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.)

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Percy Jackson, ADHD, and the love of books

I think I’m becoming a fanboy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus. I search IG and Safari/Chrome for head canons, fan art, and photos of Percabeth, my favorite ship. I also read fanfiction. Is this normal? 

One possible explanation for my obsession with Percy Jackson is because he has ADHD, just like me. He understands the burden of having it. So do all demigods. Rick Riordan explained that he made all the demigods have ADHD and dyslexia as a way to respect all people with ADHD and dyslexia. So when Grover says that having ADHD is great because those are his battle reflexes, I said “Score one for ADHD!!”. 
I see a bit of myself in Leo Valdez. He’s annoying, has lots of energy, and his primary emotion is humor. He also feels single all the time. I see myself in Hazel sometimes because she has lots to learn and feels as if she was out of time, which she was. I think, in the real world, Piper, Annabeth, and Percy have an edge. Piper’s charmspeak can convince cashiers to give her a discount. Percy can control storms. Annabeth’s wisdom, well, might get her a good job. 
Books are not just books. They allow people to escape reality for a while and enter their world, if only briefly, to enjoy. This is something all fan girls, bookworms, authors, and fanboys know. They can inspire you, calm you, break you, make you laugh, bite your nails in suspense, and they will always hold a charm no gadget can ever replace. Sometimes, they can make you cry. Just like this line by Timmy Turner’s dad, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will leave psychological wounds that will never heal.” But then, they can also make you laugh, fall in love with fictional characters, well, that’s a book for you. 

What are your favorite books? This question can be very hard to answer. 

For the Open-Minded People

I have an open mind. I thought this was a good thing, because my life wouldn’t be so narrow. I learned a lesson: People will try to stuff your mind with things, whether good or bad, and you’re forced to believe and act as if it’s normal, because you have an open mind. It isn’t. Don’t consider everything as normal. Especially when it comes to gender issues, because you never know which places tolerate or condemn gender issues.

See, here in the Philippines, being gay or lesbian is taboo. Parents teach their children like, boys shouldn’t cry because they’re supposed to be tough, and girls should never keep their legs open, because they’re supposed to be demure. If they are challenged, it’s disturbing. This is why same-sex marriages don’t exist here. I mean, should this be considered normal, or condemned? IDK. The Bible may say no, but it’s (I hate to say this, but) normal. Ellen Degeneres is lesbian. One Miss Universe winner is transgender. So many people out there are out and proud.
(Wow, this can be controversial. Seriously, if you are shocked, I assure you, I won’t write about this anymore.) 
 
Having an open mind can be risky for a Christian. You can accept something and obsess over it so much you forget about God. There are many controversial things out there in the eyes of God. Violence, sorcery, polytheism, horror movies, they abound. Harry Potter has sorcery which God doesn’t like. Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus include polytheism. Horror movies are shown to many audiences. Even some video games have violence. I’m not saying you should avoid them like the plague. My Sunday School teacher taught me this: Chew the meat, throw the bones. You should do this if you see something questionable in a book. I think it means to discern. By that we mean: to perceive something in the absence of judgement to learn. It can also be used to explore the trends safely.
Having an open mind can also be great. You get to explore more, and you can understand everyone’s point of view. You rarely feel judgmental, and people appreciate you for that. But sometimes, some people will cross the line and trash talk your preferences and expect you to let it go. That’s when you should stand up to them. Explain that you have boundaries too and you would like it if they stop trash talking your preferences. 

Oops!…I’m an HP fan

Harry Potter. What comes into your mind? Suffice to say, even though you might not have read any of his books, you can say he is The Boy Who Lived, after surviving the killing curse, or the Avada Kedavra. 

I’m of a Christian religion, and I have been taught that Harry Potter has magic, which displeases God, but I can still say that he is wonderful.

After all, books let us enter their world of fantasies, where we can escape reality for a while.

I’m a Harry Potter fan. I wouldn’t be called that if I didn’t take various quizzes about Harry Potter and getting high marks. I computed what year he went to Hogwarts. I read and re-read his books. I watched all the movies. I watched all videos about facts on Harry Potter. I get mad at Harry Potter’s enemies. Too bad my Harry Potter fantasies can only be shared with only one friend in my batch. 😿

Harry Potter has a lot of mysteries woven in the book. As you read, you will find things that may seem normal and weird, and later on, you will find the explanation. Why has Gilderoy Lockhart seemed to fail at every single thing he has done, even though his books show otherwise? It turns out that he was a fraud (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book Two). 

One HP (Harry Potter) debate you have probably heard of before was our debate on whether Professor Snape is good or evil. Well, it turns out he was originally evil, since he was a Death Eater, but he crossed over to become good. No wonder everyone was confused on how come Dumbledore trusts Snape and why he killed Dumbledore. Also, even though the Malfoys were evil, they were unfairly accused of almost every bad event that happened.

Almost all the characters had some lesson to give out. Here:

“Me! Books! And cleverness! There are more important things-friendship and bravery…” -Hermione Granger

“I don’t go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me.” – Harry Potter

“That’s chess! You’ve got to make some sacrifices! I take one step forward and the queen takes me – that leaves you free to checkmate the king, Harry!” – Ron Weasley

“Don’t trust something that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps it’s brain.” – Arthur Weasley

“The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – Ginny Weasley

“Wit above measure is man’s greatest treasure.” -Luna Lovegood

“Only the difference between truth and lies is courage and cowardice.” – Professor McGonagall

“There is no good or evil, only power, and those too weak too seek it.” – Professor Quirrell

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – Sirius Black

“It is our choices, Harry, that defines what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore.

Harry Potter gives a lot of lessons, if not values, that we can apply into our lives. It can justify your argument on why we should still keep reading Harry Potter. By the way, I recommend you read the whole series. Thank you!

Sembreak, iPods, IG and Friends

It’s our semestral break. I’m so happy about the freedom I get. The only bad part of it is that sometimes you’re just stuck inside the house without anything to do. So I decided to write a post on my phone and post it on my blog.

I got this new blue iPod touch 5th generation. Yay! A decent phone in the color I love. Ever since I got my iCloud address, I’ve downloaded apparently games, Camera 360, Spotify, WordPress, and Instagram. As I type this essay, I’m listening to music from Spotify. I might sound narcissistic, but it is my way of showing appreciation to my dad for giving me a decent phone.

With all these cool gadgets around, you have to remember that too much of gadgets are bad for you. You might not be responsible enough to handle a phone/tablet and you can abuse it. My mom confiscated my iPod touch for a day to teach me a lesson on self-control. I swear, for some time I felt like I was in cellphone/Instagram rehab. I guess it was time to read books just like the old days. And at some point I felt like cheating and watching TV.

I called up my friend Bettina and it was almost like we were in the classroom talking to each other. I told her I have an IG account, and she was shocked. I told her some of my followers and some who I follow. It was fun.

With an Instagram account you even get to see people you miss. I had a chat on IG with an old friend of mine. You get to keep in touch with school friends while it’s Semestral break. You can even follow celebrities (if your parents are okay with it). It can be a good alternative to Facebook. Just be careful with the pictures you post.

Okay, now let’s talk about the design. The iPod touch 5th generation is so thin. I’m serious, it’s so thin you don’t notice it’s in your pocket. It comes in different colors (mine’s blue). It comes with a color-matching loop to keep the phone safe in case you let go of it. And, there’s so much space for your favorite games and other apps.

We have plans to go to the cemetery before All Saints Day. I might bring my iPod and post pics on Instagram.

On Saving Money

Saving money everyday is a good introduction to your child on money matters. Everyday, when you give him his allowance, tell him to save part of his money. Put it in the piggy bank, jar, wallet, anywhere where he can put his money. Repeat this everyday, then, after a month, ask him how much he has. 

This can be related to discipline. It may seem sorrowful at first, but it will bring the gift of righteousness. Same thing with money. What you save may be small at first, but it will eventually be too much to fit in your piggy bank, jar, etc.

Saving money everyday is good. Your child will have enough money to buy what he wants, without having to bug you to buy. Let him decide whether to save part of his money or spend everything. You can tell him to save his money before buying what he wants later on.

I wouldn’t be writing about this if I wasn’t practicing this. I save 25 pesos everyday and right now I have 865 pesos with coins. I don’t have to ask mom or dad to buy what I want. It gives me freedom on buying what I want, so long as it’s within my allowance. I don’t buy all things I like, however. You have to also ask your child if the thing he’s going to buy is important or useful. This helps at least prevent shopping regrets and unnecessary spending.

However, the child will also be influenced by you, because you are the parent. You have to save money yourself by putting aside money, better if the child can see you doing the same thing, otherwise, it’ll create a contradiction between what you say and what you do. You can’t go preaching to your child/children the importance of saving money if you yourself are in the red with huge credit card debts. You should not always give in to your child’s wishes and always reward him/her material things, because it will defeat the purpose of making your child save up to buy what he/she wants. 

Last of all, both parents, mother and father, should save up money too. The money you save will not always go to the things you want, but at least it will help in paying regular expenses, serve as back-up if a parent loses his/her job, and also for family vacations.

The Guide to the hottest dance game: Just Dance 2014

Are you a video game fan? Do you want to burn calories and be a dancer? Do you want to dance and play video games? Ladies and gentlemen, introducing, Just Dance 2014!

 

Just Dance 2014 is the latest game in the Just Dance series. It’s creator is Ubisoft. It has created 5 games with the same name, and this is the latest. It is not like the usual game with arrows and a dance mat with arrows. It has real dancer/s, and you simply copy the dancer as if it is your reflection, then they score you. Here are the possible scores:

Perfect. This is the highest score you can get on moves, unless it is a Gold Move, which it would be “YEAH!”.

Good. The move is good, but you can improve.

Okay. Not bad, though you have to synchronize better.

X. There is something missing.

 

There are 47 songs in Just Dance 2014. Here are some of the songs:

Kiss You by One Direction

Just Dance by Lady Gaga

Careless Whisper by George Michael

C’mon by Ke$ha

Flash dance What a Feeling by The Girly Team

She Wolf by David Guetta ft. SIA

Gentleman by PSY

Limbo by Daddy Yankee

Wild by Jessie J ft. Sean Don

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell Williams

Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams

Starships by Nicki Minaj

Moskau by Dancing Bros.

Miss Understood by Sammie

It’s You by Duck Sauce

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

99 Luftballoons

Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj

Fine China by Chris Brown

Feels so Right by Imposs ft. Koshens

In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry

Rich Girl by Gwen Stefani

I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry

Roar by Katy Perry

Follow the Leader by Jennifer Lopez ft. Wisin

Could You be Loved by Bob Marley

Blame it on the Boogie by Mick Jackson

Nitro Bot by Sentai Express

YMCA

The Love Boat

Gimme Gimme Gimme by ABBA

Feel this Moment by Christina Aguilera ft. Pitbull

Alfonso Signorini

Maria

That Power by will.I.am

Applause by Lady Gaga

Isidora by Bog Bog Orkestar

Troublemaker by Olly Murs

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In

Danse by TAL

What gives me the authority to talk about this game? I wouldn’t be talking about this game if we don’t have it. Yes, dear reader, we have Just Dance 2014 on PS3. My dad has noticed me dancing with the iPad, and so bought the game with two motion controllers. It’s also available on Xbox One, Xbox 360 Kinect, PS4, Wii, WiiU and PS3. You can try this game to see for yourself in the nearest Quantum or Timezone branch.

 

Shooting Your Best Photos

Photos are a surefire way to capture the moments forever. However, the best shot depends mostly on how you shoot, so if you don’t want bad photos, here are tips for shooting photos beautifully, regardless of camera:

1. Press the shutter button halfway first. This makes the camera focus on the subject, therefore eliminating blurry pictures of the subject.

2. Don’t always make the person know you’re shooting photos of him or her. Sometimes, the picture is more beautiful when the subject is focused on something else.

3. Try to take pictures at different angles. You’ll see a whole new perspective.

4. Don’t always make the person sit or stand straight. It doesn’t look nice. A person’s natural position is always better.

5. It’s much better if you get up close to the subject, but not so near that the wrinkles and other skin imperfections are easily seen.

6. Experiment with the photo effects on your camera. You might shoot a good photo with a photo effect.

7. Use flash at noon to fill the shadows on the face caused by the harsh sun.

8. Lastly, if you know how to make great photos, and are expecting a shooting event, you might as well remember to charge the battery the night before. You won’t be able to take photos on an empty battery.

My View about Handwriting

 We all write, yes? So, if you notice, your handwriting is unique. Why is that? Your handwriting can only be written by you. Yes, only you. No one else can copy your handwriting (or maybe it will take years for them to copy your handwriting).

 
We all have types of handwriting. Some have a handwriting that’s like of a signature, some have a simple but very legible handwriting, some even have illegible handwriting (that’s me). The computer programs like Word has a lot of “handwriting” styles like Zapfino, Arial Black, so on and so forth. 
 
Nowadays, we seem to lose the habit of writing ever since the typewriter was invented. We were always typing, typing, typing, we seemed to lose the habit of handwriting. Now, because there are so many gadgets like the Samsung Note III, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S (they’re the newest), we are mostly typing. Even me, I’ll admit,  I seem to always type and only write in school.
 
If we don’t do something about writing with pen and paper, that habit’s bound to be extinct in the future. I don’t know what will replace them in the future, but I think that voice recognition and typing virtually is gonna replace them.
 
If we think about when the habit of writing or handwriting started, you know it started a long, long, long time ago. When you compare it to the habit of typing, or typewriting, it only occurred ever since the typewriter was invented, which occurred somewhere in the 1860s.
 
Okay, okay, okay. I’m veering into another subject. So, handwriting is the result of how you control the pen with your hand. Your handwriting gets better and better when you get older, because you control the pen better with your hand as you age. Compare your handwriting when you were a baby and your handwriting right now at your age. The changes are massive!
 
So, let’s do our share to try to write as much as possible, okay?
 
 
 
 
 

Tips on Discipline

Mom was invited to give a talk in a parents’ orientation at the school where I studied in preschool. Mom asked me to write some tips on discipline for new parents. Here they are:

1. The idea that discipline is about punishment is a big fallacy. Unfortunately, many parents believe this mistaken notion. If you believe this, then try to believe this instead: Discipline is not about punishment, it’s about obedience for his/her own good.

2. Set up simple, everyday rules to be followed. Set up rules that your child is capable of ONLY, otherwise your child won’t follow your orders. Make sure that the rules are for his/her own good too.

3. If your child is always procrastinating that he’ll follow you later, let him be, but make him promise to do what you said. There’s an explanation behind the “Later”. Your child has a schedule like you, the problem is that it doesn’t match with the schedule you’re giving him.

4. You’ll need a lot of patience if your child can’t obey you yet. No one progresses at the same rate. Just keep giving orders until she/he gets the hang of it.

5. Your child’s personality is critical if you want rules to be followed. You can’t give demanding orders to an easy-going, care-free child, but make the orders easy but important.