Let’s get a little cultural!

Hey all!

So, in past English classes, the class has talked about in particular how technology has truly changed our lives because it has given us the potential to talk and connect with anyone or any kind of information at any given moment of the day. This has created a virtual web or people and information that may be traded any and all the time. However, I disagree. I know technology has the power to do wonderful and amazing things, but I also believe that it hinders our ability to truly communicate. Now because of texting and social media, I can be socially awkward and talk to anyone. Many people may see this as a gift, but personally, I see it as a curse. Yes, it gives us this ability, but because of that, we never learn to communicate in person. Now I am able to cower behind a computer screen and talk to people, while never learning how to get over my social fears and talk to people. I feel like because of this ability, we have become a culture or lazy human beings who have “virtual parties” in our chairs, without getting out and experiencing anything. I mean what happened to the block parties?

Did those just disappear because we didn’t want to move from the couch? I feel like we as human beings have lost our ability to talk and communicate with each other in person because we have this wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips. So I want to encourage everyone to get moving. America let’s move! Let’s become active once again! It’s fun (so this counts as a fun post) to get up, get active, and get to know each other! How do you know people that you meet online are who they say they are if you don’t meet them in person? Yes if we all did that then we wouldn’t have the show Catfish to entertain us, but come on, lets go meet up. Let’s build some community, fun, and memories together. Some great places to do this is festivals, or large public places where you can get to know people while possibly learning, or getting food. Which is exactly what I did this weekend. This past weekend I went to a Japanese cultural festival with my mom, uncle, and grandma. It was the first one they had ever had, and it was held in the park behind the Huntington beach central library. It was packed with people who were there to absorb some culture and just have a great time. Perk! I also got to try a famous, Samurai Burrito!

It was pretty good, but I’m not sure if I would wait an hour and a half for another one. At the festival, they were also serving shaved ice, okonomiyaki (japanese pancake) and ramen burger. I really wanted to try the ramen burger, but apparently everyone else had the same idea because the line was at least 2 and a half to 3 hours long, but everyone kept saying how delicious it was.

I absolutely loved going to the Japanese cultural festival. It was a great experience because I learned a lot about my culture from first-hand experience, not from my computer screen, which in turn will make it more memorable for me. I also reunited with some friends that I had parted with after middle school, I met new people, and did I mention I got some delicious food. After eating, we sat down and watched a “band” playing on these big taiko drums.

The drum looked like this. I learned that they are made of true leather and hand crafted from wood. However, due to the extreme expenses (the drums would cost thousands of dollars), many groups had begun using recycled wine barrels for the outside of the drum. This would greatly reduce the cost of the drum. I listened to beautiful music and was in awe of the different sounds, and what emotion the drummers could play to.

All in all I had a great time at the Japanese cultural festival and was proud of its turn out. A little bit more of my faith in humanity had been restored. I want people to know that having technology at your fingertips is okay, but take everything in moderation. I am guilty of this as well, I lost my phone earlier today, and I honestly feel a bit naked. But I feel that our growing dependence on technology is frightening. We’re all becoming introverts, which in turn is causing us to hide behind our technological devices. We know so many facts about each other because we can connect through social media, but we don’t know each other personally. We are all losing our sense of community. Humans are social creatures, in order for us to remain so we need to socialize, which will ensure our survival as well as teach us to be the best we can at socializing and having fun. I hope you all begin to think about the impact of technology in your life, and hope to rebuild a sense of community with your fellowmen once again.

We’re going to the zoo!

Hey all!

So recently, I read a book called Heart of Darkness. For those of you haven’t read it, it’s about a man named Marlow who travels to the jungle and meets a man named Kurtz who is described as god-like and watches the nature of man deteriorate from inner corruption and greed. Yep. Happy novel. It’s a short book and only three chapters long… However, I began to think about this novel when I went to the zoo recently! I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t thought about going to the zoo for a long time, and if you haven’t gone, I HIGHLY encourage you go! It’s such a fantastic experience to go and see all the animals hanging out and enjoying the people. They have all these different kinds of animals from marine life (sea otters), elephants, hippos, snakes, kangaroos, and everything!

Sorry, I hope this picture didn’t frighten you. Personally, I think the snake is kind of cute, it looks like it’s smiling in a way. In the novel Heart of Darkness, Marlow compares the river to a snake, so I just thought it would be appropriate to chose this picture.

When I went to the zoo, I felt that my inner child was released. I loved being able to watch all the wildlife and see them up close an personal. However, when I saw the polar bear there I became kind of sad…

I was at a certain zoo, and I couldn’t help but notice the polar bear was not like the ones depicted in storybooks. Polar bears are known for their beautiful and sleek white coat. Yet, the one at the zoo, was tinted a brown color. It made me kind of sad, because I realized that it was because it didn’t have much snow to reflect on, plus there was a lot of fake scenery that was dirty, which would cause to have a polar bear in captivity to have more of a brown coloring. This instance, could not help to remind me of Heart of Darkness. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is found to be exploiting all resources available, in order to obtain as much ivory as possible to make as much money as possible. I felt that maybe we were taking away a bit of the animal’s pride and freedom to live in the wild.

I praise the zoo, I really do. I love it and I love the animals. I have the utmost respect for the zoo’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts for endangered and extinct species. However, I felt that the polar bear had a freedom, that was deprived of him. I felt the least the zoo could do was create an indoor arena for the polar bear filled with ice and snow, to make the polar bear’s habitat more realistic. I know polar bears can suffice in warmer temperatures, but I feel we as humans have a right to keep wild instincts instilled in these species.

This also made me think of elephants. Elephants have become one of my favorite animals because I love how they always seem to have a cheeky grin, while having that cute little trunk, and huge ears. While I was at the zoo, I couldn’t help but stare at these majestic animals, I didn’t ever want to lose sight of them. It made me think and feel sorry for them, as so many of them are being killed right now for their ivory. I can’t believe that we as humans are so selfish as to kill a creature that is so beautiful, just for some extra money. Most of the time leaving rest of the dead animal there to decay. I’m absolutely sickened by the idea of it.

These are just a few of the things I was thinking about that I wanted to share with you. I encourage you all to do some research before you go to a zoo near you, to see which zoos are most supportive of programs that will ultimately give back and help these beautiful creatures, and not encage them for the rest of their lives to be miserable.

This is also one of the reasons that I want to/am very supportive of safaris!

I love that we are able to get up and personal with the animals, while also causing as little damage to their lives or habitat as possible. I know this post seems to keep going off on tangents, but I just wanted to share a few of my ideas on the subject. So now I am all for visiting the zoo, because it really brings me back to the inner child within me that loves animals, however I only have interest in viewing the zoos that treat the animals as humanely as possible and is active in protection/rehabilitation programs.

I want to know that humans are doing the right thing, and I want to know that my admission ticket money is going toward a higher cause as well. I do not want to support a zoo whose sole focus is to make money while not giving proper attention to the animals.

I hope that this post helped you to ponder about the zoos you’ve been visiting/have visited/thinking about visiting/are near your/or any other thing. Just by choosing where to put our money, we can make a change. I hope you all know that.

 

 

Re: Do Dogs Make Us Live Longer?

Hi everyone!

Recently I read an article an article called, “Do Dogs Make Us Live Longer?” and I wanted to implement my opinions of the article, as well as update you all on my dogs since I know I haven’t done a “fur” post in a long time (if you want to read it here’s the link: http://miniaturepaws.com/do-dogs-make-us-live-longer/). When I read the article, I was so relieved to find some true evidence that stated all the great things dogs can contribute to people’s lives. I know quite a few people who object to having a dog because whatever reason they don’t want the pet, perhaps a fear of puppy tendencies to chew, they may track in dirt, are too costly or some other reason. Or just to make a room look like this:

Yes, this would be pretty scary to wake up to. Sometimes puppies can causes messes, but just spending time with dogs will leave them tired and unable to wreck your property, or just adopt an older dog…

Other people don’t want a dog because they are afraid that they maybe too costly. Yes, a trip to the groomers can cost up to $25 or more, and dogs eat, which in turn costs money. However, these can be avoided because daily brushing by the owner and often baths may extinguish the need to go to the groomers. As well as with daily brushing or often bathing, will reduce the amount of hair or dirt tracked all over the house. Plus, there are plenty dog food recipes that can be found on the internet or pinterest.

I want to take this opportunity to tell you that the benefits of having a dog, absolutely outweigh the costs. According to the article, ownership of a dog can help maintain weight, reduce blood presure, improve cardiovascular fitness, can make fewer doctor visits a year and spend fewer nights in hospitals. Plus, when you decide to take a dog into the house you have just welcomed not just a new pet, but a new member to the family.

I mean come on! Who could say no to a cute face like that?! Dogs greatly improve standard of living as they become your ultimate companion in life. They are one of the few creatures in the world that will love you for you who you are, no matter if you are rich, poor, fat, skinny, socially handicapped, or normal. They will never cease to brighten your day as they slop up your tears and always put a smile on your face.

forgivingdog

They will brighten your day everyday. That’s my dog Smokey did for me. When I was younger, I had a dog named Smokey, he was half beagle and half welsh corgi. My family and I adopted him from the shelter when he was 5 years old, and honestly that still remains one of the happiest days of my life. At first Smokey was shy, and he was kind of scared of this new world, for all that he had known beforehand was the wet and dreary pound life. But, he gradually opened up like a flower, ready to take on the world. He was playful, and kind and gentle. When I cried, he wouldn’t stop licking my tears until i began to smile. Whenever I would call out his name, he would run toward me so far and with a smile so big, that to me felt like just my presence made him the happiest dog in the world. Yet, he was the one who made me the happiest. He showed bravery and kindness. One time one of the neighbors German Shepard came over and looked like it was about to harm me, and I remember Smokey growling at him until he went away. He was my protector and my savior. But most importantly, Smokey taught me strength. In his last 3 years of living, he developed cancer. His fur turned wiry, he would hardly eat or drink and his face developed multiple disgusting tumors that would constantly bleed so that his face was always caked with blood. I remember one time being at my grandparent’s house with him, there were some family friend over, and the little kids would be scared of him. His appearance was so disgusting that the kids and there parents thought he was a stray dog. But he wasn’t, he was my dog. My beloved dog that I loved oh so very much. Due to some complications at the time, he was under my grandparent’s care, and I remember my mom pleading my grandfather to put him to sleep and take him out of his misery. My grandfather refused to do so because it was against his religious beliefs. Every single time I saw Smokey, I could not help but cry as I watched him slowly deteriorate before my very eyes. Whenever I would call his name, I would begin to cry as soon as I saw his terrible condition, but he would run toward me with the stupidest and cheekiest grin on his face, acting like nothing had ever happened, and that I was the best thing for him. He continued to run toward me, until he could run no more. Smokey died on a Tuesday.

As I wrote this, I couldn’t help but cry, because I will forever remember the special relationship we shared. Dogs are life partners, they will sleep with you, cuddle with you, eat with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you, even without ever needing a reason.

Many years later, I have acquired some new life partners their names are Roscoe and Finley. Roscoe is a very fluffy dog, who always makes me laugh because he chuffs at other dogs in the park or animals. While Finley is my trouble maker who is always full of energy and tries to bite his tail and never quite reach it.

finleyboy

Finley is sleeping here. I think he really wanted to cuddle with me, but I was busy at the moment so he found a bear to lay under. I think he wants to cuddle with me more because he’s realizing that I may need to leave soon to start a new chapter in my life.

Unfortunately, Roscoe is being uncooperative at the moment, and the pictures I have are pretty bad at the moment, but I will post one later.

I hope that this post inspired you to rethink your pet situation. If you don’t have a dog, I highly suggest you get one. There are many well deserving dogs at pounds or shelters who are desperate to meet you and eventually love you. I guarantee you that dog will become your best friend that you will want to do everything with. If you have a dog, hold him or her close and thank them, they are truly the most generous and loving creatures that deserve some sort of appreciation. Thanks for reading and I hope you and your canine companion now or to be, love and appreciate each other forever always.

A Review of a Pinterest Recipe

Hey all!

So recently, I tried this Pinterest recipe for pasta, and I just wanted to share with you my take on it. I think it really goes to show that not everything that is found on social media, is necessarily true or goes according to plan. I feel that a lot of times I really like the appearance of food that I find on Pinterest which makes me really inclined to make it. I am especially drawn to it if the recipe is simple and does not take a lot of time. This recipe was for pasta:

The recipe was very simple. For I needed to bring to a boil two cups of milk to a boil in a pot. I know this to be a successful direction to do when cooking pasta because it absorbs more flavor into the pasta and can make sauces thicker, without watering them down with leftover water from boiling the macaroni.

Afterwards, all I had to do was add a cup of cheese to the pot. Then voila! Macaroni and Cheese. The intent of the recipe was suppose to make pasta that’s like those caveman diets, plus simple, easy, doesn’t take much time, and didn’t include all that processed cheese product. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed. It was pretty plain and didn’t taste that great. I felt utterly deceived. Its like great writing in an English class, just because you want to make a few great points in an essay (here represented by the easy making of the macaroni) you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the quality of the essay as a whole (here represented by the flavor of pasta). So to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend the above pasta, unless you like bland pasta or you need something quick.

However, personally I would’ve chosen Pasta Roni instead. It holds all the same benefits: easy to make, and simple. Without sacrificing flavor. Even more so, if you cook pasta roni by boiling the pasta in a mixture of both the water and milk all at once it really packs a punch and gives it more flavor!

I know it’s really odd to have a partial food blog advocating boxed food, but I guess this blog is kind of different. I just wanted to show you all that sometimes Pinterest doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for. Looks can be deceiving and that when trying a new recipe it just doesn’t come out the way we hope it does. But the fun in trying new food is discovering if it is or not.

Valentines Day Activities!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a Happy Valentines Day! Today I wanted to post to talk about what you all could do for next year, or any upcoming events. I probably should’ve posted this before, but oh well….it will get you all planning for next year! Hopefully….

Whether you’re single or with someone on Valentines Day, a romantic movie never falters.

I think everyone has seen the Notebook by now, but I know that not everyone has seen A Walk to Remember. One of my favorite books and romantic movies. It’s just so sweet and will leave you in tears. So grab a bucket of ice cream, a large spoon, and a box of tissues as you prepare to ball your eyes out.

Or go on an adventure and try something new! Grab your significant other or a couple of friends and hit up a mom and pop shop. One that I highly recommend is this Chinese resteraunt called Eggroll King which is on Brookhurst and Adams. The manager is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and of course the food is delicious. Definitely order their house special noodle soup, so good!

 

 

Or go gain some culture! Go visit LACMA the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or any other kind of art museum. Even if you’re not all that in to art it will be an experience to remember as you both can make up funny stories, make fun of the art (I could’ve made that), or gather each other’s perspectives on it, (a friend’s or significant other’s).

Or go to a sporting event and support a favorite team of yours or your significant other’s. (Men love sports and food girls). Personally, I love the Angels, so put me at an Angel game and I’m in love. It’s all about Mike Trout man. While most couples might be at the movie theaters, I think it’d be really cool to go to a sporting event and cheer on the team! Basketball and baseball are common favorites and will definitely make Valentines Day exciting.

No matter what you do this or next Valentine’s Day or in the future, make sure that you’re happy and having fun! And you don’t have to listen to my advice, you can always derive inspiration from Pinterest, the internet, your own imagination, or a teacher’s powerpoint (thank you to my English teacher for inspiring this post). It doesn’t matter if you’re single or with someone this holiday/next/in the future have fun, because heck you deserve it!

Wandering into Nature

Hey guys!

So recently I saw this chart in a short article, which basically stated that nowadays people watch so much more television than they should be.

chart of the day tv time

I know I watch a bit of t.v, but I wanted to update you all and hopefully inspire you to get out and be a little bit more active and in touch with nature! Not too long ago, I went to a place called Murphy’s Ranch with some friends.

The place was once a Nazi sympathizer camp, which is along a nice hiking trail. Since then camp has been shut down, most of the property (as you can see here) has been defaced with spray paint. So now its less of a historic place, but now its more of a place for artistic expression.

Its honestly quite beautiful. Sometimes you might find a funny little cartoon or something on one of the walls. There is so much spray paint cans everywhere…but it’s really a beautiful place, that I recommend you check out! However, be ready to face the challenge of tackling some flights of stairs!

Maybe that’s why it took so long to find the place…because no one wanted to travel down so many steps to find it…It really isn’t that bad, but when you try to marathon the staircase like my friends did, well then it gets really tiring. Plus, there are other trails that you can get down to see other parts of the camp. But really, I just think its a great idea to go to this place because of the serenity it offers, and being away from city life and texting and bad reality television. The beauty/artistic expression, really builds the character.

Another hike you can do is the hollywood sign! I did this hike on the same day as Murphy’s Ranch, so neither of these two hikes are that long. And ANYONE can do the hike to the Hollywood sign! I mean if little kids are hiking up it (there are a bunch of them that go with their parents), then you can too! Don’t you want to take a picture next to the H for HECK YEAH we made it!  Plus its a great way to burn some calories! Unfortunately, when I went recently I was not able to get as close to the Hollywood sign as I wanted because a band was filming a music video. Hint: the band of horses. Hike up to the hollywood sign! There are so many movies where this iconic sign is featured in the background, don’t you want to experience it like in the movies?!

Don’t forget to earn back some of those calories after all that hiking! Hit up a local Olive Garden or mom and pop pizzeria nearby! We went to an Italian restaurant close by that was pretty good, I would mention it here, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name 😦 boo. I hope that for your next outing you take into consideration going hiking to get in touch with nature. We could all use some more woods and wildlife in our lives. Til next time! 🙂

Innovation: ABA Recreational Basketball

Hi everyone!

So for my English class, we are suppose to do an innovation project where we come up with an idea and share it with the rest of the world. For my innovation project, we are running a basketball league! It’s a lot of fun, and I think every participant in it is having a blast. The basketball league is aimed at high schoolers to come out and play! Basketball is a great sport because it teaches teamwork

is very active, and helps to build physical and mental skills. However in high school, sometimes its hard for people who just want to play the game to find a spot. There’s high school basketball. But playing for the school can be costly, and many people stop playing there because conflicts with coaches, times, or perhaps injury during the season. If high schoolers don’t play at their school then the only other option for them is to play in club teams. However, club teams can be very costly, sometimes totaling up to $90 a month to play in tournaments or games all year around. Plus, the teams are super time consuming. Some people just want to play the game for fun, which is why we started ABA.

ABA stands for Adolescent Basketball Assosciation. We have people sign up on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ABA-Recreational-Basketball-League/1425252317705182  and then people come out and play, its that simple! Games are every Saturday and we hope to get people out to play all the time. So far it’s been going okay, as we seem to have games every weekend. However, sometimes not everyone from the teams show up, so we can be short on players. If you’re into playing basketball come out and join us! Like our facebook page for updates!