Stuff I See / 1 (aka UH-MAZING)

Early today, I saw this clip on tv of yet another game Jimmy Fallon (or someone from his team) brought to his show where they stuff marshmallows in their mouths, sing songs and let each other guess what songs they’re singing.

Anyway, Fallon’s guest in this particular episode was Grace Vanderwaal, whom I just later found out is another child prodigy of this generation. During Fallon’s turn, he sang N’sync‘s “Bye, Bye, Bye” and Grace was like “Bye, Bye, Whaaaat?”. I didn’t really hear what Fallon said after because I was cooking then and the band and the audience were ganging up on him, but then I knew it had to be similar to what I thought, which was “I’m soooo dayuuuuuum old!” (minus the expletive, of course). True enough, that’s what he said too!

See the clip below:

Seriously though, I feel so old at 26! She’s almost half my age, which means she was not even born yet when I was already in high school! Wow! And all this time, I still feel like I’m eternally stuck at 18! I could even remember as clear as crystal how I delivered a monologue as “Cho Chang” and another one on the Bermuda triangle for my English classes in high school, so why am I all of a sudden already in my late 20’s?

This reminded me of that conversation my sister and I had on what music our grandchildren would consider “oldies” by the time they’re old enough to appreciate music. She said, probably Justin Bieber‘s songs! Then we went on by dancing like crazy and started singing “Baby“. But, thinking about it, wouldn’t that be weird for us?! Then our parents will be like “Truth hurts, doesn’t it?” and “Karma is a beyotch!”. 😛

So yeah, maybe I’m growing old, but at least I was already in love with the Beatles when I was her age! Nevertheless, she’s still very talented and I could tell by her somewhat husky speaking voice that she has this distinct and unique singing voice. And indeed, she does! She sings, she writes her own songs and she plays the ukulele! Hmmm, is this deja vu? Is this another Taylor Swift in the making? I have to say though, even Taylor has to admit she does sound more amazing especially at that age! She’s incredible! She got everyone playing the ukulele, even my sister! Ooops! I don’t think her playing the ukulele was influenced by Grace at all, but even so, she’s damn, pretty incredible, I must say!

She gave me goosebumps 4 consecutive times just listening to this performance alone! And I agree with those who left comments saying she reminds them of Sia, probably because of how her voice cracks, which I think is UH-MAZING! Amazing Grace, indeed!

And if that wasn’t amazing enough, here’s a full clip of her audition in AGT (auditions that I hate watching because I always end up in tears). And did she say she wrote that song herself? In that case then, I feel even more sorry for myself. 😥

Another amazing thing I came across earlier was the Juno space mission to Jupiter. Apparently, it was launched in 2011 mainly to collect information about the planet’s core, atmosphere, gravity and all that astronomical stuff. (thanks to Wikipedia from this point forward).

I was browsing photos on NASA’s website to use for some collages (which if I understood their guidelines correctly is legal), when I came across this particular one below:

Juno Jupiter Orbit Insertion (JOI)

From left to right, Jack Connerney, Juno deputy principal investigator and magnetometer lead co-investigator, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Chris Jones, associate director for flight projects and mission success, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Dr. Jim Green, Planetary Science Division Director, NASA; Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Geoff Yoder, acting Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA; Michael Watkins, director, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); and Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); celebrate with others on the Juno team after they received confirmation from the spacecraft that it had successfully completed the engine burn and entered orbit of Jupiter, Monday, July 4, 2016 in mission control of the Space Flight Operations Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The Juno mission launched August 5, 2011 and will orbit the planet for 20 months to collect data on the planetary core, map the magnetic field, and measure the amount of water and ammonia in the atmosphere. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

So this is the team that monitors and manages the mission (as mentioned above) and they’re all ecstatic as shown on this photo when they received confirmation from the Juno spacecraft that it has “inserted” into Jupiter’s orbit just 2 months ago.

I was just in awe thinking they launched this thing 5 years ago and during that time, I just graduated college. Fast forward to 5 years after, with all the drama that came and went in my life, somewhere out there in a seemingly infinite, light-peppered space, this thing has just reached its destination! They said it traveled a total distance of about 2.8 billion kilometers to finally reach Jupiter’s orbit. Who would’ve thought, right? Well, apparently, not me! 😛 It just amazes me that even though Jupiter comes just right after Mars and with all the technology we have now, it still took 5 years for Juno to grab a hold of its orbit, not to mention that it was even further propelled in 2013, thanks to the Earth’s “gravity assist“.

Imagine what that would’ve been had there been astronauts in there? Of course, all along, I thought that astronauts were actually on board this thing, only to find out, after further research, that it’s just a space probe, which is programmed to de-orbit and sort of self-destruct after its mission. All the same, it still successfully left me in awe. We’ve been watching movies like “Gravity“, “The Martian” and “Interstellar” so we have a grasp of how it works in the outer space, distance and time-wise, but I’m still stunned as if these movies were based on fantasy and fiction. I’m surprised like I wasn’t aware that it really does take years for these space missions to succeed.

Brilliant how this world and those outside of it work, right? Amazing how God made such things almost impossible to explain and the humankind work so hard to understand.

I’m just blabbering again, but these are 2 of the stuff I saw today and would like to read up on or maybe explore further in the future.

Stuff I See is yet another series which I solely created for me to look back on, in the years to come. LOL! I thought maybe I could put together stuff I randomly come across and then slap my boring take on it for fun.

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2 am thoughts

I can’t sleep, partly because I slept a bit after having brunch and late lunch in a span of 2 hours, read stuff on reddit (no sleep) again and mostly because I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the whole night.

My cousin sent me a copy after she read it and binge-read all the 7 others in the series. She got a free epub copy somewhere, and I know I should be ashamed for not purchasing a copy or acquiring one rightfully. Then again, so are those who have provided her and the rest of the online world this copy. Nandamay pa!

So, I started reading late in the afternoon today and I figured, I couldn’t put the book errr my laptop down until I read it to its very end. It was that good, coming from someone with a very short attention span. And just the same, I could never have been more excited to go back to that magical place I know we all missed!

Don’t you think that reading Albus and Scorpius’ misadventures through time is in a way a privilege for us all to go back in time as well? I know a lot of us still feel kind of hungover the fact that it ended even though the film franchise concluded 5 years ago. So it’s really good to have an 8th book, though sad that it will be Rowling’s last Potter book.

Although I’ve read a lot of negative reactions towards Albus weeks earlier, I wasn’t as irritated as I expected to be. He was such a rebellious boy, but he wasn’t as bad as I thought he’d be. It probably helped that I found his best friend, Scorpius quite a character and their friendship unlikely but complementary.

I can say that the 8th book is an easy second favorite book of mine in the series (lots of quotable lines and memorable moments with a softie Draco :P), next to book 7 of course, for how clever it had been created. I mean, using a time-turner to go back in time and visit events, some we are all familiar with and some others that have never been told before, but nonetheless, equally-striking. It was also moving to have been able to see Snape again and in a more compassionate and heroic persona, and an amusing, unmarried Ron and Hermione even in just an alternate world.

Overall, I felt happy to have seen the world beyond platform nine and three quarters again and ultimately to have known what it was like for Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Draco and their families to move on and start anew, nineteen years after the defeat of Voldemort. It was good to see them working together against the forces of evil and to see them grow older and wiser, but I must admit, seeing them in alternate realities scared the heck out of me, knowing that history can be rewritten. It made me realize certain things about my own life as well.

We may not be privileged and equipped to go back in time and rewrite our pasts, but this book couldn’t stress more on the consequences that may come along in doing so. Instead, it’s better to make good use of our time now so we don’t have to ever think of going back and changing what is behind us.

P.S. I thought I was seeing things as I wrote this (thanks to reddit) so I had to type the latter part of the post on my sister’s bed. I was a little jumpy so when my father went to the bathroom, I panicked at the sound of his footsteps and jolted my sister out of bed. 😛 I really need to get some sleep now! Goodnight!

 

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Emma Watson with Noma Dumezweni, her stage play counterpart. (photo linked to owner)

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On Zombies, Putting DADs under the limelight and Lots of Other Important Stuff

With all the explosive events happening on the news lately, it’s quite hard to see the beauty of life anymore.

Sometimes, I find myself contemplating on the rampant killings (bombings included) in and out of the country, on the safety of my loved ones, their future and their emotional and psychological health and conditions because those things scare the heck out of me.

So how does anyone still see the beauty of living in a world as chaotic and seemingly as loveless as ours?

What bothers me now isn’t just our President’s campaign against drugs, which now also includes a battle against terrorism, but also the fact that the HiddleSwift hoopla has now ended. Taylor is indeed living up to her name, having swift, fleeting relationships with men I’ve lost count of. Kidding aside, no one can blame her, because it is her life after all and only she knows what she wants and who can make her happy. Relationships are cases of trial and error, for some. It just wouldn’t be right to settle with someone just to be safe because that wouldn’t be fair to both people involved. Anyway, apart from this slight segue to hollywood news, which isn’t really the whole point of this entry, I have also been affected enormously by the 2 movies I’ve seen over the weekend, the first one being, the well sensationalized, but not disappointing, “Train to Busan”.

So, how do all of these relate to one another? I’m guessing, I’m in the manic phase of my Bipolar disorder again, having these “flight of ideas”, jumping from one thought to another. 😛 On a serious note, all this thinking after watching the said movie, and another heartbreaking one in a span of 2 days made me realize that first, there is always hope, despite all the negativity in the world and second, dads are important in our lives too. 😛

I’m not doing a review of the movie because it came out weeks ago, or months even, and I probably might be the last one to have seen it, but I’m not saying that there won’t be any spoilers in this entry, so don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. ALSO, I’d like to say that the film had such an enormous impact on meh heart and brain, so huge and deep that I ended up writing this post. But why’d you even take my word for it? Even a Pixar movie can get me bawling like a baby. 😛 Well, maybe because, for one, and I know a lot would agree with me when I say that there is so much to learn from the film, underneath all the sudden awkward and stiff break-dancing (as what my sister loves to call it) and chaos in the train, and it had a good plot, cinematography and special effects, effective acting and musical score, stunts and a heart. 😥

To break it down for you, I’ve listed some of the important stuff I realized while watching the film. First of all, for sure, we all learned that most of the time, we bring this upon ourselves, and the “this” I’m talking about can be anything from drug-addiction to failing in an exam, or sometimes, even losing a loved one. Mankind has so much potential, talent, power and intelligence, but when used inappropriately, can lead to greed and eventually to all the other bad stuff I don’t need to tell you anymore. Somehow, we know that we made those things happen. We may not be the root of all evil, but we allowed ourselves to be instruments of evil, out of hunger for more fame, money or power. Later on in the movie, it was revealed through one of the main lead’s employees that the outbreak was caused by their company’s plant, which made him cry silently in the lavatory.

Another thing I liked about the movie is that we were reminded to look after one other, because like what they say, we are our brother’s keeper. In line with this, the priest kept on repeating himself on his Homily yesterday that “when we think about Jesus, we think about our neighbor/s“, which brings us back to the 2 main rules of God–which is to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It’s pretty simple, and I know that even though we’re from different nationalities, cultures and religions, we were all taught the same thing, to love one another. It was so hard for me to see the characters on the movie die because I get attached so easily, especially to the husband of the pregnant lady. I admired his character so much for his selflessness and concern for others. In everything he did on the movie, it’s like he always had the welfare of others in mind before his own. I could even say the same for the homeless guy, who saved the lead characters’ lives twice. So It wasn’t a surprise to see the lead guy’s change of heart in the middle of the film and of his prior plan to just look after themselves. Of course, I’d have to give credit to the little girl as well. We saw how she was brought up well by her mother for she always was concerned with the other passengers’ welfare. Amazing group of kind-hearted people. Isn’t it comforting that even at a time like that, you can see God in each of the people on that train? When some people say that they don’t feel God’s presence, this is a perfect example of how we can.

Sad to say, despite having a group of people who are willing to help, there’d still be people who will trample on others for their own sake, which brings me to my third realization, look out for people like them. I’m very lucky not to have met someone or at least not that I know of, who is as painfully-irritating as Yon-Suk who was apparently the COO of a train company. It isn’t such as surprise to see someone like him do what he did because desperate times call for desperate measures, but it is quite bothersome to think what people would do will there be such a similar catastrophe in the future.

Lastly, and should I say the thing that left the deepest dent in my heart was the fact that dads, even though they’re almost always on the sidelines and not always recognized, are important too. No, it wasn’t a joke when I said that earlier. I liked the scene when big-husband-of-preggy-lady called Sang-hwa, one baseball team member and the main lead, Seok-Woo came to rescue the ladies and the homeless guy in a lavatory and ended up waiting in the lavatory across theirs while waiting for the train to go into a tunnel. Sang-hwa had a small talk with Seok-woo on how dads often work hard for their kids and that he knows that when Soo-an grows older, she would understand and appreciate why he worked so hard. It was a brief exchange between them, but it somehow gave tribute to the fathers who aren’t always recognized for their part in raising their children. This is mostly obvious in families with stay-at-home, hands-on moms and working dads.

In the end, when Seok-woo got bitten by none other than the irritating COO whom I felt sorry for when he said he was just trying to get home to his mother, he had to bid a quick and not to mention, a very emotional goodbye to his daughter, Soo-an. I cried the hardest when I saw Soo-an holding on tightly to her dad’s shirt. It reminded me of that time in Tokyo when we lined up at this sushi restaurant. We broke into 2 groups because some (aka my mother and aunt) didn’t like to eat raw food. My father originally went with my mama and aunt and eventually went with us. We originally told the waiter we were 4, but when my father joined us, we had to tell him we want to add 1 to our group but he said it wasn’t possible to seat 5 in a table so 1 would have to sit alone on a counter seat. My brother agreed with the waiter and said he’ll be the one to sit on the counter seat, but my father probably thought he was intruding, so he said he’ll just stick with my mama and aunt. We were asking him to stay so I grabbed a hold of his sleeve as tight as I could with a desperately begging face like a kid, because I could see how he was being too selfless again. It was the worst case of non-intentional guilt trip that I almost couldn’t bear at that time and makes me break into tears when I remember it.

I also loved the part just before Seok-woo turned into a full-on zombie at the back of the train, the scene when he first held Soo-an as a baby flashed before his eyes and he suddenly stopped crying and just smiled. There was a soft piano music playing in the background and it gets me every time, even as I watch it now. I don’t know why, but as I watched that scene, I remembered this article my friend sent me to read. It just said that we should spend more time with our parents, because they’re not getting any younger. They used to be so strong when they were younger (cue the scene from the movie below when Seok-woo holds Soo-an in his arms), but as time passes by, they become older and weaker and before we know it, their time on earth will eventually come to an end.

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I couldn’t find the article itself, but just the same, this article’s title alone says it all,

“Love your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.” – Amy Anderson

Read it, preferably while listening to the sad OST of the film below :P, you won’t regret it.

The day after I saw TTB, I also watched the dubbed version of “About Time” on tv, which I’m glad I did because it has been years since I first saw it and I almost forgot the most special parts of the movie with the lead guy’s dad on them. Again, it was another movie intended to break the viewers’ hearts and of course, to put dads under the limelight.

I myself have given little tributes to my own father on social media and even on this blog and on the other one countless times, and I remember a time being called a papa’s girl when I was young. They’d tell me stories of how I would go with my father when he would get his owner jeep fixed. Growing up, I would also eventually develop an inclination for the arts, influenced by my papa who is an artist. He taught us bits on how to paint, how to take photos, how to play the keyboard and a few songs that I know how to play until today, taught us how to play the guitar and one that I’m most proud of, how to use Photoshop back in high school, which I’m glad I’m still able to use today. He is so gifted passionate and I know wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him being supportive of my passions. Did I say he enrolled me in a photography workshop in an institute he loves?

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So going back, I feel like I know the answer to that question even before I came up with it. With all the realizations (including doing cardio exercises for when real zombies with effing kangaroofic and puma-ish abilities arise) I have now after watching the said films , I learned that we, the inhabitants of this world we’re gradually destroying are also the hope we have been praying for, for a better world. God has given us each a part of him when he created us, so that only means, we are all naturally good. And in the darkest times, when some fear that God has forsaken us, let us be the ones to shed some light on them and remind them that God IS ALWAYS WITH US.

A week ago, my papa and mama collided into another car in front of them when a reckless jeepney driver crashed on to them from behind. There were 8 vehicles involved in total and our car was one that got severely damaged. It was a good thing that there wasn’t a passenger at the back and that they were able to come home safely that day with just minor gashes and hurting backs. I couldn’t thank God enough for saving them and not to mention for the help and support of my relatives, friends and B. I have always believed that God is always around. We just have to keep the faith that despite the most difficult times, He remains with us, holding our hands, or carrying us through it all. 🙂

So indeed, the beauty of living in a world like ours comes not from living a luxurious, safe and comfortable life, but one that is at times, difficult, but undeniably colorful and meaningful and most importantly, should be centered on God and in love.

P.S. Apart from my sister, my Papa also encouraged me to watch the film, being a movie-buff himself. He commended the cinematography and the plot, the director and even the stunt men. I’m guessing it’s his first time to see a Korean film, but he wasn’t disappointed either.

So Kudos too to Yeon-Sang-ho (director), Park Joo-suk (writer), Lee Hyung-deok (cinematography), Lee Dong-ha (producer), Jang Young-gyu (music) and to the whole cast for making this film successful not only on the big screen but more importantly, in penetrating through the hearts of people from all over the world!

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Mama

My mother celebrated her 52nd birthday yesterday, but unlike in the past years when I’d normally put up a mushy post on Facebook, this year, I chose not to.

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She shares a Facebook account with my father and even though they are on it, they’re not too comfortable with the whole social media hoopla and want to maintain as private as possible. They’ve warned us countless times to be careful not to tag them on some photos or posts as they don’t want to be overwhelmed by responses from friends and colleagues. Either that or they don’t want to come off as braggy.

Of course, I mostly just ignored them because hello, freedom of expression! I also think that it is another way for them to get the rare recognition they deserve not only for their hard work in their respective careers, but also for their love and commitment to us and to their loved ones.

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For the past years, I’ve made it a point to post something witty or hilarious on special occasions to celebrate their colorful lives without being too mushy. As expected, these posts had the most number of likes and comments on my page, evident of the love and support that friends and family have for them both.

It makes me happy seeing them happy with the responses they get every year. I can’t say that reading these responses myself doesn’t touch me, because it does. This is another reason why I continue to do this, until this year.

If I remember it right, I did not do something special for my papa’s birthday as well. We just had a simple celebration after attending mass, much like what we did for mama’s birthday.

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This year, I just woke her up to greet her at 12:05 am when she dozed off while waiting for my sister to come home. Hours later, I just tried to make her laugh and make her feel good on her special day. I cooked breakfast (and dinner) for everyone, while my sister did the dishes because she and my papa were busy painting and cleaning up. We went to church, had a sumptuous lunch and went back home.

It was the least festive birthday, but it wasn’t bad at all. My sister and I amused her enormously while she’s finishing painting the walls, jokingly sending rude responses to all her friends, family and colleagues that greeted her. Her reactions were as usual, hilarious!

And yes, you read it right. She was painting the walls on her birthday. She also meticulously cleaned up after, while I was just sitting around. I have to say, I couldn’t admire her more for how tireless she is. She has been awarded numerous times for her dedication and hard work in the same company she’s been working for for the last 20-30+ years.

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Truly, she’s a woman who has achieved so much, yet has remained humble, kind and generous. I could never even become half of who she is now, but I try to do good by her as much as I can for whatever we do, it would almost always boil down to how we were raised by our parents, right?

To add to that, I feel blessed to have her as a mother, for not spoiling us and for teaching us the value of respect, generosity and helping around the house and at a young age and for being half responsible for raising really good kids (yes, I’m only talking about my siblings here :P).

I don’t expect my mother to ever see this post, but on the off chance that she does, I hope it leaves a smile on her face as it did when I wrote this. 🙂

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P.S. All photos were taken by papa except for the last 2 🙂

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