Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happily Disabled

​I look around and see
Sadness and trouble
Staring at me

Children crying
Adults unhappy
Teenagers whining

But yesterday
I saw something different
That erased all my dismay

This man in a wheelchair
With a smile on his face
Carefree without despair

He gave me inspiration
Tears welled in my eyes
His attitude was the solution

Unable to stand
Yet he danced with all his might
It was so simple to understand

Yet nobody could follow
That there are petty things in life
Not worth the sorrow

I saw this man unable to walk
But happier than those who are able
This is why, about him, I would talk

​Material things must be cancelled
​Failed relationships and hate as well
Be happy and content you're not disabled

Even if you are unable to use your feet
It is not the end of the world
Happiness is still available to meet

That's a thought I would cherish
Lesson in life to learn
With what you have, be at peace​​

It's easier said than done
But it can be fulfilled
At the end, you'd notice you've won

Silicon Valley BBQ Championship 2014

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the Silicon Valley BBQ Championship event hosted by the Santa Clara Rotary Club located at the Santa Clara Central Park. The Houserockers Band was one of the bands scheduled to perform, and Shaggy played his bari saxophone with them.

Before the band played, we walked around and checked out the different BBQ booths selling their yummy grilled goodies. There were a lot of people, and there were long lines in some of the booths. I was curious about how the food tasted when a long line formed in front of a booth, but I didn't have a lot of time to wait.

We ended up at the Smoking Pig BBQ booth, and we weren't disappointed at all. They gave us two leg quarters for the price of one, and their BBQ sauce was great. I love the Spicy BBQ sauce! Their Wolf Turd (Jalapeno Poppers) was the bomb. I had my first bite of the Wolf Turd and it exploded in my mouth. Well, not literally. I meant the spice burst in its greatness with a real nice kick. I needed water right away. Woohoo! I'd call it the best bite I had during the event. We did have the best solution for the spicy attack.

You can't go wrong with ice cream. Thanks to the Scoops booth. They carried my favorite Rocky Road! I was a very happy camper.

My BFF showed up with her roomie and we hung out at the front side of the stage while Shaggy played with the band. I had a great time taking photos. I wish I videotaped the performances, but the speakers were too loud. I know I could've taken videos from afar, but with the white tent over the band, the ten guys playing their instruments underneath looked like shadows. So, when I went closer for clear video of each band member, the audio got totally distorted. Oh well.

I love observing people, or a hobby I call "People Watching," and I had the time of my life taking photos of people having fun at the park.

This lovely lady had full of life dancing in her vintage 1920s short dress. Don't worry, be happy! I'm positive you're jealous of her dress.

Honestly, I wanted to have my own belly dance belt. It inspires you to just shake it! Shake, shake, shake! You would want one, too. Come on, admit it!

Everybody can dance! This man in the wheelchair was quite an inspiration. Move and burn those calories, exercise!

Mosh pit! Several people gathered around and formed a circle (more shaped like a broken hotdog bun to me).

It actually reminded me of Soul Train. Don't you agree? Everybody danced with a happy smile on their faces!

At the end of the day, a smile formed on my face. I had fun. It was a memorable experience seeing everybody co-existing together because of food, music, and the love for them. The only thing that sort of temporarily messed it all up was this:

The critter crawled above my writing desk when we got home. *insert banshee screams here*

Cringe to the max!

Thanks to my loving husband. He's my Knight in Shining Armor and I was the Damsel in Distress. Well, over spider invasion, that is. (Yeah, lame.) How was your weekend?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Coming Soon

These are the movies I'd like to watch that are coming soon. Interesting trailers.

That's it, so far. Did I miss anything? HeHe.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Sport of Biting

Photo taken here.

It's all out on the internet. Soccer player Luis "The Cannibal" Suarez of Uruguay bit opponent Giorgio Chiellini of Italy during their game last June 24, 2014. Suarez got suspended by FIFA for 9 games and 4 months of soccer.

Only 9 games and 4 months? And then what, come back and do it all over again?

For the record, he bit three soccer players overall during his entire career. So, why is he allowed to come back? Some of my friends have stated that Suarez should have been banned from soccer for life. I'd agree. Soccer is not an adult-only event. Children watch this game. Children idolize sports players. I wouldn't want kids watching Suarez play and witness his biting frenzy. In fact, I wouldn't want kids to know that Suarez was only suspended for 9 games and four months. It only means that after October, there's a possibility of him biting an opponent, AGAIN.

That's what he did! History tells us that he bit Otman Bakkal in 2010, Branislav Ivanovic in 2013, and Chiellini this year. Really? Are we teaching our kids that if they did something bad, they'd get short punishments so they can do it again afterwards? What kind of future sports players are we setting up here?

Some of you are probably thinking, "It's only biting. What's the big deal?" Seriously? Is biting going to be a sport now? Ten points for one tooth mark, and a hundred for ten teeth marks. Cut out flesh from biting wins it all! Gory, huh? It can be fatal, just like bringing a loaded gun in a stadium. Human beings are one mean fighting machine, and they're dangerous weapons when a moment of dysfunction arises. In our hi-tech era, biting another person is not normal. It's not supposed to be a part of any sporting event. Remember Mike "The Ear-Biter" Tyson? Yeah, that!

Oh, come on! FIFA needs to have something better than 9 games and 4 months. Sports should be fair play. There are other sports organizations with a long list of banned players. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of other soccer players waiting to get Suarez's position. Soccer players who do not bite! We don't need to see another fourth biting incident after October. We don't need a dirty player on our TV screens.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bay Area LEP Meetup

Today, I finally met three members from the League of Extraordinary Penpals (or LEP). I refer to the members as LEPsters, while others refer to them as LEPers. I'm sticking to LEPsters, because I didn't like the way the latter sounded. I'm sure you'll agree with me if I say I'd rather be called a LEPster than a LEPer. *smiles* I'm being funny here, so please don't think I'm being mean or bad. Chill!

Anyway, we all gathered together at the Fremont Hub for lunch at Jack's Brewing Company. We first sat inside and ordered while it was quiet. When the soccer TV got loud, we transferred outside the patio. Perfect sunny weather! We conversed while we waited for our food until it arrived. It was really awesome not being in front of the computer, or on our phone, to talk to each other. No pen and paper, we just happily discussed little things about our lives, and I was pleased to differentiate the wonderful traits about each person. What an excellent camaraderie! It was really pleasant seeing someone in person instead of just viewing their photos online.

After our lunch, we trekked the path towards Cost Plus World Market, and we all browsed cute colorful trinkets like different shaped paper clips, journal notebooks, sticky notes, and pens located near the front entrance of the store. We all decided to walk further back and discovered a whole lot of edible stuff: biscuits, tea, and chocolates. I remembered how much my husband loves dark chocolate, so I grabbed several bars and found a couple that has bacon in it. Of course, I bought those. Anything with bacon is good!

We went to Half-Priced Books, Records, and Magazines afterwards. There are more penpaling trinkets inside! I found a cute watercolor pouch for only $3.99+tax. I bought it and plan to test it on my Midori Passport Traveler's Notebook. There were tons of wonderful bookmarkers, but I didn't buy one. I still have plenty. What I need is time to read. *giggles* I'll definitely go back to buy more stuff in the future. This store is full of old school treasures. Wow! Vinyl records, Archie comics, Marvel comics, leather journals, used old books, everything. Definitely a collector's store!

(Sorry about this Daytimer Personal Leather Binder photo. It was on a higher shelf, and I stretched my arm upwards in order to take a photo. I guess, I was shaky. LOL)

Our next walk was inside Staples. I controlled myself from binge-buying office products. There's too many cute stuff! Sticky notes, journal notebooks, colorful pens, colorful sticky dots, it's the utopia of letter-writers. You won't be able to have fun using your own handwriting in colors when you use your e-notepad and stylus, or you can't decorate your notebooks and letters with washi tapes. So, yeah, this rocks!

Our next stop was Nothing Bundt Cakes. They had a sampler plate at the corner of the store. We all sampled their Strawberry Cake. There were several customers who came in after us, so the sampler plate got emptied out. A second sampler plate got brought out and it was Lemon Raspberry Cake. Oh.Emm.Gee. to the Max! Moist and very flavorful cake! One of my LEPster pals bought several cakes. I honestly didn't buy any because I was still full from lunch, but now that I'm writing about it, I have to go back. I want the Red Velvet Bundt Cake. Drooling!

Our last stop was at Michael's. I didn't shop for anything because I still have enough stuff to use up to the end of the year. *laughs* Window-shopping or browsing around the aisles means I get to walk-off the calories I ate. Teehee. Besides, they didn't have any sale going on. I like to shop at Michael's when there's like 50% discount. I'm a bargain hunter! Still, I adored everything inside, especially the ladybugs, the washi tapes, stickers, colorful papers, rubber stamps, scrapbook materials ... I could go on and on about it.

Every fun thing has to end at some point, but we are determined to have another funtabulous meetup in the near future. We just have to discover the other Bay Area LEP members whom we could convince to attend. Or, if you are in the Bay Area and you love to write letters, you can join our LEP group. It's a marvelous group of superheroes. Well, we are superheroes, in a way. We do good deeds to our friends all around the world, and I consider that extraordinary. For me, extraordinary means superheroic.

What good deeds, you asked? It is a great comfort to have a real friend who will be there to listen. Reading a handwritten letter and getting one handwritten back is listening. It is one form of friendship that I hope won't disappear. Having a heartfelt conversation doesn't necessarily need to be voiced out. Sometimes, what's written on paper matters the most. In my point of view, people who take time to listen through handwriting letters do a good deed. This group matters to me, because everybody is simply amazing... simply extraordinary.

That's why we are all letter-writing superheroes in my book.

Until our next meetup...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why Do People Hate?

(Less than a year ago, I wrote this post and saved it as a draft. I've never posted it. In fact, I have several written drafts sitting in my blog folder. If you have been the recipient of hate, you would relate to what this post is all about.)

Have you experienced posting a status message on your Facebook page, or tweeting a message via Twitter, which ended up with hateful responses from total strangers? Perhaps, you have published a creative writing work somewhere online and received negative reviews by someone anonymous? Truth hurts, I know, but if you don't even know that person, or worst, that person didn't even actually read your written work at all, then that's really bizarre.

Why do people do that? Why do people hate on others? They bully, judge, discriminate, name-call, label, and a lot of other bad stuff, out of the blue.

Base from my observations and experiences with such characters, I'm sharing with you my thoughts:
1. Anonymity - Nicknames and cartoon avatars give people anonymity. Nobody knows who they are. When these anonymous characters comment on certain online posts (i.e. Twitter tweets, Facebook status, Blog posts, Online News articles, etc.) or post negative reviews (i.e Yelp, Zagat, etc.), they believe they can get away with it. Meaning, they will write non-sense comments about the posts just because they feel like it and won't get caught. Non-sense in a way that it hurts the poster. It provokes anger, rage, and violence towards someone unknown. For the anonymous, it's their real life comedy. Truth: It's actually sad.
2. Jealousy / Envy - When someone posts a happy message about mapping out their life's adventure, there's always one particular commenter who would make it all sound unimportant, wasteful, or simply not good enough. Just like having a post about praising someone or something, there will always be an odd ball out, a person that would oppose such bravado. The success and happiness of others give birth to evil in the hearts of jealous people. Truth: Those jealous/envious people want to attain such success but unable to do so. Sour-grape much?
3. Seeking Attention - There are individuals who crave for attention by being in everybody's business, no regards to it being done with good or bad actions. They think they're the spice of life. You know, spice, metaphorically speaking, sprinkled in everything. They think they brighten up the situation. They are unaware that too much spice makes it all bad, especially unwanted ones. Truth: They are very bland.
4. Low Self-Esteem - Hurting someone through written verbal abuse makes haters feel powerful, confident, and think they're better than their victims. They have the need to feel that way because they can't face their own boring reality. They don't want to accept that it's their own truth in life. For example: Calling someone fat, or ugly, online when they have the same body size, if not bigger than their victims, or uglier. Truth: There's a hint of seeking attention here as well. It's sad. Plus, ugly comes from within. If your attitude is ugly, it shows, no matter how much make-up covers it.
5. Expressing Hidden Angst - Hating on others, sometimes, is simply releasing a hater's own anger. They randomly select victims, and they call it productivity. Truth: Their angry feelings increase and seek for more victims. It doesn't make them feel better. They feel angrier. The more they do bad things, either to themselves or others.

Who are the people pounded at the receiving line? Here are the possible victims I've picked out:
1. Celebrities - Actors, actresses, singers, performers, bands, artists, or anybody who is in TV or movies get a lot of haters every single day of their lives.
2. Popular Non-Celebrity Peers - Popular in school, at work, or in a family.
3. Smart / Genius Achievers - Book authors and scientists are a great example. Or someone who is highly knowledgeable about a lot of stuff.
4. Rich People - People with money get a lot of envious/jealous haters.
5. Confident / Beautiful People - They are a challenge for these so-called haters. Pulling down someone from their happy state is the hater's goal.

Possible solutions:
1. Ignore it. It's the best. Don't waste your time on them.
2. Don't let it affect you. Don't stress out on it. You shouldn't even waste crying on them and what they do.
3. Smile and move on. Don't copy the hater. Spread happiness instead. Spread kindness. It's all that matters.
4. Shake your head and shrug. It's good to say "NO" to negativity. Don't let it enter your body, mind, and spirit.
5. Don't step down to their level. You have to tell yourself that you are several steps higher from their level.

All these haters need to disappear from the face of the earth.

Have you received hate lately?