Things to Make the Week Bearable

1 silver lining - monday

Hey guys,

Yes, yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on this blog. It seems like the past few days just have been a series of ups and – well, who am I kidding – it’s just been a load of downs. I think even my dreams have been reflective of how psychotic my mind has been. Thankfully I’m somehow so tolerating of bad dreams that I’ve been more fascinated by what warped visions my brain can conjure up, as opposed to shriveling under my covers in fear.

And such dreams so happen to contain wall-and-ceiling crawling apparitions bathing me in voodoo curses, to shark-infested killer waves staining the seas blood red, peppering body parts all over the surface, to blood-thirsty hitmen grabbing me by the throat unexpectedly, to high precarious staircases that I’m forced to navigate to shipwrecks and more drowning in shark-infested waters.

Psychoanalyse that, why don’t you.

But, among all the bad, I think this week I’m finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. Please let it not be a dud.

So here are a few wonderful things that have made my life a lot better:

1. The Lizzie Bennett Diaries

LBD

Photo credit: larkable.com

So yes, let’s address the obvious thing here, I’m slow on the bandwagon. Exactly two to three years slow. But better late than never, I suppose. I was never a fan of 19th century literature such as that of Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, so please excuse me with this very reason as to why I never watched this Youtube series (despite hearing so many snippets about it from random friends).

If you too have not heard of it (*high five*) it is a Web series that does a wonderful job at adapting Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice for the modern audience.

While it was initially difficult for me to fall in love with Lizzie (the protagonist pictured in the photo above), being brutally aware of the blatant hypocrisy in which she speaks of the pride and prejudice of others and yet was desperately ignorant of her own, it didn’t take long at all for me to warm up to her and feel like she was deserving of some respect and, perhaps, adulation. I was immediately in love with her older sister Jane and her younger sister, Lydia.

And it only took me this weekend to complete the 100 episode series from beginning to end (don’t worry each episode is only 3-5 minutes long, so it was such a heavy feat as it sounds).

I am resisting the urge to post any pictures of Bing Lee (Bingley) or Mr Darcy as I felt that the surprise at finally seeing them was paramount to the tension and addictive nature of the series. So if you have yet to take up the task, then I suggest you start at the beginning and refrain from any sneak peeks!

2. CrashCourse

CrashCourse

Photo credit: guygordon.com

Another Youtube channel that just made my weekend – or more like my day (specifically today) more bearable is CrashCourse. Again, possibly late on the bandwagon. Specifically, it’s the World History playlist from this channel that I am oddly addicted to.

What’s it about? Well it’s John Green – yes, The Fault in Our Stars, and Paper Towns John Green – serving a dish of historical pie to the supposed History last-minute exam crammers. Surprising the audience for these videos do not merely include those who require some historical education – or maybe not surprisingly cause John Green somehow makes civilisation-learning fun – but it also contains a whole bunch of people who binge watch it for entertainment. Yes, world history as entertainment.

And because of these videos I had the etymology of barbarian, Barbary Coast, ashur, pantheon and Zoroastrianism clogging up my tabs.

My head almost exploded after the perspective-taking of the Persians and the Greeks – empire vs. democracy – speech that I had to take a break today.

3. Teen Wolf Season 5

Teen-Wolf-Season-5

Photo credit: images-cdn.moviepilot.com

It’s been a pretty grim beginning to the new season of Teen Wolf and I’m already slowly developing my own theory as to the role and purpose of these new nemesis, the ‘Doctors’.

There is nothing much to say really, apart from the fact that, since the episodes come out on Tuesdays, there is always something for me to look forward to at the start of these weeks. Which makes everything so much better when I can see Kira and Lydia slowly growing into their element.

Well, those are the three things that make my days slightly better. They could also equally be the contributing factor to my current wild dreams – at least I know that Teen Wolf should be partially to blame for them. No psychoanalysis yet?

Oh, and sideline things making me happier, I made a pre-order purchase of Ernest Cline’s new book, Armada, that is, according to Book Depository, on its way to being shipped. If I manage to finish it, I’ll probably do another book review. As you can probably see from my Books Read List of 2015, 2015 has not been my year for reading. It’s been abysmal at best.

Let’s not dwell on that – have a bearable and, maybe even, amazing week, guys!

Till next time,

cumuloq

30DPC Day 30: Why I’m me

30. Why are you you?

I am me because of my parents. Because of the good and bad decisions they made. Because they let me study overseas, because they brought me back home. I am me because of my brother and the friends he made.

I am me because of the teachers I loved and the teachers I hated; I am me because of the teachers that made me hate math and economics and history – and the ones that made me love english and literature and geography and biology. I am me because of the school systems.

I am me because of the toys I played with and the video games I played. I am me because of my imagination from playing with Barbie dolls and soft toys, of creating imaginary scenarios and building forts out of giant books and chairs and tables. I am me because of Pokemon Blue. I am me because of hide and seek and playing chase and building sandcastles. I am me because of the friends I surrounded myself with and the hobbies we had, such as reading and gymnastics and swimming and loving horses. I am me because of the movies I watched when I was young, Balto and The Swan Princess.

I am me because of all the books I read by Dianne Wynn Jones and Tamora Pierce and J.K. Rowling.

I am me because of insecurities, because of growing up, because of being stupid and foolish and ignorant and lost. I am me because I found myself again.

I am me because I stuck to the things I loved, like literature, and kind people and music.

I am me because of all these things.

And that concludes my 30 Day Philosophy Challenge!

Till next time,

cumuloq <3

30DPC Days 23 – 29: Philosophy speed run!

Hi guys!

So I missed out on a lot of the day for the 30 Day Philosophy Challenge and I realise that tomorrow will be the last day of it! I’m not too sure what’s happening on Rhey of Sunshine’s end, but I’ll do my best in this one post to answer questions 23 to 29 for today so that I’ll be up to date.

While these answers may lack quite a bit of quality to them, I hope that they are still straightforward enough answers, and decent enough answers for the following seven days (that’s a week of pondering that I need to catch up on!)

I would have liked to spend more time on them, but unfortunately the schedule I have going for me just won’t permit it. So prepare yourself for a philosophy speed run!

23. You’ve been given access to a time machine. Where and when would you travel to? What would you do?

I would probably travel ten years into the future, only to just see what it is like then. I would probably not do anything to affect the outcome of it, but I’d probably just watch a whole lot of movies, read a whole lot of books (and bring some back for my amusement) and read a bunch of news headlines.

24. What is the absolute hardest thing about staying alive?

Honestly, I had a point of time in my life where it was absolutely difficult to stay alive – and I guess my answer would be because of that experience. The hardest thing about staying alive is having things in your life that you just don’t care about and having to force yourself to pretend to care. Sometimes the hardest things include having to deal with the superficial pretences of society, i.e. I don’t care about earning money, I don’t want to compete with you and your materialistic needs and social statuses, I don’t care about what you think of me and I just want to do what I want to do. Sometimes not being able to do the things you really want to do is the hardest thing of staying alive.

25. How would you live your life if you had a week to live? 

I would quit my job. I would persuade my friends to take off days. We would fly to Universal Studios Florida and spend the entire time exploring the place and going on rides. I know, I’m a generic Make A Wish Foundation kid.

26. Humans are about to colonise a new planet. If you could offer them only one piece of advice, what would it be?

To never forgo love of life, art and family for progress.

27. The world is ending, and you can save one group of five people: who would be the five people that you save?

I’m 100% (and more) sure that I won’t be given this task, ’cause I’ll massively screw up, but my choice would be: Angela Merkel, Bill Gates, Malala Yousafzai – and honestly my last two choices are just to ensure procreation, but I feel bad by naming anyone here because it sounds so weird – but insert your real life OTP here. I’d probably choose Zalfie.

28. As a hyper intelligent pan-dimensional being, what is the ultimate question, the life, the universe and everything?

Why?

29. Are you the same person you were before starting this challenge?

No, I am so much more tired – but not specifically from this challenge.

And that’s all! My answers were honestly rushed. But that’s the best I can do to catch up.

Tomorrow will be the last day of this challenge. In retrospect I felt like I didn’t do a great job of it. But hey, life sometimes gets in the way.

Till tomorrow,

cumuloq <3

30DPC Day 22: My ultimate escape plan …

22. What would be your ultimate escape plan?

This question is kind of ambiguous, but I kind of gather that it means my ultimate escape plan from the world I’m currently living – if it all becomes too much.

Well, one of the first things I’d probably do is to activate my Mastercard to be acceptable overseas. ‘Cause my definite plan would be to take a flight out. I’d probably pack a simple backpack of things. I have the aptitude to pack everything I need within fifteen minutes. One of the things I’d probably do is to camp out at a McDonalds or at the airport if it’s late at night. Then activate my card the next morning and then find flights.

When it comes to flying overseas, there’s probably one location right now that I’d probably aim for, and that would be Fort Worth, Texas where one of my best friends currently stays. I’d probably give her a heads up at one of the free internet access computers at the airport. It would take me ages to get there anyway.

Over there I’ll probably think through what my options are. One probable goal is to work for a publishing house, which has always been one of my dreams.

Truth is, I know that if I were to escape from my current life I would want something completely different from what I have now – i.e. I wouldn’t want routine, I wouldn’t want formalities, I wouldn’t want fixed structures. And I feel that if I escaped to visit her over there it would be amazing.

That’s my ultimate escape plan – and now I need to rethink it ’cause the people I’m escaping from now know. As for an escape plan from a zombie apocalypse … well that’s another post for another time.

Till next time,

cumuloq <3

30DPC Day 21: What is truly living …

21. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Well, if you want to make it as simple as possible, being alive means still being able to breathe – so the bare minimum of being alive is possibly lying in a hospital bed in a vegetative state with the heart rate monitor still going. But being truly living means being able to make a physical and emotional impact on others.

Somehow I feel like this question is meant to be a critique on whether humans are really living their lives and making an impact on society rather than just going about their daily routines. But – being the rebel that I am – I refuse to take that approach. ‘Cause I believe that this question will have varying degrees for different people, because different people will have different expectations of their lives or seek different journeys. For some, truly living could be finding someone to love, and having children and having a stable job, and then retiring. That could be enough. That is a life well lived for them. And I think it’s wonderful. Because I watch vloggers like the Michalaks and the Sacconejolys and those are such “#goals”. But, of course, they have just done it on a much more public stage.

I think truly living is setting goals for yourself in your life and reaching some of these goals. And yes, they can be as small yet satisfying as growing a garden in your backyard, and as large and formidable as creating an non-profit organisation for an incredible cause.

Some people feel alive in very different ways, and I feel like we should not judge or force them to subscribe to our definition of “truly living”. It’s all about perspective taking. And – if anything – vegetative states can take different forms. Sometimes, being restrained from doing the things that we truly want to do is our own personal brand of “just being alive”.

You can force someone to go on so many adventures, hoping to change their mindset and they could be bored and miserable and not truly alive. After all, Emerson wrote that a person who constantly travels can never transcend and one should just sit in a room and think. Different people have different ways of understanding and learning about the world, and I believe that once you’ve found your own means of doing so, you’re truly living.

Till next time,

cumuloq <3

30DPC Day 20: What I’d change about the world …

20. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

This is such a formidable question to answer. ‘Cause there are just so many small problems that cumulate to bigger problems and you can’t really just change just one thing and hope that the whole world and the future has been changed for the better for it.

I guess there one thing I would push for, rather than change, is a reform of the education system in Middle East and Arabic countries – one that focuses on total literacy among its citizens and moral education.

One of the stories that really impacted me and made me consider the severity of the situation of many women in ME countries such as Iran was this The Guardian article on a woman called Ameneh Bahrami. She had rejected a man and he had subsequently thrown acid on her, resulting in her blindness. Her court case was several layers of disappointment: women are only half the worth of men in the legal sphere, and even the sort of retribution she could claim was backward and barbarian – an eye for an eye (or in her case, two eyes for one eye).

I could have stated that I would change the legal system in Iran after reading this article, but that is only a small prick in the bigger needle in the haystack issue. The more lasting impression that can be left upon the society is an education that focuses on literacy and moral education.

Why literacy? Because women need to read and understand their rights and become more knowledgeable to fight their way up to political representation. The entire society would also hopefully benefit from a better understanding of how the socio-political climate of their country should navigate alongside the values of neighbouring countries.

Why moral education? And by moral, I mean more alongside developing empathy towards others, I believe that the society can push for a more tolerant mindset, and while they should still honour certain traditions, there should be an understanding that traditions that violate and exploit rights of minority groups should not be tolerated anymore.

It’s not to say I don’t believe that the younger generations of these countries are not pushing forwards. Hundreds of young Egyptians crave to move away from their city when they become of age, rejecting the opinions of their elderlies. But it can only be said that a divide between generations will not result in change either.

Once again, I said this is one problem of many other cumulative problems that are involved in the world. Possibly there will be people who do not see it as a problem and will refute. But that is one thing that I would most like to change. I understand that there are a lot of other problems out there, and you can add yours in in the comments if you’d like too.

Till next time,

cumuloq <3

30DPC Day 19: If television shows were real …

VGHS-2

19. If one TV show could be real, which one would you want it to be? Which one would screw our world over?

I’m probably cheating here, ’cause my choice is more of an online TV show, but if there were one TV show that could be real, I’d probably want it to be Video Game High SchoolHonestly, I do not want a lot of the other television shows I watch to be real. I don’t like the idea of real life Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor Doctor Who. Because with all of the heroic and amazing protagonists and gadgets, there comes the terrifying monsters that go with them.

I think VGHS would be an awesome choice because it would be amazing if all the gamers out there could have an option to join a school that would hone their gaming talents and that would enable them to join pro-circuits or just be incredible in their talents.

VGHS-1

Plus I like the idea of technology being so much further ahead just because such a school exists. It would also possibly reduce the amount of stereotypical games out there as game developers aim to make far more realistic and ambitious games, without all the niche platforms and makers being the ones monopolising the industry.

As for a television show that would probably screw the entire world over, I don’t really watch a lot of those kinds of television shows, but the most traumatic for me to exist in the real world would be Game of Thrones. I mean (spoilers) senseless beheadings, murders and barely any consequences from them? Being able to sell your siblings as barter trade? Having rulers like Joffrey dictating how the world should be run? Nope, just nope.

But that’s just me. I just don’t want to be around when winter comes. I don’t think I’d fair well against white walkers. Honestly, I don’t think I’d really make it past two episodes.

So, which television show would you want to be real? Which one do you think would completely screw the world over? Let me know.

And till next time,

cumuloq <3