changing ourselves.

I heard once that you don’t have to change the whole world to be marvelous, you only have to change one tiny world of someone else’s to make an impact.  I hope to change a few, even if those worlds are just my immediate friends and family, I can be ok with that.

I won’t give up though, I’m revisiting my dreams of being a writer, a musician, an archaeology, a teacher, a lifelong learner. I am finding another path and I don’t walk alone, but I am connected with those I find, everyone’s whose path touches mine.

Those who are great most of the time never knew they were. They died, maybe for a cause to fight for the other and are remembered as great because they changed one tiny world, that created a wave to affect many.  They weren’t great because they thought they were great, they are great we because we think they are. We think. Present active Indicative plural. We are plurality and individuality and we are being.

So be.

the_meaning_of_life_a_sexually_transmitted_disease_photo_print-rbae35b1a65a94a659b569efa1897be57_a0ib_8byvr_324

haha ^^

 

A work in progress


05/30(or the 31 since you are in Japan right now.)/2016

How we met: well it wasn’t quite meeting at first, really. You stared at me (checked me out) from two rows back on the other side of the class room of our Econ 111 class in Xavier room 150. I knew your name and who you were, and I ran into you often with The-Girl-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She was something else (and a whole other story) and you and her seemed to be best friends from my point of you. Until I began to pester you.

I thought you were (OMG kill me now for saying this) THE cutest Asian kid I had ever seen in my life, and I was down for the chase.

I made a mistake first hand though by the telling your “Best friend” what I thought of you. She had  a bit(a little more than that) of a fit and she said: “You got, Tomas, and Kiya, you can’t can’t canttttt by any means have Hiro.” And I told her I would respect her wishes, but there was a big piece of me that I certainly was not going to ignore that said “ignore her, he is a catch… even if he ends up just being a good friend” which of course made my reply to her be: “Oh of course, he is your best friend, I would never!!!” (one of the biggest lies I have ever told). And here we are. You are my man.

You ask me to make lists.

I love this. (but you know I love making lists so it isn’t exactly work to me. )

What we should do:

  1. Travel the world
  2. Go to every San Pellegrino 50 best restaurants in the world.
  3. Go to Japan – like everywhere
  4. Take a bath – not too long of one, I hate being pruny
  5. Go to an owl cafe
  6. Go to a cat (neko ねこ 猫)  cafe 😀
  7. Feed each other nutella
  8. Stay at a ritzy hotel and splurge on room service
  9. Keep each other motivated
  10. Keep each other healthy
  11. Couples Message
  12. Take a train over night somewhere, hopefully Europe
  13. Swing Dance
  14. Shop for undies in Tokyo
  15. Ice skate in Rockefeller center in NYC
  16. Build an igloo in Alaska
  17. Pray at a temple in Japan (Nara)
  18. Bake

TO BE CONTINUED.

Belittling


Every stage of my life has been belittled and the next oncoming stage glorified. Why? I think it may have to do with the idea of constantly chasing the carrot held out in front of us. It’s a terrible way of forcing us to progress because we feel small and worthless.

In each era, you are told you will soon meet the “real world” as if you aren’t experiencing it yet. What really is the “real world”? Is it the constant grind of sleep, eat, work, pay bills? Because I don’t think that means “real world” that just means capitalism. The “real world” is never the same for any singular person. Everyone has a different experience and according to the laws of philosophy: no one is ever wrong. Reality is relative to your experience, upbringing, culture, and beliefs.  My “real world” is totally opposite to the “real world” of someone living in Mexico City, Berlin, London, Beijing, or Dubai. My “real world” consists of hobbies, family, friends, activities, personal art, and adventure. Yes I work, yes I go to school, yes I pay for things, yes I eat and sleep. But these things do not make a “real world” these things are characteristics of living in our western culture.

So who came up with this stupid idea that telling kids while they are trying to develop themselves that they aren’t even close to being in the “real world” yet? They weren’t born yesterday, they’ve experienced what it’s like to be hurt and be happy, to see pain and heal. Just because someone is younger than you or experiencing something that you’ve already experienced doesn’t make them lesser to you.

I’m 19, to most people I’m a fetus. Meaning, my development as an adult is so small and insignificant I mustn’t be capable of understanding things without a guide. I’m not a fetus, I know how to walk by myself.

I say all this because every step I take, I am told is not enough. “You’re not there yet! You don’t know what the real world is like!” Sure I dont have a full time job, my permanent residence is listed as my parents house, and my bills are paid. But why do these things make me less of a human? Why do I appear to others as if I’m useless or purposeless?

Let me ask you this: What is so special about your life that makes it worth more than mine? What makes your “real world” experience better and more “real” than mine?

Nothing.

die

If you are really listening; an ode to silence


The lost art of really listening to people. The secret to it is we communicated with our bodies. Open stances or closed stances, fiddling and looking away, shifting glances, wild gestures or uncomfortable arm crossing. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” is a lot of the time true. That’s why reading body language helps tell us when we are being lied to or how people really feel versus what they are saying. A good listener can see these things. A true listener can start to understand someone better by these things. Seeing how a person responds physically can communicate their insecurities and their confidences, the things they like and dislike, and also whether they are extremely selfish or are relaxed and loving. Someone who really listens can see right through people.

Then sometimes silence (or the lack of action) speaks louder than words. Whether that inaction is someone saying one thing and doing another or being completely passive and not communicating at all.

That’s why I wrote a song called “Silence is death

I wrote this because the lack of communication is a huge scream in itself. Crying silently, suffering in silence, sighing silently. It’s all a way of showing a burden, communicating pain or indifference. Especially indifference. “The silent treatment” is a way to communicate my pain that doesn’t need words to describe it. Everyone knows what it is. Everyone understands why. It’s because sometimes the amount of weight I’m carrying inside me is boiling under my skin and its turning my eyes red and soggy, its breaking me so much I can’t even speak. Sometimes the silence is necessary because I’m screaming so loud on the inside I can’t bear to speak anymore. Or maybe its the opposite, maybe it’s because the world and people around me are so loud I can’t handle the noise anymore so I stopped trying and shut down. Maybe I’m too tired of this sick mess to speak anymore. Words fall short of the things I want to say.

This is why people say things like this:

“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.”
Andrew Harvey

Sometimes its really hard to be bursting at the seems like this always. I take a chill pill and reseed into a happy numbness, which sometimes solves the problems and I start to see that I don’t have to hate and hurt from all the noise around me and inside me. I can let it out and in and breathe and be one with it or separate my self from it. Nothing is permanent. But I do wear my anger on my heart and not on my skin. I wear it on the inside where it festers and starts to boil again and I start my silence.

There’s a difference between serenity and being numb.

anonymous

Communicating like this isn’t all there is though.  Sometimes small talk and social interaction in the trivial pursuits can be a fueling ground for socialites or a draining all-consuming pit of terror. Sometimes I love to gossip and joke with my friends, and other times it tears me apart inside to hear idiotic and pointless words. I get so upset I give a silent tantrum and stop speaking to people.

‘Cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish
I’ve seen more guts in eleven year old kids

Have another drink and drive yourself home
I hope there’s ice on all the roads
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt
And again when your head goes through the windshield

Is that what you call tact?
You’re as subtle as a brick
In the small of my back
So let’s end this call and end this conversation

Read more: Brand New – Seventy Times 7 Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Being Apart and Retrouvailles


Retrouvailles [French]

The Happiness of meeting again after a long time

There are lots of ways that people can be separated. Whether “separate” meaning ending of a relationship, friendship, or bond; or meaning separated by distance and time rather than breaking off that relationship, being apart is painful.

I’ve had friends all over the world, some which I’ve been able to see yearly or more and others that I have never seen.

I have friends I’ve grown up with that became the closest and most important people in my life graduate high school and go far away for college. It hurt to be apart from them. It hurt to lose the physical connection we had and to lose the fulfilling meetings we used to have regularly. But we had retrouvailles when we were finally able to get together during summer, winter, and spring breaks.

Separation changes relationships and changes people. Communication and visiting become more special, but also more difficult. Talking to one another can become a chore, or become monotonous because the same questions are always being asked. “How was your day?” “What did you do?” “How is everyone back home?” “How is school?” “What are your classes like?”‘How was work?”. After a while it feels like there is nothing more to say over the phone or via text.

It feels like the distance between the two of you is prying a wedge between you even more than you thought it would.

happinessisexpensive

It’s costly on everyone in many ways. Seeing friends means gas money, spending money for activities, and food. Seeing friends means a plane ticket home or to them, expenses of travel and the like.

Being apart from friends means you might make new friends and lose those friends, or the flux of new friends is whittled down to the ones that you actually like talking to you, rather than the ones which are just convenient to converse with. The difference between a study buddy and a real pal. It costs time and effort to be happy, to stay happy, and to preserve the happiness that you have with those you love most in the world.

The hardest part about these expenses, is making sure they are worth it, and remain worth it.

convenient

Something being worth your time is far from something which is just convenient. Although, convenience does assist in keeping things that are worth your time.

Convenience is having a neighbor that you can barrow things from politely and they have the same relationship with you, but you wouldn’t invite them over for a heart-to-heart about your dying uncle and the struggles of cancer in your family.

The kind of person you invite over for that serious conversation who thinks you are worth their time is the friend that maybe it isn’t all that convenient for them to see you. That’s why it is special when you see each other, because when you do, both of you have planned that chat, that cup of tea or coffee, that special meeting spot, or the favorite seats in your living room. The date’s been on your calendar and it has been something the two of you texted about for weeks. Making sure both could be there around the same time, prepared and with lots to say.

But also with this best friend, you don’t always need something to talk about. Silence can convey what you need it to as well. Because sometimes all you can say is “I’m so glad you are here,” with me because I need you and you are worth it and I love being with you because I love you. 

And you know they are thinking the same thing and don’t need to say it.

coolshit

Harmony in the those moments of retrouvailles.

Gaming Community, The Internet, and Sexism


MEN AND WOMEN AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN.

Before we talk about these touchy subjects let’s make a helpful list :

1.We are creatures with sexual natures (asexuals you count too <3)

2. We are IMPERFECT

3. We are emotional creatures (except for you, psychopaths, you’re one of the reasons we are in this mess.)

4. We all face consequences for our actions, deservedly or not, equally or not, we face them.

5. Our bodies may have different looking reproductive organs, but we are two sides of one coin (or if you are genderless etc, you are the coin and I love you for being super cool, brave, and unique).

Ok so here are some articles I found while looking at news reports:

Game Reviewer Receives Rape Threats 

Continued article: ’30 Days of Sexism’

If you read these you will notice that this community (the world wide web connecting gamers since 19-whenever) is one of many genders, races, ethnicity, religions, blah blah diversity. Secondly, the gaming community in its wide diversity can be extremely narrow minded and can be extremely problematic in its ways of being offensive, abusive, negative, and even life threatening, (see: Swatting).

In the gaming community, things move fast and things change fast. But one thing that hasn’t changed too much is women being treated like a sexual commodity. I know this sounds strange, but I can prove it to you.

Here are some videos made by the gaming community about things that ACTUALLY happen (some of these even happened to me).

I kid you not, this kind of language and ludeness is extremely common among gamers male and female, but the intent behind them is simply offensive and wrong for both sides.

Because of the popular belief that most gamers are male (54%), the gaming culture has been formed around these chauvinistic stereotypes. This doesn’t tend to bother too many female or male gamers much, though there has been some marketing campaigns and arguments about this. “You can’t have a woman as a main character in a video game, it just won’t succeed.” (Jean-Max Morris 2013:1). This a sentiment that was argued by the producers of Morris’s game, obviously this is untrue. The sex of the main character has very little to do with the success of the game, actually, the more the game creates a community the more successful the game will be. The gaming community is comfortable for most people because all of us want to be there and participate, if we didn’t we would simply stop participating in the culture.

Females being treated badly in gaming communities is simple. Females started out as a minority in gaming culture because of the gender norms and boundaries set up in the way games were geared toward, war, violence, adventures, and monsters. These things at the dawn of gaming were “manly”, “rough and tough”, and everything but sugar and spice and everything nice. Now that gender roles in our society have evened out a little more girls dont feel like war, violence, adventure, and monsters are all that threatening to their femininity or threatening at all to face in a game. But from what I’ve seen is that the community of gamers was established on male virtues. Slogans like “Bro’s before  hoes”, “you game like a girl”, and “make me a sandwich” all stem from guys being the dominating figures of the gaming community.

Since males have dominated gaming for so long, girls who have eased their way into the community usually keep a low profile, 47% is a lot, but still women openly saying they are women on their profile or in game can be rare. This is because of threats like what Alanah Pearce received in the comments on her game review videos. For me, I’ve been online gaming in both the Xbox live and PC gaming (League of Legends mostly) communities for years, and I have actually met guys and girls online that I am still friends with after gaming since 2012. There is hope for the community to revive itself, but when environments are toxified by people with no actual understanding of what their words are doing, change can’t happen.

The best way to explain gaming culture is to experience it, but not everyone is interested or accustomed to the way gamers communicate and relate to one another. That is why most people write gamers off as uneducated and not very sensitive, when the opposite is true, gamers have feelings too we just express ourselves very differently. “Young people will always find new ways to represent their cultural concerns, in ways that inevitably alienate the previous generation. Such linguistic creativity as 1337 5p34K, characterized by adaptation and modification, has evolved from the game geek’s need to express and communicate within a supportive community of like-minded participants.”(Blashki and Nichol 2005:85) What we lack is support usually, because the gaming community is very competitive and raunchy. We like the raunchiness to a point though. Things cross lines, and our ways of communicating can be taken to whole other levels of bad. Swearing is normal, insulting people randomly is normal, threatening to rape, abuse, assault, swat, etc. is not normal or legal.

What makes a person interesting?


in·ter·est·ing
ˈint(ə)rəstiNG/
adjective
  1. arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention.
    “an interesting debate”
    2. A term used meaninglessly and copiously by those with nothing better to say.
    synonyms: absorbing, engrossing, fascinating, riveting, gripping, compelling,compulsive, captivating, engaging, enthralling;

    So, now that we know what it means, what does it really  mean?

    To me, an interesting person is someone who rarely bores me, even if what they are talking about is on the uses of tylenol. What my current dilemma entails is a girl whom with all circumstances and experiences should be the most interesting human on the planet, but she is one of those humans I have a difficult time speaking too without a group. Our one-on –one communication I would think would be amazing, since both of us have similar interests in langue arts, linguistics, history, and religion; it seems though, that she and I cannot hold a conversation with each other in an empty room for more than a half hour without external input.

    Secondly, I usually assume that people who are well educated, well traveled (even if thats just in the united states, Canada, and Mexico) should by default, according to their money spending track records, an interesting and well rounded human being. These people should be eye catching, have good stories(even if these stories are fairy tales, making it all the more interesting), be inspiring, and be ready for adventure.

    Unfortunately, I can’t figure out why this woman bores me to literal tears.  Ultimately, I’m too hopeful and tend to lend my friends one too many chances to surprise me with their intellect and make me laugh with good(or terribly bad) stories, or even better: make our own stories; but damned if they don’t because I am drained by these individuals. I give all my funny(or sad) stories to them, I share or invent adventures for them, I invite them to raving mad gatherings and try to inspire some spontaneity within them, but I’m slowly but surely giving up.

    ART. Art is another thing — when individuals can appear to appreciate all the artistic things of the world, from fashion to music and dance but are depraved of having creativity it brings me to my knees with disappointment. Sure, we need non labeled artists to be inspired by labeled artists, but all humans should have true creativity, they should be able to more than clone paintings and crafts.

    Contrary to some people’s belief, creativity isn’t all spontaneity and divine or other inspiration, it is cultured by loving adults who teach young children to let their brains be free, let their eyes wonder, hands move over material, and feet jump at every chance, or voice squeak when their soul sings through their body.

    Back on track, I can’t grasp the strangeness of humanity’s ways. I’m baffled that chemistry is what connects us but, but philosophy and politics is what separates us.

    I need to think about this more.

How To Get A Good ACT Score (writing portion only)


My first time taking the ACT I was a sophomore in highschool, and its been three years since then and I believe whole heartedly I was a smarter person at that time because of four classes:

1. Latin 2 (Honors)

2. Classical and Medieval History (Gordon College Professor who is super awesome)

3. Classical Literature and Writing (Honors, taught by an ordained bishop, who also consequently is the smartest person I have ever met)

4. Geometry (With my mother who is an Engineer and it rocked)

These foundations are classical Greek and Roman foundations of education (plus add some philosophy and cultural anthropology for unbiased analysis reasons) and this is what I call the perfect lessons to prepare you to write a three page essay in under thirty minutes with organized ideas AND quotes from the literature/historical manuscripts that should be burned into your brain forever.

According to the the syllabus of my Classical Lit and History courses, I now can have a conversation with a student who has a masters in Classics or Literature very well.

I used a quote from Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (Renaissance, Italian scholar and philosopher) for my essay on the ACT that I tied in to the importance of learning and intellectuality. (…this post is so entirely opposite from my last blog  post my goodness.) This quote talked about the different parts of humanity and what they make a person appear like.

“When man came into life, the father endowed him with all kinds of seeds and with the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow and bear fruits in him. If these are vegetative, he will be like a plant; if they are sensual, he will become like the beasts; of they are rational he will become like a heavenly creature; if intellectual, he will be an angel and a song of God…. ” (The Oration on the Dignity of Man 1486)

So, to the ACT essay graders, I think I looked pretty damn hot 😉

Along with using quotes and being able to accurately tie them into the random subject you were given, you need to have a good idea of how you like to start your essays, or how to get yourself into a good writing mindset.

I usually try to use the page they give you to plan out your essay to write the first paragraph in. It gives you some idea of how you want to format the lay out, but not the entire thing, more the sound and rhythm of your essay. Colloquial or very formal, your essay should reflect how well you can store knowledge and apply it correctly and nicely to anything they throw at you. And they will throw you some strange questions that seem pretty stupid at first glance.

I’ve taken standardized tests for 3 years with essays tacked on them and it gets old really fast. Also, if you are taking a CLEP exam, remember to CITE the information they give you properly, it’s not just there for you to stare at contemplatively.

Another thing, use AWESOME vocabulary and use it in a tasteful way,

not like:

“Swivel chairs are too ridiculous for rambunctious kids who let their glee overwhelm them, tenaciousness can often upset pedantic teachers.” (This sentence is gross but do you understand how silly it sounds to have this many unusual vocabulary words in one sentence?)

You should use them like THIS:

“Good adjectives and adverbs should be used ubiquitously.” (This is a fair example because colloquial and gray words like “good” are not very useful descriptors(adjectives); they are subjective to someone’s biased point of view of “good”, but words such as “unseemly” (with other descriptions of WHY it is unseemly) is an approved adjective.)

Punctuation:

If by any chance you are able to use a semicolon properly in a paragraph you will probably get good points. The quote I just used above is a good example of semicolons.

Colons (:) are used in sentences to introduce that something follows like a quotation, example or a list. Semicolons (;) are used to join two independent clauses, to separate main clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb or to separate items in a list that already uses commas. “(Your Dictionary.com)

And some examples:

“With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.”
(Abraham Lincoln)

and

“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”
(Mark Twain)

I also HIGHLY recommend keeping a journal entry maybe not once a day, but at least twice a week to keep your mind flowing easily in writing; even if it is total nonsensical babble about school and drama it will help.

The Most Sad Blog Post That Ever Will Be


These past weeks have really sucked. Not because nothing good happened, but because all the good things were spoiled by disappointments, and disaster took ever shining moment into a tainted crimson version of what it could’ve been. Which was a nice sepia, but that’s not what these weeks look like now, they are sad.

Lyrics that I relate to right now: (Here With Me by Dido)

Oh I am what I am
I’ll do what I want
But I can’t hide
I won’t go
I won’t sleep
I can’t breathe
Until you’re resting here with me
I won’t leave
I can’t hide
I cannot be
Until you’re resting here with me

Fell in love with a nice boy, he said he wanted a commitment. I told him even though that was hard for me, I’d do it for him. A day later he ended things making excuses about not knowing what the future held and being not ready for it.
Two days later he is making out with his best friend’s girl.
So honestly…
Rough knows what’s up.
“Let’s still be friends.”

Ha. You’re funny. 

The Uselessness of Trying To Be Human


I know it’s silly that I say this, but humans kinda suck at being human sometimes.

Like those times when we are all “oh I’m so good at talking to people and being the social creature I was created to be,” and all the sudden you hate everyone and don’t ever want to see human faces ever again. Unless it’s in a TV show where you don’t have to interact with them physically.

I’ve had times like this lately.

Then there is the other side of being less human: people who lack empathy and mercy, they are the people who have shut off their human compassion to hedonism or some strange thing.

Ironically enough, I have met a sociopath. Many people think that sociopaths are the ones that lack empathy or connection, but I think it’s the opposite. They have empathy, they crave connection, but they don’t have the capability to perform them in the human way. They are angry in love, they are angry in empathy…. just angry.

Differing from a psychopath, a sociopath can be attached emotionally to others, but it is harder for them to. They also tend to be very strange and hard to connect with.

Normal humans, can be hedonistic, but that’s like taking a part of humanity and putting a magnifying glass over it and using selfishness as your governing motive. Base needs are taken for granted and greed replaces reason and sympathy.

Normal humans experience greed, selfishness and other things but can look past oneself and care for others, it’s part of what makes us human, because we can control ourselves this way unlike animals, who mostly will rely on instinct and survival needs to function.

Humans complicate their lives with everything….. like blogging for instance.

A useless and rigorous application of words to random subjects that catch my interest fulfills my need to write mostly. But sometimes my personal blog isn’t personal enough since, it is published to the world.

A human thing, to have self-importance. A silly human thing.