Friday, May 23, 2014

"I met a flirt and a schizophrenic. It was great fun."

The reason for this post is kind of bizarre...you see, it's all because yesterday I started to experience some major stomach pain and nearly passed out. We're not sure whether I have some stomach bug or if I have food poisoning, but either way, I've been laying low today and not doing much of anything.

However...I am a person who likes to do things. I can only watch so many hours of TV before I start going crazy. On average, I bike about 5 miles a day and play basketball for a few hours. I like to move. So while resting is nice, I needed something to do this afternoon or I was going to go nuts.

Thus, I dusted off my 'the great ones and the general' file and reread that. And it's a very good thing that I'm not having stomach pain any more, because it involved a lot of laughter.

Now, 'the great ones and the general' is about a fairly serious subject. Depression, suicide, and trauma...there's not much there to laugh at. However, you must take this one particular fact about me into consideration....

I am a sarcastic person.

Correction: I am a very sarcastic person.

Luckily, I've been blessed with several friends who are just as sarcastic as I am (trust me, I have multiple text conversations with these people and 99.999% of what we text each other is laced with sarcasm.) Sometimes, however, my words get taken as rude/harsh, and the sarcasm goes undetected. That makes me sad, because there's not much better than being able to have a sarcastic duel with someone else. Maybe they should start sarcasm course or something. I know I would attend.

Aaaanyhoo, I reread what I've written in my oh-so-troublesome WIP (which is a rather pitiful amount, I am ashamed to say. Was supposed to finish it a few months ago...life got in the way). And there were multiple moments when I was either repeatedly facepalming my "brilliant" sarcasm skills or laughing so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. It's my general rule of thumb to not read what I've written until it's time to edit, but since I've been busy with other things, I needed a refresher course.

And boy, was it refreshing.

“It looks like something out of a Tim Burton flick,” Colt said, rubbing his neck. “Are you sure your mom’s friend isn’t an ax murderer or something?”
“Shut up.” I started down the path.
 “You know, you keep saying that to me,” he hollered at my back. “I’m beginning to feel hurt.”

Colton Trelawney


Sam Carpenter
“Ah.” He winked knowingly. “Finally, your mortal form grows weary. You must commune with the gods through slumber.”
“I don’t know if you’re trying to be funny or if you’re fully intending to be stupid, but that’s how it’s coming across.” I inclined my head. “Out. I need sleep.”

 
I almost laughed. I could imagine telling Mom about this someday—hey, Mom, remember that one time I ran away from Aunt Jade’s place? Well, I met a flirt and a schizophrenic. It was great fun.

 

Matthew North
“You know,” she said with a smirk, “I think Matt has an attention disorder. Every time you and I get chatty, he turns into a smart aleck.”
Colt laughed, and the truck swerved a little on the road. My knuckles whitened on the doorhandle. “Trust me,” he said, “he’s always a smart aleck.”
“This is pleasant all,” I gritted out, “but we’re entering the city, Colt. Stay focused.”
“I am focused, dude. My mind’s like a Internet browser—I have about 50 tabs open.” He winked at Sam. “Never let it be said that guys can’t multitask. I’ve mastered the art.”
“Just like you’ve mastered the art of shutting up when you’re supposed to.” I glowered at the map in my lap.


More often than not, my attempts fell short and ended up sounding cheesy, but there were a few instances that made me genuinely laugh. This whole situation amuses me, actually. 'the great ones and the general' actually sprouted from my experiences with depression and frustration with the world, and yet, I still managed to squeeze humor into my writing--albeit sarcastic humor, but it was humor.

Needless to say, my enthusiam in writing this novel has been sparked once more. I probably won't be able to write much in the next weeks (I have camp and graduation to worry about, AHHHHHHHH...), but my creative juices have been thawed. And my sarcasm skills are in action once more.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

don't knock it til you try it

{note}
{this was supposed to go up on Monday. As is obvious, it didn't. I apologize for that. Instead we have Muzak Wednesday...doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but it'll do in a pinch. Besides, on Muzak Wednesday, you get a music vlog bonus. }


hello.

I am literally putting myself in the proverbial line of fire for this post.

As it may have been previously stated on this blog, I listen to kpop. I never imagined that I'd get into this genre of music, but mentoring two South Korean girls and wanting to know more about their culture kind of got me here. I blame/thank you, Helena and Iris.

Kpop is not every person's cup of tea. I believe this one hundred percent. I also would never force someone to like kpop--in fact, the only person I've ever said "YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO THIS!!!!!" is my little sister, and I'm allowed to say that because I'm older and I can tell her to do things. :) However, that doesn't mean that I'm not ever going to share my love of kpop with others. Gently is the way to go, in my humble opinion. So be warned: there be kpop ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

First song on this list has to my one and only absolute favourite song....but the thing is, it is also the one and only absolute song whose name I hate. Mekana and I call it "The Unspeakable Song," which probably has our parents a little worried...nothing wrong here, parents--just some terrible spelling. Even the album name is facepalm-worthy--but it's a good song and a fun one to dance to while doing the dishes when you're the only two at home.



Second is Breathe, by Miss A. Miss A is probably my all-time favourite female group, and I love pretty much all their songs, especially Breathe. I actually listen to this song a lot when I work out (which I find a bit ironic since that's usually when I'm saying to myself "Breathe!! Breathe!!") Breathe has that peppy, "skip to your step" kind of sound to it, and that's what I love about kpop--it's tends to be really bouncy, and it helps cheer me up on my off days.


Third in line is UKISS with Standing Still. UKISS (despite their...umm...interesting name) is one of my favourite groups, partially because Kevin, one of the members, is a professing Christian. In fact, he is one of the few Christian kpop stars out there, I believe (most are Buddhist or atheists or just not religious). Standing Still is another one of those songs that gets stuck in my head, and it's also a fun one to look up the lyrics to...because they don't exactly make much sense.


Fourthly we have Goodbye 20, by Lim Kim. I've posted other songs by Lim Kim on some of my writing playlist posts, but this song is my absolute favourite, despite there being an unfortunate swear word in there (bleeped out in the music video, thankfully...because duh--it's South Korea.) The song is peppy, but the lyrics are kind whistfully sad, and I really love that contrast. Apparently, this artist is being billed as the South Korean Taylor Swift, which I can kind of see, a little.


Next is Jaejoong's Mine. If I ever hear people say "kpop has only songs about love and relationships and stuff" this is the song that I direct them to. There's a lot of discussion over the meaning of this awesome song--does it have to do with the singer's rough history in the singing industry or some other context?--but I really just love the nitty-gritty feel to the music. More of k-rock than kpop, but it still falls under that category. 


And my last (but most definitely NOT least) comes from Megan and I's all time favourite group (though technically they're still tied with SHINee, but we won't go there): VIXX. I actually think I liked VIXX more for the personalities of the band members and just how crazy (read here: stupid) they are, and the music just kinda grew on me. But needless to say, I enjoy their music a lot, and any time a VIXX song comes on the radio or my iPod, my day gets a little happier. Even though their music is kinda dark. Yeah. That doesn't make much sense.



So there you have it! Six of my favourite kpop songs--make of it what you will. I don't care if you liked the music or even if you listened to it. This is just me sharing some of the music that helps make me smile. :)

And as a special extra thingie...here's Mekana and I doing a music challenge vlog. Hope you enjoy!


oh shoot...here are a few bonus songs. Yes, I had too many favourites to choose just six. Oh well.





Saturday, May 17, 2014

not a part-time job

I came to a big elephant in the middle of my spiritual walk the other day.

And if you're wondering why I have elephants in my spiritual life, you've missed the point.

Do you ever feel like you're missing something? Like you've got all the pieces but they just aren't fitting together? That's been me these past couple of months. A week would go by and I'd think: "...just what have I done this week?" My answer? School. Quizzing. Watched some TV. Might've read a book or two. Hung out with friends.

Oh, and read my Bible. For five minutes or so. Each day. I think I remember to pray when I was eating alone. Maybe.

Obviously, I had issues. Not good issues (are issues ever good?) And I needed to fix that. But here's the thing:

I didn't think I knew how.

I'm not a deeply spiritual person. I believe in God. I became a Christian at the age of 9, and while I don't think I knew what I was getting into then, I know it was the right way for me to go. But I'm not your evangelical, "I've gotta share God's gift with the world" kind of person. I want to share my faith, but it's extremely hard for me to open my mouth, because it means voicing thoughts that are very near and dear to my heart. And I'm afraid of getting laughed at because of those thoughts. Group discussions at Bible Study/Sunday School are NOT my cup of tea. And I don't think that's necessarily wrong, but I do find it very frustrating. VERY frustrating.

Something I felt a need to change.

But once again, I didn't think I knew how.

I watched my friends do amazing things. I have a cousin going to India this summer to work at an orphanage. One of my friends is going to Hungary to teach English and spread the gospel, and another is going to an Indian reservation like she does every year. Me? I was planning on staying home, finishing geometry, and memorizing Acts. I watched my friends have what look like amazing spiritual lives. Yes, I know I only see what's on the outside, but there's still some glow to how they live their lives that sparks a seed of discontent in me. People talk about having visions, spending hours praying to God, their Bibles are falling apart from their intense studying. Me? I was lucky if I remembered to read my Bible after getting up in the morning. At night, I was "so tired" that I collapsed into bed with my phone and watched TV until I fell asleep, instead of maybe praying. And obviously, during the day I was too busy to sit down and have some God-time. That's just silly talk.

I looked at my life and wondered "How are these people making time for this? I can't find a way."

When in reality, I could.

Christianity is not something you can take in little bites. You've got to take it all, even if it means squeezing some excess out. It's like a full-time job, actually. My dad calls himself a veterinarian, and he is one because he spends most of his time taking care of animals. I call myself a Christian. Can I truly be a Christian when I don't spend hardly any time dwelling in my Saviour and his Word?

I don't think so.

I want Christianity to be my full-time job, not part-time. I don't want to do this halfway. I want to be complete in my faith, and not watered down.

I hope I'll get there. In fact, I think I will. Because I've got a mighty God on my side. And he's going to help me get there, I know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

blue

{blue: a drabble}
by ely

you make me think of blue.

Not a happy blue either, but a bright, angry, rude blue.

Your loud voice, your harsh actions, your clueless words: everything about you is blue.

I see you in textbooks and Wal-Mart billboard signs and blue raspberry Koolaid--oh so sweet but so overwhelming underneath.

I don't know what it is about you, but you drag me under the ocean of your concerns, drowning everything I love about me while all you do is float to the surface.

You crush me, but I don't say anything about it because I know you won't hear me anyway.

You are in the mid-July bright sky. You are in roadsigns. You scream unnatural and uneasiness and disruption.



You have a glimmer in your eyes when you smile that is so very blue and is so very you because blue is you.

I don't like that smile, because it means something is going to happen, and that worries me.


Because when you open your mouth, there's a tidal-wave and my own color is doused with yours.

It's a battle of color, and somehow, you turn my blackest black blue, which we know is impossible.

The more you turn me blue the harder it is to go back to black.

They always say black is bad, but I wish they knew you are blue and blue is anything but good.

I'm black.

Thus.

I'm not blue. 

You're blue. 

You're you.

However.

I miss you. 


So I guess I miss the blue, too.

Monday, May 12, 2014

what I know now

Bluntly put, I love this song.


(sorry, couldn't come up with any decent segue. Here's a better one for you.)


(I'm even sorrier. It's been a tiring day, and I think I'm  hilarious.)

I first this song a few months ago in an AMV, I believe. Don't remember which AMV or even what anime it was for, but I do remember that the song left an impression on me. Much like Jimmy Eats World's The Middle, it hit me like a baseball bat in a tornado and left me with a headache of inspiration.

These lyrics especially resonated with me.

You can see there if you catch her eye,
I know she's brave but it's trapped inside,
Scared to talk but she don't know why.
As a kid/child/young teenager, I talked a lot about trivial things. But I was scared to talk about the things most important to me. And most of the time, I didn't know why. What I wanted to say was what pressed strongly on my heart, and I guess I was afraid of getting laughed at for what I was thinking. Which is a stupid fear, but it's a very real fear. And it's taken years to get over it. I'm still not recovered. I may never be.

What would you go back and tell your younger self? We all have something we would want to say, I know. I, personally, would want to go back and give my younger teenaged self a kick in the pants. "Don't worry so much. Smile at the camera more. Don't mind it when people tease you for changing. You're going to be okay. Don't collapse when the status quo changes--in less than a year, you're going to meet new people, make new friends, step out of your comfort zone like you've never been afraid...all those things are going to happen to you. Share your heart more; not doing so ends up getting your hear hurt. And most of all, you're gonna be okay. And it's going to be amazing."

This so much more that I could say. That I wish I could say. But I guess since time-travel hasn't been invented yet, I'll take these words to myself and remember it for the future. For when I see others struggling with the same things that I struggled with, and for when I may need it again.

Because, someday, this version of me will be my "Little Me." And I will have even more that I want to tell myself.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

{The Amazing Harry Osborn: a Review of Sorts}

So yesterday I went to see The Amazing Spiderman with some friends. It was a good time, but the

movie was a little less than par for the course. Spider-Man is my favourite superhero (there's just something about having the skills of a spider...and his sarcasm skills too...), but the movie still fell a little short. Not enough that I regretted spending 6 bucks on it, but enough that I don't think I'll probably ever watch it again. Why? Here are my reasons.

The Relationship Drama
Gwen and Peter are not one of my favourite couples. As my cousin so aptly put it last night, Gwen looks too pretty and acts a little like an airhead, so her IQ is a little hard to accept. She's a very static character, and she doesn't do much for Peter. Altogether, there was too much push-and-pull, "Oh, I love you, and that's why I'm breaking up with you," sickening drama in the movie. I felt like they could've used Peters trauma in Captain Stacy's death MUCH better than they did. And in the end...well, I won't spoil anything, but I wasn't upset with what happened.

wuuuuuuuuuuut...

Too Many Villains
"My name is...ELECTRO."

yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh....


it's not that I didn't like the villains in this movie, it just felt like they were underdeveloped/thrown in randomly. Three villains made an appearance, and the last two showed up within the last half hour of the movie. I really hope the next movie has more of the Green Goblin in it because of reasons. And I hope the villains have better names next time. "The Rhino" just doesn't strike fear in my heart, sorry.

Lack of sarcasm.
Come on, Spidey, where'd your snark go? It may have just been me, but Spider-man AND Peter Parker both has a few less wise-cracks to make this time around. I don't know if that was on purpose because of Ben and Captain Stacy's deaths in the first movie, but I still missed it. There were several good moments when the whole theatre guffawed, but sometimes the snarkiness fell short, and that was rather unfortunate.

So what did I like about this movie?

Ummmmmmm....

dis guy. Dis guy here.


I'm sorry. I like villains too much.

I also enjoyed the soundtrack, though not as much as the first movie. Honestly, the part when Max starts thinking of Spider-Man as his enemy was TOO overpowering. And the music part at the energy grid...well, let's just say I facepalmed because of the randomosity.

Overall, it was an okay movie. Not one I'd recommend people not to watch, but also not one I'd rant over and tell people they have to see it. Just kind of "meh."

Except for Harry. Harry was kind of awesome.

Amazing, in fact.


Monday, May 5, 2014

more than useless

social anxiety.

it kills.

as I've previously stated many a time, I am very much an introvert. I have friends, and I like to hang out with them, but I also have days when I don't want anyone to touch/talk to me EVER AGAIN and when I'm just tired of human interaction as it is. Introversion isn't bad--I actually quite enjoy being an introvert--but the social anxiety that comes with it is terrible.

'are they staring at me?'

'am I being too weird?'

'he thinks I'm annoying.'

'she hates me.'

'I don't know what to do with myself.'

'this conversation is boring, but I don't know how to leave without being rude....'


these are thoughts that have literally crossed my mind hundreds of times. When I'm in extreme-introvert mode (or even when I'm not), I feel uncomfortable in my skin, and often times I want to go find a dark corner and hide until people forget I'm there. Often times at social events,  you'll see me constantly holding onto my phone as if its my lifeline. It's not that I'm rude--honestly, I wish I could get rid of this habit because I know it looks unbelievably rude at times--but it's become a crutch for my social anxiety. Feel awkward? Start using the phone, look busy. No one will pay attention to you then.

the other day I joined a conversation (which I am very awkward at, BTW) and one of the girls laughed, saying, "Sorry we didn't include you at first--when we walked by you looked too serious to have fun." To which I replied: "That's just my face."  She just looked confused. My face instantly goes into a worried/serious expression when I don't have anything to do, probably because I'm worrying about how I seem to those around me. The fact that people don't realize this frustrates me. Just because someone has a serious expression does not mean they don't want to be included or have fun. Sometimes, it really means that they want to be a part of something, and they just don't know how to go about joining. It is true that some people are in a bad mood, but how will you know until you ask? Dwell on that for a little while.

My social anxiety has been VERY strong these past 2 months. I was getting better (as if that statement makes any sense...) but I had a relapse somehow, and it came back even stronger than ever. But I'm still pushing myself. Yesterday, I purposefully turned my phone off for an hour  and a half while attending a graduation party, just so that I wouldn't be able to use it as a crutch. It was hard (I debated turning it on about 5 times) but it felt good in the end.

Social anxiety, at least in my case, has a way of inserting the thoughts 'I'm useless,' 'I'm worthless,' and 'No one wants me around' in your head. These are complete lies, but they come across as genuine some days. Having those thoughts floating around in your mind doesn't do good things, and I've discovered that a lot recently. Positive thoughts have become scarcer. But yesterday, on my lengthy trek to and from Kansas City, one song came up 3 times while I listened to my iPod. It was a song that was very close to my heart as a young preteen, but as my music tastes changed, I moved on and kind of forgot about it. It became one of those "instant skip" songs on my playlist.

However, yesterday, I was too lazy to push the skip button.


And the message that this song gave me was what I needed.

this song doesn't entirely apply to social anxiety (at least, in my humble opinion) but a good part of it is. It made my heart ache a little, and it really helped remind me that I am more than useless. I have worth. In the long run, I will improve, and things will get better.

I'm a little more than useless
And when I think that I can't do this
You promise me that I'll get through this
And do something right
Do something right for once