Posted in Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Criticize

Image result for criticize clip art

via Daily Prompt: Criticize

I see the word criticize and I immediately recoil. I usually hear the word criticize used negatively, which is why it puts such a bad taste in my mouth. However…

My feelings about the word are a bit all over the place. Like my opinions on near everything, it depends on the situation. Constructive criticism is great. Personally, I’m always open to constructive criticism. I think the trick in being the giver of such criticism is to wait and have it asked of you. People are too quick to give their opinions about others’ choices and, well, there’s also the issue of people who give unhelpful advice. Again, for me, I don’t mind constructive criticism with or without my consent; I can easily weed out what’s actually constructive and what’s not.

With all that said and done, I feel like human beings generally love to criticize things. I know I do it more than I’d like over the littlest things (e.g., the food at restaurants). It’s akin to gossip in a lot of ways. It often suggests hints of superiority (or inferiority) complex hidden behind dialogue. In a lot of ways, I see criticism as part of human nature–not the best part either–but nonetheless human. Most of us do it.

Someone I know majored in film and is, naturally, a big movie buff. He can never criticize a movie. He knows how many people it took to put a film together; the time and hard work spent editing, casting, etc. I, on the other hand, have no issue grilling a movie and giving it a “rotten tomato.” Just another perspective I thought of.

In the end, I’m not sure how this word makes me feel, which means I can’t properly criticize it. The irony.

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Posted in Daily Prompt, Music, YouTube

Daily Prompt: Ten

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via Daily Prompt: Ten

Here is a list of the Top 10 songs I’ve been listening to lately, in no particular order:

“Me and Your Mama” by Childish Gambino

“Deadwater” by Wet

“So Sad, So Sad” by VARSITY

“Oceans” by Seafret

“TT” by TWICE

“Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow

“Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)” by Silversun Pickups

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“Here Comes The Rain Again” by Eurythmics

“I Don’t Wanna be Funny Anymore” by Lucy Dacus

 

Posted in Life, Memory-keeping

1 Second Everyday | 2016

As part of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016, I set out to record one second of every day. I definitely wasn’t able to do so, but looking back at the nearly two minutes of 2016 I did capture has inspired me to keep doing this project in following years. I think it’s such a great way to do memory-keeping. I experienced so much in 2016, including personal loss, personal growth, traveling to South Korea for the first time in my life, and progressing in my education. Of course not all that is shown. In fact, a lot of the footage may seem boring. However, I remember each day in detail from a simple snippet. Whereas the photos I take are more thought out and deliberate, these clips give a greater sense of how my life was in 2016 and that’s why I love this project so much.

I chose to add music to my video, although it’s been argued to not do that in order to preserve what is truly happening in the clips. I totally agree and kept a copy of the original without music for my own safe keeping. For some reason, it’s a lot more personal than I thought I’d like to share. Plus I did want to make a video that had music in it, too. So there’s that.

My thought on next year’s project is to film at least one clip each week. You can see in my 2016 video that I tried filming every day and eventually started filming sporadically. Filming every day started to become more of a chore than fun, which is why I’ve decided to focus on once a week. The good thing is that I did manage to film a clip for each month of 2016, which is great. One thing I regret is editing in Sony Vegas Pro instead of iMovie. The quality would look so much better in iMovie because I still have no clue what I’m doing in Sony Vegas. I’m simply too lazy to edit it on my Mac after doing it on my PC though. Ah, well.

I highly recommend this project to anyone who likes memory-keeping. It is so easy to do and so powerful to look back on your year in moving pictures.

Without further ado…

1 Second Everyday | 2016 from Grace G. on Vimeo.

**Everything was filmed using my Samsung Galaxy S7. I edited it in Sony Vegas Pro 13 but had issues with it whitening the clips which are why they look a bit washed out at times. It’s a learning process.
**Music is “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” by Tame Impala.

Posted in Life, Memory-keeping

2016 Best Nine

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From left to right:

  1. Visiting dad’s grave Christmas week
  2. Voting November 8th
  3. Celebrating four years with G
  4. G and I’s Rick and Morty Halloween costumes
  5. My favorite family photo of us dressed in hanbok
  6. Turkey Day spread ft. this incredible sweet potato casserole (I added a whole stick of butter instead of 1/4 cup–no regrets)
  7. A market during off hours in Jejudo
  8. A throwback of my dad and I
  9. My mom and I’s trip to Mount San Jacinto for my 26th birthday weekend
Posted in Goal-setting

2017, leggo!

2017

It’s been a few days since ringing in the New Year and I’m here to review last year’s resolutions before I completely forget. Looking back on the resolutions I made last year…Phew, were they ambitious! Let’s go ahead and break down how each one went:

GOAL #1

So, basically, I wanted to become a morning person. How did that go? Well, even though I got a good morning routine going for a while the truth is…I’m still battling with being a night owl. In fact, I would say my night owl tendencies got a lot worse over the last few months. It really sucks because I truly do think waking up early is amazing and yet…my brain cannot quiet down before 2 AM. I do think that this goal is achievable but that it’s going to take a lot longer than I thought it would and that it’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be. One thing that has helped immensely with getting my brain to shut off is a “wind down routine” which is basically watching ASMR videos. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. The best way I can describe it is pleasant sensory overload (ex. the tingling feeling on your scalp when someone plays with your hair). The first time I heard of ASMR was through a react video and I was just as weirded out as most of the people who reacted to it. To be honest, I even thought it might be some type of fetish at first (I am laughing while I type this because I love ASMR now). The thing is, that react video came to mind one night when I was having a really, really hard time getting to sleep. In my desperation, I went on YouTube and typed in ASMR. I watched a video. I fell asleep. I had the best sleep I had had in a long, long time. From then on, I’ve been hooked. They certainly aren’t a fix-all (again, still struggling with being a night owl), but the videos have become a staple in my wind down routine for sure. I can’t deny it. While I do sometimes experience “tingles” the videos mostly relax me, some even put me in a type of trance. The one video I recommend to everyone who has no clue about ASMR and would most likely benefit from it is by an “ASMRtist” named Heather Feather (you can watch it here). It basically sums up what ASMR is all about in my opinion. I think these videos really help me because I am a naturally anxious person. I deal with my anxiety in a lot of different ways (I can write about that in a separate post if anyone is interested in that) and ASMR is now in my arsenal of tools. If you have trouble sleeping or need to relax, give it a go.

GOAL #2

Cut out added sugar. HA. HA. HA. This did not happen. There, I said it. Moving on…

GOAL #3

Exercise 3-4x a week. So, I was doing really, really well at this the first half of 2016. Until August. I just fell off. I don’t even know why. I crossed off the days I worked out on a huge calendar that I taped onto my closet and did a great job keeping track. I worked out a total of 111 days out of 365 days. I didn’t include the days I was in South Korea (even though I walked over 20,000 steps every other day). To qualify as a workout, it had to be deliberate (and at least 30 minutes-1 hour). If I had worked out 3x a week every week, I would have worked out 144 days. So I fell short 33 days. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I’m super proud I was so close. This year I plan on getting to 144. One exercise I fell in love with this year was cycling. I try to go to a cycling class once a week at least. One interesting and unfortunate thing also coincided with working out: I gained weight. Not muscle weight either. I think I have been justifying eating more because I was working out and was not checking my weight (barely). Just goes to show that exercise and a bad diet won’t fix anything (unless you’re 18 and have an amazing metabolism because I for sure used to get away with it).

GOAL #4

I would say I’ve kept up so-so on my skin care routine. I ran out of one of my products (it’s been a few months) and it’s hard to track down, but way more money on Amazon. Still on the look-out. Overall, I’ve been taking better care of my skin than in the past, both on the inside and out (more about this in another post).

GOAL #5

Investing did not happen! More like I invested in traveling.

GOAL #6

As far as doing things that scare me, I think I did that for sure. But in a way that wasn’t really “extreme.” And I wouldn’t describe it as “scary” but scary in a way a new thing can be scary. I conquered student teaching and built up confidence over 6 months. It was scary but also exciting, challenging, and fun all at the same time. To add, I decided to use my savings (and the SkyMiles I had saved up) to take a trip to South Korea with my mom for three weeks (September-October). I will definitely write an entire blog post about the experience because it has been one of the best experiences of my entire life and something I have always dreamed of doing. I’ve been editing a video of the trip to share as well. So I’d say I accomplished this goal. Success!

GOAL #7

Filmed a second of every day using the 1 Second Everyday app. Now I still to this day think this is an amazing, cool, ingenious app. But it was pretty hard to remember to film each day (even with the timer) and I completely fell off after a while. However, I do have a compiled video of quite a few days (some videos overlap with my South Korea video, too) so I plan on uploading that soon to share. I still think I’ll use this app, though. Even if I don’t film every day, I think filming even just a bit is such a meaningful way to look back on everything. It’s crazy how much we don’t remember, even after a few weeks!

Well, there it is! A look back at the goals I set last year. I plan on writing another post about what I’ve been thinking about for my goals this year, too. Happy goal setting (or not) and Happy New Year!

Posted in Life

And so it is…

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Donald Trump is the president of the United States. I can honestly say I hate talking politics. That isn’t to say I don’t think they are important, etc. I’ve stayed mute on this blog throughout this election because 1) I don’t update it enough to keep a running tab on my opinions about U.S. politics and 2) I don’t like talking politics, particularly U.S. politics because it enrages me and I want this space to be a positive one. I knew the moment Bernie Sanders lost the primaries that it was going to be a slippery slope for Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. Like many Bernie supporters, after he lost, I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not to say voting for Trump ever crossed my mind because it sure as hell didn’t and voting for Hillary was also the last thing I wanted to do, but between the two, voting for Hillary was the right thing to do and I still believe that with every fiber of my being. The thing that surprised me the most were people’s shock and surprise that he won. Why didn’t she win? How did he win?

In the summer, when Bernie lost, I spent hours looking at reasons why Trump would win because it’s what I most feared when Bernie lost. I have issues with Michael Moore–and who doesn’t with anyone–but his piece on “5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win” pressed me to do more of my own research as did Fusion’s “The Naked Truth: Trumpland” because they made me realize just how out of touch I was with a huge portion of the population. I truly wanted to know why people would vote for someone who was so obviously horrible in my eyes. I also dove deep into the rise of populism in the EU and took a harder look at the Brexit and just what it means for the entire world going forward (or entering into another cycle as I like to say).

There are so many reasons I am angry right now; so many reasons why I’m sad and disappointed; so many it would turn this post into a dissertation.

It’s easy for me to say voting for Trump was wrong. My mother is an immigrant and we had an “uncle” who was an illegal immigrant live with us until he could get up on his own two feet and become a citizen–he started by painting houses and now he’s an ophthalmologist in Los Angeles. And although I was born into the middle class, my family is one of the “lucky ones”–we were able to keep our heads afloat in this economy and are still able to even now. So many others in the middle class, the working class, are floundering. Both parties have failed them. And the reason Trump won was hugely because of that reason (and the Electoral College, but let’s not go there). When people are scared and angry and feel forced to choose between themselves and their loved ones’ futures versus what’s right, history has shown time and time again they will choose the former.

To add, I have friends who nearly all agree with me on my political views; liberals to the core. Most of us are the same; the people we most associate with usually hold similar values and because of that we can get stuck inside a dangerous bubble where our beliefs and our opinions are constantly validated by others in our inner circle to be what we consider as common sense and infallible and only goaded on by social media. This is so dangerous because it can make us believe “the numbers” are all true and that “everyone” is on the same page. Everyone except those who don’t take part in polls (newsflash: Trump voters), everyone except those you don’t associate with. The liberal media is a perfect example of that and another reason why Hillary lost.

I want to encourage everyone to please be your own journalist. Coming from me, it’s easy to say. I wanted to be a journalist for years. For others, that might seem like too much of a “hassle”; it’s simply easier to buy into everything you see and/or hear on your selected media outlets. However, please don’t. Please, please do your own research. Please don’t be complacent and completely subjective as incredibly hard as it is. I truly do believe that if only we had been our own journalists, things would have been different.

To be honest, I just had to get some feelings out of my system and this seemed like a better place than any to do that. It’s necessary in order for me to re-focus on how to keep fighting for what’s right. We have to keep fighting.