Two things and a lot of other things on a Friday night

First, I’ve never written as much as I’ve had these past few months. The only catch is I’ve been writing for other people. I’ve been writing for people who have whatever it takes – patience, hard work, a knack for photography, money and even HTML coding skills (because God knows I don’t have that) – to run a legitimate blog but don’t have the time or the words to write about whatever it is they want to blog about. If you go by the things I’ve written so far, these past months I’ve gone backpacking to Laos and I’ve traveled to Singapore and Hong Kong. During my travels, I’ve also tried local street food, as well as high-end restaurants to review their food. I’ve also lost 50 pounds, 20 pounds and 13 pounds through daily exercise, yoga and diet. On top of that, I’ve become an expert 24-year-old parent who wants to give other young parents tips on how to raise their children.

I’ve never pretended to be so busy with life until now. Because isn’t that what it is, pretending? A thought often comes to my mind whenever I’m supposedly writing from halfway across the world. Is this the fruition of my once upon a time dream to become a writer? Is this the writer’s equivalent to an aspiring musician who gets stuck singing at clubs and weddings? Or am I worse because I’m the aspiring musician who lets other people sing her songs at clubs and weddings?

I don’t feel sad or bad though. To be honest, I actually feel good about it. Is that sad or bad? I like that I get to write, that I get paid to write and that they actually like what I write. I like imagining myself backpacking across Southeast Asia. I like thinking about how I’d be as a parent in my twenties, mostly because I don’t think I’ll ever be a parent in my twenties. As lame as it sounds, I like pretending to be this hip and cool blogger who gets invited to all these restaurants and who gets to try their food for free…

Even though in reality, I go to work Mondays to Fridays at 8 a.m. sometimes with a smile on my face, sometimes without. I teach until 3 p.m. and then tutor ’til 5 or 6 p.m. I go home, sometimes with a smile on my face, sometimes without. If I feel like it, I work out. If I don’t, I read a book (right now, it’s The Three Musketeers) while listening to some music (tonight, it’s Christmas songs because it’s never too early for Christmas songs). Then I write for other people to earn a few bucks on the side.

Except tonight, I don’t have to write for other people since I was able to finish them early, which brings me to my second thing for tonight.

The last time I watched Grey’s Anatomy was in high school. I stopped watching when I realized, to my dismay, that I was unknowingly craving for the drama I was seeing in these very fake shows to happen in my very real life. High school, you know?

But earlier, I came across a friend’s post about Grey’s Anatomy and I saw a photo of April Kepner and Jackson Avery. I thought to myself, hey they look cute together. And for some reason, that passing comment spiraled into me watching all their scenes on YouTube, and that spiraled into me falling in love with their make-believe relationship and their scripted life… only to find out that their current status is very flimsy. And now I’m unstable too because no one gets attached to fictional characters in less than 24 hours more than I do.

So I tell this to Karen because, well, it’s Karen, and she looks at me with her Karen face and says, “Seriously, you need a boyfriend.” And I whine, “But who would even want to date someone like me?” Because really, 24 hours ago I didn’t even know these fictional people and their fictional lives existed but here I am consumed with thoughts on how fictional Jackson and fictional April can fix their fictional marriage.

Seriously though, what is wrong with me?

But also, seriously, believe me when I say I am writing all this with a stupid grin on my face because as bizarre as I know this all is, I like this little glitch that I have.

And that just gave me an idea. I keep seeing all these lists of things people want in a boyfriend or girlfriend or like traits that would make you a perfect boyfriend or girlfriend. I haven’t seen any lists yet about faults and flaws your future special someone needs to know about you before trying to date you. That sounds fun. So maybe I can make a list about that.

Maybe. Next time I’m free to write for me.

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What shall I write tonight

Shall I write about my hopes for tomorrow

Or my accomplishments for today?

Or maybe the regrets that continue to haunt me,

Or the secrets I can’t say

Out loud because when the sun is up

We’re all critics passing judgment,

But when the light gives way to darkness

We all cower in our blankets.

There’s something about the absence of light

That, in me, ignites a spark

To divulge every lie, every sin, every pitiful thought

Because we’re all the same in the dark.

But when the sun rises

And the birds sing their tune,

When you see what I’ve written

Underneath the full moon,

When you wake up tomorrow

To welcome another new day,

If you read the things I write tonight

I wonder what you’ll say.

Will you judge me for being honest

At a time when we find comfort in our shame

When the ugly and the truth are identical

Or will you point to me and say,

This girl of contradictions

Of anxiety, doubt and spite

This girl reminds me so much of me

Before I sleep every night?

 

So what shall I write tonight

Shall I write the words you wish to see?

Or shall I write the ugly truth

Whose words may set me free?

‘7 killed in shooting’

I’m gonna be a hero, he thinks, as he runs toward the gunman.

He’s smiling.

He’s been dreaming of this moment forever.

He’ll take the bullet.

And save a life.

He’ll end up in a coma because of it.

But he’ll wake up.

Because he’s a hero.

And everyone will finally see how brave and dashing he is.

And they will love him.

I’m gonna be a hero, he says aloud, as the gunman turns around, points the gun at him and shoots.

Straight to the heart.

He closes his eyes.

I’m gonna be…

And drifts away.


Just another number
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We could be amazing

Pen, paper and me.

It’s been three years, I think, since the last time I wrote (or attempted to write) fiction. And that was because I had to or else I would have failed my Creative Writing class. I’m also more inclined to write essays because it’s my comfort zone.

But I’ve always had millions of thoughts running through my head that is nothing but fictional. I could catch a glimpse of something so ordinary and it would trigger a story in my head then I’d spent the rest of my day thinking about it. I’m a daydreamer, you see. But I rarely put those thoughts into words and I’m not really sure why.

I’ve decided to have a go at it again, though. I’m not aiming for a spectacular literary work of art. I’m just hoping I’ll be able to end up with a story that’s actually complete.

The 7 fictional characters who I want to bring back to fictional life.

One of the main things about me is I get extremely (I cannot stress this enough) attached to the books I read and the movies or TV shows I watch. When I fall in love with a story and its characters, they basically become real in my head…and, more importantly (or as my family would put it, disturbingly) in my heart. Having said that, it’s no surprise that I often find myself more engrossed on a book than on my real-life drama. I honestly think I’ve gotten sad and depressed over a book more than I have over real people and real problems.

Another thing about me is that when it comes to death and dying, I become really sensitive. The thing about death that I find really devastating is the sudden loss of connection and companionship with the person who has passed. I never cry at romantic, mushy or over-sentimental moments. But show me a dog dying and I guarantee you’ll see tears. And if it’s a fictional dog that I’ve fallen in love with? Waterfalls.

So I’ve decided to make a list of the fictional characters whose fictional deaths completely and utterly depressed me in hopeless hopes that I could bring them back to life (at least in my loopy little head of mine).

And no, Jack from the film Titanic isn’t on this list. His fictional death is probably one of the very few that I honestly didn’t give a crap about while everyone else did. Side comment: Maybe I should make a list about that too? Then again, I’m pretty sure there will be at least one on this list who no one else will give a crap about either. Anyway, here they are in no particular order:

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1. Professor Parker Wilson from the film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

I initially wanted to put Hachi instead of Parker, but then genius me realized that if Parker didn’t die, then Hachi would’ve been properly taken care of and would therefore live! I’d actually be saving two fictional characters! Are you starting to see the loony creature that is me? Honestly, I haven’t even watched the whole film because I couldn’t take it, knowing it was based on a true story. At the scene where Hachi returns to the train station at night after being with Parker’s wife and where it’s obvious he is about to die, I was already bawling my eyes out and had to skip to the part where the film is back to Ronnie in the classroom.

Dogs, man. They can break my heart more painfully than any guy in real life can.

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2. Agent Phil Coulson from the film The Avengers (2012)

I went into watching The Avengers knowing people were going to die. That was a given. What wasn’t a given, however, and what I was definitely not prepared for was seeing one of my favorite Marvel characters die. I was so upset by it that I kind of got pissed at Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) because I thought she should have bit the dust instead. Mean, I know. But, come on, it’s Phil! S.H.I.E.L.D. will never be the same again.

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3. King Kong from the film King Kong (2005)

This is probably the one no one else will give a crap about.

When the credits started rolling, everyone I watched with was happy that the 3-hour film was finally over. And then there was me crying. I remember it was my first time watching a movie with my now ex-boyfriend who was still courting me then and he had absolutely no clue how to react. Obviously, I was embarrassed but I couldn’t help myself.

King Kong didn’t do anything wrong! He was forcefully taken from his jungle home, was degraded into being this imprisoned animal for everyone else’s entertainment and was, in his own eyes, protecting the woman he loved. If anyone was to blame, it’s Carl Denham.

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4. Ellie Fredricksen from the film Up (2009)

This one seriously broke my heart, mostly because unlike most of the movies I’ve watched and books I’ve read, this one is the most realistic and closest to my heart. Why? Because while I was watching the beginning scenes of Ellie and Carl, I just knew in my heart that they were the cartoon version of my grandparents. I promise you, take one look at my grandparents and you’d be thinking the same thing. Here’s a recent photo of them.

Needless to say, when the scene took place, I was inconsolable. I couldn’t help but think of my grandparents and what would happen to either of them if…when the inevitable comes.

And because just thinking about it depresses me all over again, I’m stopping here.

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5. Spike from the epic TV Series Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This fictional death hit me really hard. I was (and still am) a huge Spike fan and, like all his other fans, I wanted him to end up with Buffy so badly. I think I would’ve handled it, albeit poorly, if they didn’t. But for them not to end up together and him to die the way he did? I. Just. Lost. It. I love and I loathe the way Buffy and Spike’s relationship turned out, when Buffy tells him she loves him and he replies by saying she doesn’t but thanks her anyway for saying it. A part of me was screaming, “YOU DON’T DO THAT, SPIKE. YOU DON’T SAY THAT WHEN YOU KNOW YOU’RE LITERALLY DYING. YOU DON’T TELL THE GIRL YOU LOVE THAT SHE DOESN’T LOVE YOU RIGHT AFTER SHE SAYS SHE DOES. YOU JUST BELIEVE HER!”

I know he came back in Angel but since I wasn’t as emotionally invested in that series as I was with Buffy, it doesn’t count. The fact that it can be assumed that he dies again in the series finale does not help any.

It took me weeks to get over Spike’s death the first time I finished the series, I was 13 years old then. This past May, I started watching the series again and finished the whole thing by mid-July. This time, it’s taken me months to get over that final scene; and I’m 22 years old. I’m not sure I’m entirely over it already since every now and then I find myself reading Buffy fan fiction wherein Buffy and Spike live happily every after.

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6. Each and every main character from the novel The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

Kill off one character, I’m sad but I can manage. Kill off two characters, I’m devastated. But kill off each and every character? You’ve killed me and my heart a thousand times over.

Hans Hubermann. Rosa Hubermann. Rudy Steiner. Tommy Muller. I loved each and every one of them for varying reasons. But their abrupt deaths, caused by the Himmel Street bombing, hit me the same way. The story took place during a world war so obviously someone had to die and Markus Zusak was kind enough to warn me earlier on who actually would but no amount of advanced warnings and preparations could save me from heartache. Then Liesel also dies a natural death at the end of the novel. Okay, so hers wasn’t tragic or sudden but death is death. 

I curled into a ball and sobbed for the rest of the week after reading that book – that spectacular and moving book that I would unhappily but ever so willingly cry over again and again.

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7. Augustus Waters from the novel The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)

To be honest, Augustus Waters is the reason why I made this list in the first place.

If you’ve read my previous blog about this, I’m sure you’d understand why he’s on my list. If you haven’t, here’s why:

John Green created my perfect and ideal guy in Augustus Waters. No other author or writer has ever done that. Yes, I’ve fallen in love with a couple of fictional characters in films and literature before but it was because I loved their traits, characteristics and stories. I’ve never fallen in love with a character, particularly male characters, because I felt like I actually could honestly fall in love with them if they suddenly hopped out of a book or stepped out of the screen. Until I met, or rather read, Augustus Waters.

And then John Green killed Augustus Waters and, in doing so, killed me. Figuratively, of course.

My reaction to this death is different compared to the others on this list. Oh yes, I cried and sobbed like there was no tomorrow. But it didn’t last long. By the time I closed the book, my tears had already dried.

But I was seriously and literally depressed. I can’t even begin to explain how broken my heart felt. I was like that for a week. I wasn’t crying anymore but I couldn’t talk about the book without going deeper into depression either. And I felt extremely lonely. Most of all, I really was pathetic. To be honest, I think his fictional death caused me more pain than the end of my 5-year relationship with my ex-boyfriend. No shame in admitting that.

It’s been ten days since I finished reading that book, and I still can’t find it in me to read another. That’s just the way I am when I fall in love with a book. I’m telling you, if books were people, I’d be, as Spike put it, “love’s bitch.”
So which fictional characters whose fictional deaths hit you like a ton of bricks, a humongous elephant, a runaway train and a wrecking ball? Please tell me. I don’t want to feel like I’m in danger of going all coo-coo crazy.

The 7 things I said I’d never do…but eventually did. PART 1

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1. Wear skinny jeans.

I told myself I’d never wear skinny jeans back when the whole trend started. I took one look at them and immediately thought those pants are going to cut off my circulation. They looked extremely uncomfortable and just much too tight. But then one day, all my pants were in the washing machine and I was in a hurry to get to school so I decided to wear my twin sister’s skinny jeans. I realized they weren’t so bad and that there are ones that are really comfy. There are still a lot of evil skinny jeans out there that, I swear to you, can shrink your legs just by simply wearing them. I guess it’s just a matter of looking for the right pair of skinnies.

I will draw the line, however, at destroyed/ripped/torn skinny jeans, or any other kind of jeans for that matter. Now that I think about it, I’m also throwing in printed jeans. There are some ripped jeans that look good but I honestly don’t understand why one would put holes and tears in their jeans in the first place. I’m not saying I hate it, I just don’t get it. And I can’t wear printed jeans without laughing at myself to save my life. It just doesn’t work on me and I can so definitely live with that.

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2. Drink beer.

When I was in high school and almost everyone I knew started drinking, I said I would never “succumb to peer pressure” because of a couple of reasons. One, my parents would kill me if they found out (they’re that kind of parents). Two, I thought it was cool to not be doing what everyone else was doing. Three, I took a whiff of beer and decided it’d probably taste bad anyway.

Then I went to the beach this past summer with my best friend, my brother and his friends. My best friend and my brother told me it was the perfect time for me to try beer because they would be there to make sure I wouldn’t do anything stupid (they immediately assumed I’d get drunk). I figured I’d try it, at least then I was with people I trusted.

I drank my first bottle of beer that night and I think it’s safe to say that it’s also my last. Why? Because of reason number three. I hated the taste.

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3. Patronize Apple.

I was a loyal Nokia customer before. And I observed that a lot of people who were holding/flaunting their iPods and such were the same ones who were wearing sunglasses inside the mall or classroom (where there is no sun), were carrying ginormous Prada/Gucci/etc. bags in school and were failing miserably at being nice to employees. I know, I just judged a lot of books by their covers. Side comment: I actually do sometimes judge a (literal) book by its cover.

Anyway, I was all Apple is for the rich and snotty for a few years… until I officially became a hypocrite when I bought an iPhone 4.