Sugar, Spice, and Skating on Ice

On the day our President made his State of the Nation Address (SONA), my sister had no school. Mom took a leave that day. We went ice-skating in the mall in the afternoon.

That’s basically what happened on that day in a nutshell. Let me expand my experience on the rink. It started off with my sister and I getting the equipment needed, which were a pair of ice-skates and a helmet. Now, I’ll tell you something about those shoes. If you can walk in them, you can walk in any pair of high heels. Those skates only have thin slices of metal on their bottom, which is almost worse than those deceptive-looking heels that scream “style” on the outside and “pain” on the inside. (Note, I heard this from my female best friend in my old school, who wore a pair on our reunion in a mall.) Luckily, I was spared of the embarrassment of falling in those shoes while on land. While I was preparing for the ice rink, my sister found an old friend of hers who was about to enter the rink as well. (They stayed together throughout the whole time in the rink.) As I was about to enter the rink, I thought, “Maybe I could be a figure skater”.

As I fell on my butt on the ice, that thought vanished as quickly as my dignity.

As time went on, I slowly mastered ice-skating to the point where I could glide at a moderate speed without falling down and getting my arse frozen. I was no Victor Nikiforov, but my skating was enough for me to keep up with my sister’s friend who practiced regularly. The thrill for me was trying to glide as fast as possible without falling down. Of course, Mom just had to take a video of me falling down while gliding too fast.

Oh, and we had to take a break from skating so that the ice could be restored. We got to see the machine from Plants vs. Zombies! (Gosh, I sound like someone who stayed inside the house too much.) Seriously, though, it was amazing to see something like that in front of my own eyes for the first time.

As fun as ice-skating was, it slowly lost its thrill to the point that I exited earlier than my sister. Of course, if I had a friend with me, I would have stayed on longer. But I didn’t, so I left early, feeling like my feet stepped on Legos.

Would I ice-skate again? Sure. But I’d rather do it with a friend (or more). It’s much more fun to challenge each other and laugh at each other’s misfortunes.

 

I’m Not a Pessimist, I’m a Realist

You know that joke about optimists and pessimists? “The optimist thinks this world is the best. The pessimist fears that this is true.” Well, lemme tell you what a special snowflake that I am, and declare myself as neither. Kidding aside, I’m actually not a pessimist. The world can be nice and all. It just ain’t that way all the time. The world was nice when humans were still developing ways to live longer, and people died early due to disease and childbirth, therefore preserving Mother Nature. (Poison Ivy would have been pleased.) The world was also nice when it didn’t feel like doing so many Harlem Shakes that ended up destroying property and taking lives. At this point, I just give up every single thought of me being an optimist.

I like to think of myself as a realist. I’m that person who looks at a half-filled glass and thinks I need a refill. I’m that person who has to bring optimists back down to Earth, and pull up pessimists from the pits of negativity. I’m that person who decides if something is worth going after or not. I’m also the person who is often told by others to be more cheerful. Cheerful? Of course I’m cheerful. You have not seen me during season premieres, cancelled school days, fanfic updates, book releases, and clearance sales if you think I’m not cheerful.

Why do people think I’m a pessimist? Well, I do like crime shows, slasher horror movies, and my jokes in the first paragraph pretty much spell out the fact that I don’t have much hope in this world. I’m not a pessimist (well, I keep telling myself that), so I tried finding what was good in this world. I gave out compliments to people. I found funny people to watch and laugh at as they joked around. For goodness sake, I’m even subscribed to Bright Side. I don’t watch the local news (so many death reports, you would have thought they were trying to discourage us from perpetrating our species), I stopped listening to ignorant people ranting about subjects they didn’t have a single clue what they were talking about, and I even tried listening to inspirational music. (The only inspirational song I liked was Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, aka the Pantene commercial song.) To my surprise, it actually somewhat helped. (I wasn’t a full-on optimist, but I was more willing to imagine that things were going great.)

I don’t care much if you, dear reader, are a pessimist, optimist, realist, or whatever you think you are. If you’re concerned about the negativity in your own thoughts, though, it isn’t that hard to try and find some hope or happiness to pull you through your life. Maybe you can watch soldiers reuniting with their family, or you can listen to feel-good music. Whatever manages to pull you out of your negative thoughts should be enough. If the negativity of your own thoughts is directed towards you, do seek out some advice from professionals. A low-self-esteem never helps anyone.

To all the optimists out there, you do you. Keep bringing hope into this world, we realists and pessimists need it.

Blood on the Streets, and on the TV Screen

I’m a fan of slasher horror movies. In slasher horror movies, there’s something just horrifying and fascinating to watch about how far our human nature can go in  committing evil deeds. The slow realisation on the characters as they know who the dark enemy is, the urgency you feel through the protagonists as they rush to either take down the enemy (or enemies) of get out of the building, are amazing. Graphic depictions of death scenes are just the icing on the cake. There’s something so electrifying at the suspense and fear you feel coursing through your veins as you take a glimpse of what life is like for people on the dark side. Saw takes the trophy for best graphic death scenes, that’s for sure. The others take the cake when it comes to psychotic behavior, like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and House of 1000 Corpses.

Crime shows also are interesting to watch. Real-life or not, they’re still great. The best part about TV shows is when it’s hard to distinguish who’s good, and who’s bad. That’s when I know I really like the show. One requirement of a good crime show is that I need to see what’s happening on all sides. Of course, it doesn’t matter how they do it, it only matters that they do it. Crime stories have two (or more) sides to look at. You need to be able to look at them all to fully engage yourself in the events. Dealing with morally ambiguous issues? Hit me up, I’m down for it. Analysing evidence left at the crime scene? Why not? Drama between co-workers? Eh, too much can make me pass. But graphic depictions of criminal, psychotic, and/or insane behavior? Let’s roll! Gotham aces the graphic depictions of behavioral problems. CSI and Bones have flying colors at analysing evidence. Dexter kills it at morally ambiguous issues, and sociopathic thinking. Hawaii Five-0, and Burn Notice hook you in with the action between cops and criminals. Sherlock and Elementary let you take a sneak peek at how the mind of the great detective works when it comes to piecing together clues, puzzles, and crimes.

 

What connects the two of them? The title should say it for you. Yes, it’s blood. Before you write me off as a wannabe freak, let me tell you why it’s interesting. Blood is meant to stay in either bodies, or sealed containers. When you see blood stains anywhere other than those two, something’s wrong or someone is having their period. In the two genres, it’s always the former. And that’s what makes both genres enjoyable. I get to see people doing something to resolve the problem, either by criminal or law-abiding methods.

The Polarity of Sibling Relationships

As you all know, I have a younger sister who I love and hate at the same time. If you don’t understand how people can feel like singing songs with someone and throwing eggs at them simultaneously, you might be an only child. My sister can annoy me and love me at the same time. The polarity between our moods whenever we’re together is quite insane. One moment, we’ll find ourselves kicking and screaming just to get her up to eat, and the next thing you know, she’s telling me the latest stories about her well-off classmates as we laugh.

My school calendar was a bit later than hers, so she was teasing me the whole time I still had school and she was enjoying summer, and then the tables turned. I had fun rubbing in the fact that she couldn’t watch TV while I could. She had fun reminding me that I had to help her with Kumon worksheets because Mom said so.

Do we agree with each other? Often. We do like watching cooking shows together. Do we fight with each other? Most of the time. I won’t even start on what makes us fight with each other because the list will go on until Hogwarts stops changing Defense Against the Dark Arts professors.  Do we introduce new stuff to each other? Of course. I introduced her to Miraculous Ladybug. She introduced me to Minecraft. We show each other new YouTubers to enjoy.

I teach her stuff she’ll need in life. That’s what an older sibling does. Therefore, I teach her what school glosses over, like dealing with different types of friends, different types of teachers, and later on, how to flirt with people, and how to ace a job interview.

I suppose the hardest lesson I’ll learn later on is that my sister will grow up, and make decisions for herself that I cannot interfere with. I can’t hope that my sister will stay the same to me, because we’ll grow up, and eventually distance ourselves from each other. It sounds sad, but that’s the truth. She can’t always be the young, naive sister that I know right now. All I wish is to know that we still have each other’s backs when we need it, no matter how old both of us are.

A Couch Potato’s Summer Dream

Summer is close to ending for me, and I’m not that sure about going back to school. It’s nice to see my friends again, but not the work. Oh and I’ll now have to deal with prom. But let’s dwell on that as another post.

As the title says, my summer was spent as a couch potato, which is a welcome change in lifestyle from running around school buildings wondering where my classroom is. No joke, my class last year decided to call itself “The Nomads” since we’re often changing classrooms. So, I decided to scour the Internet for good TV shows, and here are what I’ve found to be quite tolerable:

  1. Dexter: This TV show absolutely kills it (pun intended). It takes your usual ideas about justice, then tosses it away. Dexter Morgan, our main character, is a sociopathic serial killer who works as a blood spatter analyst in Miami Metro P.D. The show hooks you in with Dexter’s darkly hilarious thoughts about his world and life. His general confusion about the complexity of human behavior and emotions manages to make you laugh, as well as the complex actions and reactions of people, from colleagues to victims. The characters are also part of the story. You get to watch Debra Morgan’s struggles to keep a boyfriend, Maria LaGuerta’s character development, and more. It’s finished, with 8 seasons with 12 episodes each. You can find it on Netflix.
  2. Miraculous Ladybug: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir: It’s a French animated kids show. Before you judge me, let me tell you why you should try watching an episode at least. First off, you get 4 ships for the price of one pair of people. How? Superhero identities. Second, the animation is really good. Third, the shiptease is real. Fourth, the fanbase is actually composed of mostly teenagers to adults. Fifth, the flirting and puns are hilarious. Let me explain the plot. Ladybug and Cat Noir are two heroes. Marinette Dupain-Cheng is Ladybug. Adrien is Cat Noir. Marinette and Ladybug love Adrien. Adrien and Cat Noir love Ladybug. Hawkmoth sends an evil butterfly to really mad people. Said mad people become villains with powers. The two heroes flirt while they use their charms to defeat said villain. Lastly, they hide their identities. You can find episodes on YouTube and KissCartoons.
  3. Project MC2: It’s a kids show meant to encourage girls who are interested in STEM to go for it, with a group of intelligent girls who become secret agents for an all-female espionage organization. It’s part-educational, part-entertaining at the same time. The girls’ strong friendship with each other help them solve mysteries, take down enemies, and go through high school. The lead girl, McKeyla McAlister, takes in 3 smart girls under her wing: Adrienne Attoms, Bryden Bandwidth, and Camryn Cole. They become really good secret agents, with country girl Ember Evergreen and punk artist Devon Demarco joining them later on. It’s available exclusively on Netflix, but the show has fan merchandise that you can view on YouTube.
  4. Grimm: Combine Once Upon a Time with CSI and you’ve got Grimm. It’s your typical crime show, but with fairytale elements in it, obviously based on the Brothers Grimm stories. The pilot episode had the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood kidnap girls in red jackets. Another had Goldilocks and her boyfriend get arrested for breaking and entering, along with Baby Bear for partaking in a ritual that would require killing said boyfriend and girlfriend. Basically, a detective in Portland discovers his heritage that allows him to see creatures that no one else can see. He has a Blutbad(wolf) that helps him with cases, a human best friend as his official partner, and a captain who is a Wesen.
  5. Elementary: This is essentially the American version of BBC Sherlock. Many debates have started over the premise of which was better. It starts with Sherlock as a recovering drug addict and consulting detective, and Joan Watson as his sober companion and later on his assisting consulting detective. This show is good for every Sherlock fan stuck in between season finales and season premieres, because it has 5 seasons ( and counting) with 24 episodes each. The differences of Elementary and Sherlock are: genders of certain characters (Joan Watson, Jamie Moriarty), backstories (Sherlock moved to America, Irene Adler’s the one that died), and behavior and attitude (Sherlock’s nicer, the police are actually competent for a change, Joan’s more involved in solving cases).

 

There are more TV shows I like, of course, but those are what I’m mostly watching this summer.  And anyways, the list will grow eventually. I’ll never stop loving Doctor Who, Gotham, Sherlock, and more, but I need to expand my TV experience. Hail, my fellow binge-watchers! Let us feast on the glory of our TV shows until we run out! Then we shall explore the lands of cable, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and illegal streaming websites until we find treasure! (Treasure= good plot, good acting, 4+ seasons with 10-30 episodes each. We are binge-watchers, after all.)