Category: Philosophy


I’m sitting here at Chapman University, the start of my second and last year of graduate school. There’s a lot going through my mind, such as where I’ll be this time next year, job applications for after graduation, where will I find work, will I ever be able to pay off my horrendous student loans? You know, the daily usual. Haha.

But while I sit and code some homework in the lunch area, I hear some distinct music playing in the background. Today, Pablo Caminero and the O.F.N.I. Trio were playing some live jazz music in the courtyard, stopping here as part of their tour.

Sitting here, listening to some live jazz music, I guess I just felt the need to get something off my chest. Life moves fast, the world moves fast. In a blink of an eye, a whole year of school, internships, and so many personal events have passed before my eyes. I’ve also seen how fast the lives of my friends have moved as well. Some getting married or having a child by the end of this year.

I guess I just wanted to say, no matter how fast life moves, don’t forget to take time to stop and listen to the music. I know it sounds cliche, and I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, but it’s nice to be reminded of these things every once in a while. Life will always move fast, but if you take some time to just appreciate where you are, you may come out realizing something new.

 

Also, I feel none of my friends really appreciate this aspect, so I felt like talking about my feelings about this through this blog. So many of my friends are traveling, and when I tried giving suggestions on places to go or things to do, people don’t usually take my advice. I guess it’s cause everyone has their own preference and there’s nothing wrong with that.

When hiking in Bryce Canyon with friends, all I wanted to do was lay down, at night time, staring at the stars. When you use your hands to block out the trees from your peripheral to just look the starts and night sky, the view is gorgeous and will take you away. Paired with your favorite space/galactic music, in my case soundtracks from Doctor Who, and you just feel out of this world. It was breathtaking and I wish I had been able to enjoy it more, or had at least one of my friends enjoying it with me. However, they wanted to leave and go elsewhere, and I had no choice but to go. I don’t hate my friends for that, I just understand that for traveling, our interests may not exactly align.

I realize that I do things like this very often. In Japan while everyone took selfies of themselves with the life size Gundam in Odaiba, I started in awe of it and could not take my eyes off of seeing something I loved so much come to life. I sat down in a corner of El Dorado park in San Francisco enjoying a nice cup of tea, a new comic book, and enjoying the fantastic view of the city and the people. I walked through New York City enjoying the architectures and vibes that each district gave and loved spending down time meeting one of my best friends, who worked in the city, in a park surrounded by skyscrapers as tall as the eye can see. I’ve been able to find so many hole in the walls and encountered so many things by random chance from my aimless wandering. (While wondering Brooklyn Park, I found the Captain America Statue when a film crew was shooting and got the chance to be in the background for the history channel’s Superheroes Decoded special that aired around April 2017.)

I don’t mean to brag at the things I’ve experienced. Far from it, I just want to share how many positive experiences I had when I allowed myself the freedom to wonder and take in where I am. I suppose I also wished I had people in my life who were as interested in this aspect of traveling as I am. It often feels I have a different view of the world and I sometimes wished I had someone to appreciate that with me. But I digress. I have been very fortunate in my life and it is my hopes that I may be able to pass on some of the things I’ve learned for other people to enjoy. Maybe somebody will come across this blog post, put up with my rambling, and be able to take some of my experience to heart.

Life can be filled with its own rewards when you’re not always so concentrated on getting from one place to the next.

Happy traveling everyone. And wherever you go, remember to enjoy the music!

 

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Perspective

The key to success in all human relations is unselfish love.

 

Over the summer of 2012, I was able to meet a great guy named Michael Greening Page. We both had a mutual friend who owned an anime store at our local mall and set up a booth at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles and asked us both to help her out. That as where I met this Scottish aspiring film maker who is quite possibly the nicest guy I have ever met. This year at the expo, it was set right across from the X-games, and boy were there issues. You know how in high school there were jocks vs nerds? Well apparently, people haven’t grown up yet. From what I heard, X-game fans were raging and throwing things at the anime people. So much that the police had to be there to make sure no one got hurt. Now I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone to say who started it first, but I do find it hard to believe an otaku going up to a sports-fan and telling him “get a life.” Anyway my point is, though Michael was a victim of name calling, and apparently someone even tried to roll a skateboard in front of him to try to trip him, when we came back to tell everyone this he was not even the slightest bit mad. Honestly, I would at least be piss, but he was genuinely not angry.
I’ve only had a couple of run-ins with him since the expo. He tells me he does some film things, and I have mentioned we should hang out but it never really happened. He was the first one I was able to talk to about the card game Cardfight Vanguard and I bought my first starter deck on his suggestion at the expo. Now I’m practically in love with the game. It wasn’t until some time in November when I went to the midnight premiere of the Vanguard booster pack 4 when I saw him there buying a box. I greeted him, we talked a little and eventually we went back to his place to open up our cards. He really wanted to make a Shadow Paladin deck, and he wasn’t too fortunate with opening up his packs. I was able to get more of the key cards he wanted. I traded almost all of them to him because I knew he really liked them and I was glad to finally have a friend that I could play with. I only had 1 other friend who played Vanguard with me, but he went into his own thing and we haven’t played with each other since last summer. At first, I felt a little bit of regret because I traded him a lot more cards than I received in return, but I was just being really nice. And looking back on it, I don’t regret a thing anymore. Because what’s a few cards compared to a friend. Btw, we ended up playing card games until 4am! haha. I also found out that night that he was going to be going back to Scotland in early February. It wasn’t great news to me as I finally made a card game friend, and he has to leave in a few months.

I was able to hang out with him a few times afterwards. We played cards, he showed me some of the series he made with his friends, played Paper Mario, and talked about Power Rangers and Kamen Rider. He absolutely loved Kamen Rider, and he made me fall back in love with Power Rangers all over again. He had a ton of interest that I had as well and I was happy to meet someone who I felt I could share all of my nerdy interest with. He was a real, down to earth, genuine guy and although I don’t know how much of an influence I was in his life, I feel he had made a great impact on mine. I felt myself trying to be just as nice as him, feeling that I don’t have to try to hide my love for the nerdier things in life, and felt great to just have someone I could share a bit of my world with. I was finally able to hang out with him again properly a little bit last week. I chose to hang out with him and working a shorter shift at work. And I did the same thing yesterday as well. I actually was feeling conflicted because I could have really used the extra money. Last week I worked a 3.5 hour shift because I used up  most of my day hanging out with Michael and I took the rest of the week off after that to prepare for my dance competition. This week, I wanted to work more hours so I could make up for last. The though of making more money because it’s honestly a resource we all need to survive, plus I don’t really make a lot of money to begin with,  was starting to get the better of me, but how I feel about it today, I don’t regret a thing. I couldn’t believe myself that I would even begin to feel the slightest bit of remorse about making money compared to spending my last days with a friend. (Just so people know, I currently am paid under the table for $8/hr with around 20 hours a week. It’s something, but it’s a ton of money, and I have run through it a bit fast for gas, holiday gifts, and financing my dance endeavors)
In the end, I was glad to have chosen my friend over a few dollars. We both gave each other a final present. I gave him a One Piece patch, which he loved, and he gave me a Power Ranger key, which I have dedicated to keeping in my car forever now. And with that, we said our final goodbyes, and I went back to work. I felt pretty sad yesterday to be honest. I felt that I was loosing a good friend who I wish I got to spend more time with and have gotten to know better. A friend who unknowingly helped me rediscover my inner self and made me happy just being me. And although it’s not a final goodbye as thanks to social networks I can still keep in touch with him, I still feel like I’m loosing a nice part of myself with his departure.

Today’s blog is about the random friendships you meet life, and how it’s important to cherish them as much as possible. You never know how much of an impact they could have on you, and like wise in return. And also, I hope that as I get older, money will never change me. I hope that when it comes down to it, I will always choose friendship over cash. I realize that no amount of money can ever make up the friend I’ve met, or the experience I’ve had with him.

Goodbye Michael. I don’t think you’ll ever read this blog, but if you do happen to stumble upon it one day, here’s to you my friend. Thanks for everything!  – “Now stand up my Vanguard!”

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Thanksgiving

They say Thanksgiving should be a time where you are thankful for what you have.

As a young adult living in America, every year it seems harder and harder for me to see that in many people that I know. I don’t exactly blame people for it though. It is just the mindset and culture of the American public.
I remember when I took my TV Studies class back in college. It was there that I learned the difference between television in different nations such as with US and the UK. The UK is more focused on public services funding while the US is centered around advertisement funding. So needless to say, we of the US are just more exposed to commercialism, materialistic desires and…sadly deals and sales.
Yes I do believe that the idea of Black Friday has, in a way, helped to take away the idea of Thanksgiving a bit. I mean, when you really think about it, they put a day where only the first come basis can get things we don’t have right after the day where we are supposed to be thankful for we already have.

To be honest, Black Friday has never really bothered me until they started having it before Friday. Meaning, Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving itself nowadays. This year, Targets open at 9, Walmart open at 8, stores trying to beat one another are opening earlier and earlier each year to the point where I’m sure in the next couple of years, Black Friday will just start becoming Black Thursday.
Now don’t get me wrong. I go Black Friday shopping most of the time myself. I just refuse to stand in line days ahead of time, wait in super long lines and miss out on a great family dinner. To be honest, I would rather pay a little more for, lets say, that new laptop or TV if the price of getting cheaper is loosing the values of Thanksgiving.

So I know not everyone has a family that they can have dinner with. Some people may not be in good measure with their families. In fact, I am not personally emotionally close to any of my immediate family. I often doubt that my siblings feel thankful to have me as an older brother. Though I don’t doubt them, starting college I wasn’t exactly a close big brother as I was in high school. I spent more time with friends, I was more rebelliousness towards my mother, and I was hardly home. Though I have changed my perspective of my family since then, I never felt that my family has ever forgiven me for that time. Or they have, but they they’re no longer willing to warm up to me. Which is fine, I do understand and I do accept it. Although not so much any more, I still went out of my way to drive my little brother and sister to places they desired. Why even once, I drove my sister to her boyfriend’s house, then when I got home, and to go back to pick her up again. Truth is, I’m not saying I had a perfect relationship with my siblings and my mother, but even though they’re not up to warming up to me, I’m ok with that. They are still my family, and even though I don’t talk to any of them, and hardly exchange a line of dialog with them for the whole Thanksgiving day, the fact that I’m here, I hope is enough for them to realize one day that I don’t hate them, even if I feel they don’t really like me.

Now back to Black Friday, to be honest if it was a Black Friday any other time of the year, I wouldn’t even be ranting very much about it. Like Cyber Monday. It’s just more of the fact it’s right after Thanksgiving and it’s no longer starting at midnight like it used to.

My final thoughts, if your idea of Thanksgiving is both, family dinner and late night shopping, good for you. For those of you who feel that the big screen TV and the new computer can wait, I think that’s great too. Make Thanksgiving whatever you want it to be and for what’s important to you.

Happy Thanksgiving.