Holiday Rants

  It’s Christmas day- the time of year when families are said to gather around the fire of a fireplace(or technologically savvy flat-screen television that now poses as the red and orange flickering tongues of flames and burnt bark of the fictional labor of chopping down a tree and hauling its fruit toward home) and exchange gifts with one another in the spirit of love and Christ’s birth.
  When I look at this international holiday carefully, I see a commercialised enterprise of money and food and selfishness. Some people do give gifts out of the goodness of their hearts, which is fine and wonderful, but others just look forward to getting something for free.
  If we really love someone and appreciate them for what they do, then why do we need a specific day in the year to tell us when to show our appreciation? Shouldn’t we always tell others we’re glad to have them around us?
  Of course, this is just my view of things and mentality. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
  Christmas really is a holiday for which we should be grateful- a request from me(which is completely optional) is that you look deeper into the meaning of this day and any other holiday or celebration and give the people around you a random “thank you.” Yes, some people will think you’ve lost your mind, and others will be glad.
  If you have a Christmas story you would like to share, or simply want to say something, leave a comment and I’ll get back to it as soon as possible. Merry Christmas.

Self-confidence: Introversion

  I often wonder why it is that I can’t leave my home without checking my reflection countless times for what I refer to as “errors” in my appearance and outfit choice.

  At first, my mind logically conjured the idea that it might be my self-diagnosed “OCD”(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder); but once I’d rid myself of that thought, I instantly came up with vanity.

  But the thing is, I’m not a vain person. So I decided to talk to one of my closest friends about this problem- and this was unusual because I’m often the one who people come to with their problems. I told them that I always fidgeted with even the most minuscule “faults” of my facial features, makeup, hair, and accessories.

  “Maybe,” they had started almost uncertainly, “you’re an introvert.”

  I had stared blankly at them for a moment, taking my time to contemplate their assumption and helpful input. I quickly came to the conclusion that this was inaccurate; after all, wasn’t I speaking to my friend confidently?

  What I failed to think about was that when we first met, I was quiet and it took over a year of our being in the same studies for us to actually communicate. I reluctantly began to admit that I had every sign of being socially impaired.

  “An introvert?” I murmured cautiously, my brows furrowing downward in deep pondering. “Maybe…”

  I couldn’t look people in the eye when they talked to me, nor could I compliment someone or start even a mundane conversation. I couldn’t walk up to someone and ask them if they liked something. It’s not that I didn’t want to, it was just that at the time, I really couldn’t.

  I slowly began to become even more insecure and worried. I stopped talking to friends and family members for about a month or two, I stopped doing the things I loved like drawing, writing, taking photos, and playing the guitar. I rarely left my room, and even less did I leave my house.

  That’s when I started to believe that I couldn’t do anything right. I went three days without eating one time; and just when I thought it was getting to be too much, I gathered enough courage to leave my comfortable place of isolation and meet a friend who was very worried about me.

  They ran up to me as soon as I stepped foot in the small cafe and smothered me in affection that I’d long forgotten. That’s when I began to get fatigued. They were just looking at me for an unusually long time. Was my hair messy? Did my makeup smear? Did my outfit not match?

  “You’re so beautiful.”

  I was stunned- how could they believe I was beautiful? That’s when I knew that what I was missing wasn’t the support from friends, but confidence in myself and the things that I could do.

  It didn’t matter how others saw me, as long as I loved me for me and saw past the physical appearance.

  My friend and I met each other regularly to work on this problem. That was about five years ago; we still meet each other frequently, but now I joke around and laugh and look straight into their eyes when they’re speaking- and although I still battle with my insecurities, it’s more about things of importance such as the bills and work and my studies.

  Have confidence in yourself; be proud of who you are, and don’t be afraid to have aspirations and goals. Do what you love, dress how you feel, be open with others. It’s hard at first, but if you show others that you’re comfortable in your own skin, you might just inspire them to be as good of a person as they can be.

Parent’s Guide to Understanding Visual Kei

  I know that I haven’t posted anything recently(I’ve been very busy lately- what with my second blog that’s still in progress, and all the work I’ve had- and really, I’m not complaining) and some of my dedicated readers may, or may not, be disappointed.

  I’ve gotten several requests from friends to write a post dedicated entirely to the “Do and Do not”s that come with having a child who has recently plunged into the world of blasting Japanese music, and men that look and dress like woman.

  That’s right- here’s the Parent’s Guide to Understanding Visual Kei.

1.)Your child is unique, so if they suddenly want to wear mismatched colored contact lenses, dye their hair ridiculous colors, and/or start dressing what is to you, ridiculously, then I assure you, it is most likely not a phase. Instead of trying to stifle their creativity, try to channel it into something less dramatic; maybe they can start out with a load of extra accessories, then build from there.

2.)Don’t let your child walk out the door looking like a geisha- Visual Kei isn’t about suddenly going from normal to crazy. Like the clothing, let them start off with simple or intricate makeup designs that best suit their age, face, etc.

3.)Be prepared to hear nothing but facts about with whom your child is currently infatuated. You’ll learn a lot.

4.)The likelihood of that “girl” actually being a female is close to, if not, ZERO. That’s right, Hizaki is a male who wears dresses- that doesn’t make him gay.

5.)Having your own opinion is very important. Let your child know how you feel about their interest in another culture. Think about it this way, at least they’re trying to learn something new.

6.)Japanese band merchandise can sometimes be expensive; but it’s worth it for a birthday or Christmas; or, you can make something on your own.

  That’s all I have gathered for now. Thank you for reading- I hope this helps you understand better what your child, niece, nephew, sibling, etc. is interested in and how to deal with it.

Barnes & Noble- I Salute You

  Today I decided to withdraw from my little piece of comfort, joy, solitude, and hermit-like state of living so that I could “cruise the town” and hopefully stumble upon a hidden spring of information and inspiration. My first stop? A quick bite to eat at a Wendy’s from their dollar menu- unfortunately or not, I hate spending a lot of money on takeout; I love cooking my own meals, as well as indulging every once in a while and stuffing my mouth with salty French Fries and a bacon cheese burger.

  I finished my meal and exited the building quickly. I still had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go, so I got in my car and sat there for a few minutes before having the genius idea to visit a place that I really love more than any other place. Barnes & Noble.

  Being able to look at so many books in one place fascinates me, which makes the library my second favorite place. Not only do they have a lot of books, but the variety is great! I have to admit for all of you manga/anime fans out there that they’re a little shabby in the manga and anime department, yet other than that, the selection is fantastic. They do tend to over price their books, movies, music, etc.,(to give you an example of what I mean, a series of only 13 episodes cost approximately $50- crazy, right?) but I know that business is business.

  Even though I was on a very limited budget, I think I managed to waste more money on gas then on anything I actually bought; which happened to be a sketch book for $3.

  I really love how helpful the majority of the staff is whenever I go there- they answer any questions you ask, show you certain areas you were looking for, suggest certain things if you’re not sure what it is you want, and much more(probably because it’s their job). I even love their mini-coffee area. I’m a huge coffee lover– I just can’t get enough of the Mocha Moolatte from Dairy Queen(it could be the fact that I like to save my money and freelance writing doesn’t exactly have a stable or fixed income), or the French Vanilla that I drink while writing. I know that caffeine causes Kidney Stones(these are “stones” that really can’t be seen and are excreted during urination. Some cases are so bad that before a person passes a Kidney Stone, they may become nauseated and throw up, faint, or even have horrible headaches. Drinking large amounts of caffeine on a daily basis will likely make this painful thing possible) and supposedly stunts growth, but I figure that I’m not going to grow anymore, so why not?

  About their shop- it’s like a café, and what’s better than a book store with a café in it? They even sell sweets and other consumable products.

  The only downside about Barnes & Noble is their somewhat lackadaisical “no reading the books or sitting down in an aisle” policy- which is basically ignored by the general population, which I find rude. Rules are made to be followed and obeyed, not broken. Oh well, most of the times, the occasional dedicated employee with kindly inform a rebellious visitor of the rules. I’ll be the first to admit that I do sometimes read part of a book while sitting down at a hidden table somewhere at the back of the café so as to not be seen until either a few minutes before closing, or someone finds me and scolds me in a polite way.

  Overall, the trip really made my day and I hope to go there again tomorrow to see what else piques my interest.

 

“AIDS”– Touchy Subject #1

  This post isn’t for the immature of those offended by natural activities such as sex and the disease AIDS. This is an informative post about a study I’ve recently conducted.

  What’s a disease that everyone’s worried about getting nowadays? Well, think of the act that’s most popular among hormonal teenagers and adults.

  That’s right– most of the general population fears AIDS. What is AIDS? AIDS(otherwise known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is referred to as an STD(Sexually Transmitted Disease), and the way that you contract it is self-explanitory.

  AIDS is a touchy subject with everyone– it’s not right to let your children in on the dangers of sexual activity, AIDS is only contracted by homosexuals, or the disease is of bad origin. There are so many reasons why the general populace want to avoid it; but the truth is, it’s just like any other disease or illness.

  Just like there’s nothing to be ashamed of when talking about the human body, there’s nothing wrong with being properly informed about a life-threatening disease.

  AIDS can be spread any number of ways: sexual activity(semen, vaginal fluids) and blood. It’s theorized that even mosquitoes add to the spread of this disease, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid going outside for fear of getting AIDS from a blood sucking mosquito. Just be thorough in washing any blood away from open wounds and cleaning it thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide or soap.

  Symptoms are as follows: lesions anywhere on the body, abdominal pains, rapid decline in health, rapid weight loss, and extreme and unexplained tiredness. For more symptoms and details, look up “AIDS symptoms” on Yahoo!Search, Google, Bing, or your default search engine.

  If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, take the action that you believe is right. It can be other things, but if you’re worried, consult your doctor.

  There are many conspiracies surrounding the AIDS virus. One being that the government’s prejudice caused them to create AIDS, thinking that it would get rid of immigrants and homosexuals. I, personally, don’t believe this, but it’s up to you what you believe.

  Anyone can get this disease, unfortunately, so it’s good to be informed on the dangers of one-night stands and other things(I’m not judging anyone’s lifestyle). Remember to visit the doctor’s office somewhat regularly.