I Hope You Dance – 12 years later

I was driving home from a work meeting and KyXy 96.5 played this song on the radio.  It instantly brought me back to my last day of high school, at Marian Catholic.

On the last day of high school, I was sitting in religion class, at Marian Catholic High School.  To be honest, the only thing that was going through my mind was SUMMER VACATION AND COLLEGE NOW YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!  I couldn’t wait to be gone.  Leave it to my religion teacher (Miss Lehnert, one of the most religiously open teachers I’ve ever had) to throw a monkey wrench into my plans of freedom, with a song that would change my life, and forever sear those last few moments with my classmates into my brain.

When Miss Lehnert played that song for everyone, she told us all to take one last look around the classroom, because after that moment, we’d all go our separate ways.  As the song played, the guys just sorta scoffed and chilled.  A bunch of the girls cried.  Me?  Shit, I started wondering if I’d live up to the song a few years from then.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)

Right now, I can look back and say that the song did shape me into the person I am now.  I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge, and people know that the some of the choices I’ve made have not been the best ones.  But I’m still alive, kicking, breathing, punching, running, and living my life.  And that’s what Miss Lehnert wanted us to do once we got out of high school.  To live our lives to the fullest.  Without regrets.

oh you shoko

oh you shoko

Life As We Know It

As I sit outside on a bright, sunny San Diego Friday afternoon, I can’t help but appreciate life. From the sounds of people going on with their day to day business, to the hustle and bustle of cars going in and out of the parking lot. This morning while waiting for an oil change on my car, I sat in the lobby watching CNN discuss the manhunt on the second bomber of the Boston marathon. The conspiracy theorist in me of course went rampant. I couldn’t help but wonder, does the media have it correct? How do we know for sure that these are the guys that did it? Will we ever know the truth? We live in a world where truth is scarce. Even growing up, our parents shield us from many truths in order to protect us. And upon becoming an adult we all soon realize that the government also does the same in trying to protect the public. One truth that is evident is that we don’t always get the truth.

This morning at the dealership one of the workers came into the lobby just bubbly with happiness. He was getting coffee at this awesome Starbucks machine. I was amazed at this thing. Look at it!!!! I want one at my work!!!

Starbucks-machine

Anyways, he smiled at me, and I reactively smiled back at him. That of course opened the door to him conversing with me, which I welcomed. He began to say how people think he is crazy for choosing to be so happy all the time. I reply with how I don’t think it’s crazy for him to choose to be happy and how more people should realize that happiness is a choice, not an uncontrolled emotion. We exchanged a few more statements and he went on to his daily work, as giddy as a child with Fun Dip at an amusement park. 😉

I finally got my car back with some new oil and a complimentary car wash, which is perfect for this amazingly beautifully sunny day. I mosey on over to the San Diego convention center for a real estate expo. It is my first time attending and I had no idea what to expect. So I walk in, get my badge, get my free bag, walk around the outer perimeter of the exhibit hall, then I went back to my car. Haha. Yes I know, I probably should have spent a little bit more time there but I honestly didn’t feel like schmoozing with people or being sold to. Y’all know how those things go. Maybe next year I’ll network better and get more free stuff at the booths. For some reason, I just wanted to be outside. Walking towards the convention center was so nice, even if I’m wearing black pants. I spend so much time indoors being reclusive that today I just wanted to be outdoors. I wanted to connect with the world. I wanted to breathe civilization. 😉

One other truth that is evident is that we all seek connections. We all seek to connect with someone or something. People even connect with inanimate objects! That’s how much people have a need to connect. No one wants to be isolated from the world, a lone human being, never belonging. Although sometimes we might want to disassociate ourselves from things and people that are not congruent to what we would like reflective of ourselves, we all have this innate desire to connect to something. These connections drive us, they motivate us, sometimes they can hurt us, but generally they mold us.

We are all connected to one another, no matter how close or distant the connection, it is still a connection nonetheless. Whoever planted bombs at the Boston marathon must accept responsibility, but as a society we must refrain from scapegoating and passing judgment on those responsible for such a horrendous act. The actions are reprehensible, but what worries me the most is the thought process of people to go through such an action. And what also worries me is the witch hunt that automatically ensues in order to point fingers and punish those whose hands are stained with blood. The media succeeds in creating panic and desperation without knowing all the facts. In their noble gestures to report the facts to their viewers, they sometimes relinquish integrity and compassion in order to satisfy the hungry appetites of those in society that have no other option but watch as future movie plots unfold.

Truth is scarce. Happiness is a choice. Connections are necessary. These are but a few of life’s lessons that we all eventually learn. It’s amazing to me that as I sit on this bench, people with various journeys in life pass me by, events around the world are stirred, and the world on this planet continues without any hiccup. We all need to sometimes just stop moving, stop thinking about ourselves, and just take a moment to be in awe of the world. We might find more truths, choose more happiness, and create better connections with one another. Maybe probably possibly perhaps ya never know? ;P

Free-Shrugs

Anime Conji 2013 Review

Have you ever noticed the best moments of your life are with other people? How rare is it that the best moments of our lives are when we are alone. Sure, we have epiphanies that we remember in our lives, but when it comes to moments of celebration or of laughter or of happiness…I’m pretty sure those moments involved other people.

I had the great honor of staffing at Anime Conji this year. It was quite an experience. I witnessed a great number of people who share the same passion for anime, congregate for a weekend, and create connections with one another. Sure, the event had a few hiccups here and there, but at the end of the day the main goal was reached. The event was an arena for similar minds to meet, greet, enjoy each other’s company, and celebrate the joy that anime brings to each other’s lives.

I think in our society we tend to forget the importance of being part of a community. We are brought up to be independent and fend for ourselves because no one else will, but I think that is to our own detriment. While it is true that we should take care of ourselves, the trust that we try to contain within ourselves will only implode. I think we should all be part of a community of like-minded folks. I enjoyed being part of the Anime Conji community and listening to various people discuss all sorts of animes from different time periods. I had a blast with the Strawberry Scented Burnout family and I look forward to next year’s Anime Conji. Hopefully by then, I would know a little bit more about animes and the otaku culture. =P

Here are my favorite pictures from the weekend. Don’t you just love shared experiences? It makes the moment so much more fun and so much more real!!

IMG_1017 IMG_1016 IMG_0974Anime-Conji-2013-1Anime-Conji-2013-2

To Be Loved

Another song on my Songza played that was the inspiration for this post. Jackie Wilson‘s “To Be Loved” as heard by Eddie Murphy, aka Akeem, in the classic movie Coming To America. Please tell me you all know this movie. I can’t classify myself as an anime geek just yet, but I can classify myself as a movie geek.

The search for true love across countries, only to really find life lessons of hope in perseverance, value of genuine friendships, necessity of humility, and the spirit of commitment. If you have not seen this movie yet, I will not spoil it for you. It is a heartwarming movie filled with all sorts of slap-your-knee kind of laughs.

The only information I will divulge is that I think it’s fair to say that Eddie Murphy’s character, Akeem, is quite geeky. He is no popular boy toy like Eric La Salle’s character, Darryl, the smooth, suave, sophisticated fellow that most girls throw themselves at. One of the more attractive features of Akeem is his self-confidence, and his awareness of what he wants for his life. I feel that a lot of people in our society lack this confidence within themselves, as well as how they would like their life to be laid out. It is not that we have to map out our futures perfectly, but I think that it is necessary to at least have a plan of action. To have a general sense of where you are going in order to keep moving forward in this life. In a society where so many different arenas tell us that we need to be doing this, or looking like this, or acting like this, I can see how difficult it is to just hear one’s own inner voice and follow their heart.

Clarity is not an easy state of mind to obtain in our society. I believe that we live in a society of distractions. Music, television, peers, etc. distract us from listening to ourselves. I know that a lot of people aren’t really religious, nor do they believe in a higher being such as God, but I believe in all those things. One of those benefits that I once mentioned in a previous post, is the ability of religion to help provide clarity for those whose minds are constantly cloudy. Media might have you believe that happiness is the ultimate goal of life, but I disagree. I believe the end goal is actually clarity. One of the perks of clarity is happiness and the strength to turn sadness into happiness. This is but one of the few aspects within clarity, there are many more but I will leave that for further discussion in another post. =)

Anyhoo, I have yet to watch Love Hina. Haha. I know. I’m lagging. I just want to have a good state of mind before I start watching. One thing that I did was do some preliminary research on IMDB. This is how someone described the series:

When Keitaro was a child, he was friends with a little girl. When the girl had to move away, the two made a promise to meet each other at Tokyo University when they grew up. Years later, Keitaro has failed his entrance exam twice, and his parents refuse to support him any longer. His grandmother gives him refuge and employment as caretaker of her inn, which just happens to serve as a female dormitory. The eclectic group of tenants tease, annoy and berate him to no end. Still, Keitaro won’t ever give up his promise to meet his childhood friend again, even though he can’t remember her name.

My first thought from reading this summary is that Keitaro will find out that his childhood friend is living in the female dormitory and he won’t find out until much later. The girl might even be one of the girls that tease and berate him the most. She possibly might have forgotten his name as well. Haha. My general impression is that I will highly enjoy Keitaro’s journey to love and be loved.

And with that, I leave you with Jackie Wilson’s, To Be Loved…

From Geek To Chic

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a “geek” and all that comes with the territory. Stereotypically (keyword), a geek has a difficult time attracting the opposite sex which is usually a direct consequence of being a social dunce. We’ve all been there. Misguided folk who just need a hand to lead them down the right path. I’d like to believe that absolutely anyone can be socially savvy. And don’t get me wrong, there’s more to being socially savvy than just looks, like confidence and charm, but there is a progression to perfection (or imperfect perfection, whichever you feel more comfortable belonging to). Typically, if you know you look good, you feel good, and in turn you build confidence. Confidence allows one to release certain fears, and the release of those fears can help one develop charm. With that in mind, I found it appropriate to keep an eye out on current fashions that might help guide the misguided to at least know where they are in the let’s call it “map” of fashion.

I started a From Geek To Chic Pinterest Board of images that I found a normally geeky person might wear, but the outfit has been pizzazzed or tada-ed. What I hope for with this project is to help turn-the-wheel in people’s minds as to what they can do to be a little more stylish or chic-y in order to be a brighter beacon that peaks the interest of the opposite sex. Turning geeky looks into chic-y stares. Dun dun dun!Chic-y chipmunk stareBelow is my favorite outfit that I pinned on my pinterest board. I just love how it’s called a grandpa cardigan but looks fabulous on the girl. The color scheme is so muted, but that hint of green gives it enough pop to make it look stylish. Stay chic-y folks! But don’t worry you can also still stay geeky!! =P

Love Is …

Since the first anime I will watch is Love Hina, I thought it would be fitting to post a little “food for thought” about love. A song popped up on my Songza today called “Trouble” by Ray LaMontaigne, which my stream of consciousness brought me to a commercial that I remember watching and always found touching.

It is a Travellers Insurance commercial about a large white, terrier dog (who by the way, reminds me of my own dog) and his precious bone. Such a sweet story about things/people we hold dear and the lengths we take to keep those things/people we love safe. I hope you find it as heartwarming as I do.

Love is just one of those gifts that we are fortunate to have in this world. Love for family. Love for friends. Love for anime. Love for music. I can go on and on. I normally do not use the word love in such a general sense, but I feel comfortable using it in this context. I can only hope to protect, cherish, and appreciate those that I love as much as the dog in the commercial does. If I can succeed in that, I know I will live a very rich life.

Inside Looking Outside

Anime-girl-looking-outside-window

Perspective can sometimes be a mindf*ck. When you learn to view things at different angles, you slowly but surely come to form well-rounded stances on things. Take for instance anime. Before joining the Strawberry Scented Burnout crew, the only thought I had about anime was that it was a cartoon. A cartoon filled with exaggerated animation and subtitles. After speaking with various people about anime, I have come to realize that there is so much more to anime than meets the eye – Transformers! – and that there are deeper messages ingrained into these so-called “cartoons”.

The more angles I get to view, the more intrigued I am by this anime world. I no longer feel as if I am an outsider looking into this world of anime, but I now see myself as a student that has entered this anime kingdom, ready to absorb as much knowledge as I can. A part of me wonders why people think of this world as “geeky” because it seems that a lot of it is quite beautiful. The creativity that goes into the graphics and storylines is amazing. This Otaku culture that I keep hearing about proves to be more and more interesting. 😉

Related: http://ss-burnout.com/2013/03/15/being-on-the-outside-looking-in-isnt-all-that-bad/

Being on the outside looking in isn’t all that bad.

I don’t even know what day it is anymore of my social media ban/strike, whatever it is.  I’m starting to see shit.  Like…patterns.  Some things just sorta take a strange turn after you take a step back and look at shit objectively, rather than subjectively.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m in my thirties that I’m starting to see how people really are weird.  I mean, it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black for me, but I’m self-aware weird.  I know I am, and I’ve got nothing to fuckin’ hide.  I mean, I wouldn’t be a writer if I had shit to hide.  Being a writer means that you’ve gotta pull your pants down, show your bare ass to the world, and tell it to take its best shot (don’t seriously do this, ‘cuz you’ll get arrested, or worse)..

Or maybe I’m reading too much into shit and I need to just relax and play some videogames.

fakebands1

Courtesy of Ministry of Tofu 😛

GIVE A CHALLENGE TO THE HARDCORE! THE BLUEBOMBER RETURNS, SCORE FREE ART FROM US!

Folks, our family grows stronger! Shogun Gamer will now be a partner of SSB!

That’s right! these good people are part of a great gaming website who has a die hard passion for Megaman games, and as part of our first event together, we will be hosting a Child’s Play charity event that is Megaman themed!

The money we collect will go into improving the lives of children in hospitals by providing them with toys games and among other things .

Shogun Gamer:
The idea started as the seed of Kyle Hill. He’s always wanted to utilize his passion for gaming and his appreciation of the work done by the Child’s Play organization. Considering he’s dumped more hours into Mega Man than anyone he knows, it seemed like the perfect fit. The idea developed as one that would encompass an entire weekend, featuring three players of varying skill making their way through the Mega Man and Mega Man X series. The idea now, is that donators will be able to directly influence the game by issuing addition challenges to increase or reduce the difficulty of the playthrough.

Now you may ask, what is our role here? Simple! we will be giving away posters and commissions to those who visit and help out with our goal!

The event begins December 8, 2012 and ends in December 10  at   http://mega-marathon.com/
I hope to see you there, and if you do, please mention that you came from our website!

Peace out!

For more information  please visit http://www.childsplaycharity.org/about

We Were Angels….

Buried and drowned in time, all that’s left are memories
Just as you remember too, we used to be angels then

Spreading the word from the highest of heavens
Of love and of happiness
Dropping seeds of peace to take away the pain
And loneliness

Why, tell me why blue sky
When I look at you, that’s right
I feel the power of our souls, hear me call

To my friends,
We may have lost our wings with which we flew up so high
But now, even now, I can feel your true mystical tide
To my friends,
Embracing the light and building hopes for the truth and our dreams
Listen, one day you’ll find what you’ve been searching for in your life

So you say you’ve lost your way in this city style
But the tears you cry still run innocent as a child

Playing in a garden high, high up in the clouds
Running wild with the moon
Loving lovers as we touch them with our hearts
That soothe

Yeah, all the dream visions
We got inspirations
All the magic to make them real, hear me call

To my friends,
If we believe in tomorrow and what it may bring
We can change this planet back into a paradise, yeah I say
To my friends,
All the pain that we learn from making this love
Never let us forget each other, forever we are friends

To my friends,
We may have lost our wings with which we flew up so high
But now, even now, I can feel your true mystical tide
To my friends,
Embracing the light and building hopes for the truth and our dreams
Listen, one day we’ll find what we’ve been searching for we are friends