Oh… How I Hope My Life Balances out Soon!

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June

1356034-car_accidentOn June 21, 2016, my niece, Natalie Jade, was born. That night, while driving home from Hollywood (which I had to get to old-fashioned way, as I forgot my phone and was going there to retrieve it) I got in my first ever car accident, by getting rear-ended by a guy who had no auto insurance, no driver’s license, and was not a legal US citizen. I was counted as not at fault for the accident, and the doctor sent me home with minor injuries (even though my back still hurts if I sit or stand too long).

 

July

Also known as, the month of spending money for San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). This july, however, I believe I was in Hollywood more than any other time – I live pretty close, but I’m usually only out there maybe once every 2-3 years. The reason for my going, was a friend of mine, who was working in the Hollywood Fringe Festival (HFF) I ended up seeing 2 plays (Odelia and Adam and Eve at Theatre Note) and I went to the award ceremony with him (the same guy from earlier posts) and overall it was pretty fun.

san-diego-comic-con-2014At SDCC this year, I was in the right place at the right time, and was invited to a party for the Writer’s Guild of America. I met some cool people there and made some connections, and am overall quite happy with my SDCC experience this year (even though I spent way more money than I really should have). Probably the most annoying thing that happened, was I met this annoying guy, that insisted I wasn’t Asian (Japanese) because I’m half white, making my only notable ethnicity white (despite the fact that I’m half Japanese). A part of me wishes I slapped him across his dumb face, but (I hope) he’ll get what’s coming.

 

August

My Birth Month!

Ah! My birthday was so much fun! I went to the beach with a friend to go boogie boarding, as I haven’t gotten a chance to go all year and I bought a new board at the closing of Sports Chalet/ Sports Authority (sad day). After a few hours of that (and countless waves that scraped up my knees) we went to a local harbor and kayaked! I’ve been Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) before but I’d never been kayaking! It’s much easier to not fall over, but it felt like it took more effort to go less distance, not sure if this was an illusion or.. what.

medieval-timesAfter the day at the beach was over, we went to Medieval Times (I hadn’t gone since probably high school) and it did not disappoint. I wore a corseted dress that I bought at the Renaissance Faire and it was glorious! I ordered a delicious drink the bartender (who I will not name) gave me extra… extra… in my drink for my birthday (with winks) haha! The show itself was fantastic! The eagle wooshed so close, I felt the breeze from it flying by. Our knight (the Yellow knight) gave me a flower, and the Black and White knight gave my friend and me fist bumps when riding by (and afterward remembered us as the traitors when we got our picture taken). I bought a dragon chess set too! Overall, it was a pretty spectacular birthday.

And now…

A few days ago, however, that jovial mood had to come to an end. A few days ago I noticed a bald patch on the top center of my head, about the size of a quarter. Yesterday, I went to the doctor about it and was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks otherwise healthy cells in the scalp causing inflammation and patches of hair loss. Although there is no cure, it is not contagious and not harmful to anything other than my psyche. In many cases the hair will grow back on its own, but it doesn’t always. With the treatment I’m going with, there’s an 80-90% chance I will get my hair back. Over the course of the next few months to a year, I will get a series of 4 shots injected into my scalp, at the affected area to help reduce the swelling and help encourage my hair to regrow, as this condition, thankfully, does not destroy the hair follicles. In rare cases (about 5%) the person with Alopecia Areata will develop Alopecia Totalis, which causes all of the hair on t h e head to fall out, and even less common I s Alopecia Areata Universalis, which causes all hair (including eyebrows, eyelashes, etc.) To fall out. My doctor says mine is rather mild, and highly unlikely to advance, it’s still a concern of mine.

All in all, I’m surprisingly sensitive about the whole thing, so if you see me and notice it, I’d appreciate it if you let me know to repin my hair, or adjust my hat/bow to both keep my head from sunburn, and to keep people from staring at my already brightly colored eye-catching hair. (The dyes did not cause this… but it did show up after I began changing my hair to its more artsy, eye-catching appearance).

showimageMy friends, although hadn’t heard of this, have been very understanding and sympathetic, and I’m truly grateful, as I’ve been a mess of freaking out since discovering it. My hairdresser, Denay, was the first to notice it on Saturday, when I went in to add color, but she thought I already knew about it. I ended up talking to her about it after my meeting with my dermatologist, and she gave me some great ideas to run by him on how to keep it from being super apparent (bows, ribbons, styles, powders, and makeup… as my skin is really light where it hasn’t met the sun and my hair is almost black – with teal, blue and purple streaks).

 

If you have any stories you’d like to share, or any helpful information about Alopecia Areata, please feel free to comment!

A Deadly Walk – 3/27/2016

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Dreamer’s Note: So, I haven’t been recording my dreams lately (bad, I know), so this one is one that I wrote about a few months ago. The details are hazy so I’m just going off of what my half asleep past self was able to jot down.


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It was a brisk evening for a walk, but I didn’t mind. I followed the path in the park to where it curved around a large grassy area. I wasn’t really paying attention when a man stopped me. His expression was frantic, or maybe angry, but he gripped my left arm so tight that I gasped from both shock and pain while I struggled, to no avail, to get it free. With his free, left hand, he threw a wide punch at me, which I reflexively blocked with my right forearm (thank you karate lessons).

He froze for a moment with a dumbfounded look on his face, unsure what to do next, as he’d neimg_04.gifver been stopped this way before. Luckily, I was able to flip him onto his back, using his own grip on my arm against him and pulling his tall but average frame over my shoulder and onto the walking path. His grip slacked on my arm, clearly stunned from the maneuver and I dropped a knee into his chest and began punching.

With the adrenaline coursing through my veins, I wasn’t able to get an accurate read on exactly how long I was punching him, or exactly how little I was holding back. Eventually, the man stopped fighting back altogether. Weary it may have been a trap, or that maybe I had gone a hair too far, I slowly got off of my attacker and watched with relief as I saw his chest slowly rise and fall as his lungs filled with air.

Without thinking about it too much, I turned and ran down the path, the way I came from, fumbling for my cell phone to text the police. I didn’t even know the number I would need to text, so thinking better of it. I dialed 9-1-1.

DSCN1413.jpgI found a large gray electrical box to hide behind and I ducked out of site of the man, but not too far that I wasn’t able to see him if I had decided to peek my head around the box. When the operator answered, I whispered into my phone that I had just been attacked. “I was able to incapacitate the guy, but I’m afraid that when he gets up, he’ll be after me,” I didn’t dare speak any louder than a whisper, fearing that my now unconscious assailant might wake up and figure out where I was if I was too loud. I continued to explain to her that I was on campus and that I was hiding behind an electrical box looking thing near gate 14.

When the operator responded, it wasn’t at all what I had expected. She told me that she’d call it in, but she had to use the restroom first. Confused and frustrated, I told her to hurry, before hearing the click of the receiver and the line going dead.

I crouched with my back leaning against the cold metal box, not daring to peek around the corner to see if the man was still there. A few minutes felt like hours as they passed, and nobody walked down my path. Nobody was coming to my aid. Finally, a woman with curly red hair appeared down the path, near the gate marker 14. She was walking with a man and they were heading straight toward where I had knocked the guy unconscious. I wanted to warn them, to warn her, but I couldn’t muster the courage to move or speak.

nikita-at-gunpoint.pngI peeked around the corner to see if the man was still there, he was. Lying as still as when I left him, only his chest rising and falling. I let out a soft sigh of relief, but it was too soon. I saw the man begin to move and get up, and suddenly all the reluctance that had kept me frozen vanished. I sprinted toward the two of them, not even realizing that the man she had been with was nowhere in sight. When I got close enough to see and hear what was really happening, I stopped dead in the path. In my attacker’s hand sat a small revolver. He had it aimed at the woman, who was not at all defenseless while she aimed a pistol of her own at him. In a loud, commanding voice, she was shouting for him to drop his weapon.

I took a few small steps back, hoping none of them noticed me. As she shouted again, I saw the man she was with appear out of the bushes with a pair of handcuffs. He parroted the woman, telling the man to drop his weapon, and at this point, he finally does. He handcuffs the attacker and I wonder if these could be the 9-1-1 responders, even though they were wearing civilian street clothes. As the woman passed by me, I thanked her, and then she turned away from me and thanked another redheaded woman, who I hadn’t noticed, for being a decoy.

“How weird.” I thought to myself before waking up.

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Review #2 – Suicide Squad (2016)

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What is it?

SQ_banner.pngWarner Brother’s new movie based on DC Comics characters. Starring Will Smith as Will Smith, I mean Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Jared Leto as some crime kingpin who calls himself the Joker… there are other characters, but these three get the most screen time.

 

The Good

Suicide-Squad-Team-Poster.jpgMargot Robbie did a great job portraying Harley Quinn. I loved how she did the role overall and the backstory was accurate to the character’s origin story. Fun Fact: Harley Quinn originally appeared in the TV show as a throw away character, as the studio wanted someone to pop out of a cake, however they thought it would be too weird for Joker to do it himself, even though he later did. However, due to such a positive fan reaction to her, she was brought back and later added to the comics. Even though she was not one of the earlier members of Suicide Squad, she did become one in the New 52.

Viola Davis did an amazing job playing Amanda Waller. I’m going to go out and say almost all of the acting in this movie was very good and it made for an incredibly immersive and enjoyable experience, as long as I didn’t think too hard about it, which I did…

I also want to commend them on the special effects. I thought they were fantastic and found myself smiling over the attention to detail here as well as their soundtrack selection.

 

The Not-So-Good

photo.jpgUhm, what kind of organized crime kingpin are you trying to pass off as Joker, seriously! After the credits rolled, one of my very first comments was “I didn’t like the Joker” (which is strange coming from the girl who has a water color print of the Joker hanging on her wall…

Okay, so let’s just give them a pass for… whatever that was, because we all know that the Joker is a sociopath, therefore making him incapable of empathy/love. However, it seems that this particular Joker didn’t get the memo, and instead decides to treat Harley Quinn as more of an equal rather than his pet.

Speaking of Harley, the main two complaints I had about her are 1. She was, again, too oversexualized. Yes, Margot Robbie is beautiful, but I really don’t need to be seeing her butt for 90% of her screen time.

While we’re talking about characters, I might as well mention what everyone is thinking. Will Smith as Deadshot? Come on! Really? I mean, he’s pretty committed to be Will Smith in every movie he does these days. I know he’s a recognizable name and all, but I’d prefer my Deadshot to have been, ya know, an actual badass. Instead I get “a brooding smart mouth with a sensitive side.” I’ve resolved myself to be forced to accept that this Deadshot is alright with making idle threats and is cool with lacking follow through.

Suglyquilt.jpegpeaking of follow through (kinda, not really, but I needed a  – not the motorized ones…) the movie was just so chopped up. Yes each scene was well put together, but it kinda felt like how I’d imagine my first quilt would look. A bunch of random beautiful fabric kinda pieced together a bit wonkily with some string that’s almost the right color. One of the main things that stuck out in my head was how Harley had two origin stories in the movie. Although yes, in the original lore, Joker visited her multiple times in the asylum, where she fell in love, but do you really need to give two very different ways for her to become Harley Quinn? Was that really necessary?

Before I rant and say too much, the story. Yeah, there’s no way I can talk too much on this without spoilers, so just know that it’s 1. Incredibly predictable. 2. Immensely choppy. 3. You really need to ignore some major moments of “well, this is just going to have to work ‘cause we need it to and we don’t have the money or creativity to do it differently…” ***SPOILER*** I’m talking like how the duck was the Temptress able to survive her heart being stabbed, repeatedly, and then go to her brother and be like “BROTHER… LEND ME YOUR STRENGTH” get more powerful than she was before, then not die when he dies!? Tell me how that makes sense, please! And also, Flag, do you really think we didn’t see you send that seal in to die!? Oh and speaking of that, where the duck was that two second timer bomb hiding that whole time!? I thought Temptress took it and would have like, hid it or something… that’s what I would have done if… oh gosh I need to stop or I’ll continue forever… ***END SPOILER***

Also, anyone who sees this movie as their introduction to Suicide Squad, Deadshot is not the leader, Flag is… Wanted to make that clear, ’cause the movie didn’t.

Final Thoughts

5Stars.jpgOverall, I’d give the movie a 5/10 star review. Even with all the crapiola that I didn’t care for in the movie, I was pretty buzzed through the beginning 30 minutes of exposition and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was a great choice. I’m also a decent fan of random action and pretty sets, so yeah, maybe a 6/10 but probably like a 5.

I’d recommend to watch it if you liked Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman. Otherwise, wait for your friend to buy it or rent it, and watch it then!

 

What did you think of the movie? Please leave your comments below!12489243_1674589672821667_4430624289856009994_o.jpg

Story of My Life – We All Bounce Back Sometime!

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If you read my post from March 24th, you’d know that 2016 did not start off all that great for me. Fortunately, everything always seems to work out with a little hope and a bit of work.

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

Let’s pick up where I left off, with my job hunt, I found a job and started working the first week of April! Technically my contract expires at the end of this month, but it’s starting to look more and more like they’ll be extending me! Yes, it’s in the game industry, and it’s just Quality Assurance (QA) work, but this week I have a Social Media Marketing Plan that I presented to the CEO last Thursday and he wants me to present it to the team (which I’m both incredibly excited and nervous about)!

Karaoke6That was most of my April. While I was working as hard as I could to be sure not to make my old producer, who recommended me, look bad, I also wanted to meet all of my new coworkers. By the time May rolled around, I feel like I’ve been accepted into the team and I’ve even been invited to their Karaoke nights!

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Before I dyed my hair and cut it ‘all’ off…

Oh, before I move on to May, I almost forgot to mention my new haircut! I got rid of over a foot of length and dyed my hair for the first time. It was supposed to be a vibrant purple, but it turned out to be more of a maroon/red color. I’m planning on going to the salon next month and getting it redone (a more dramatic cut and a brighter purple and blue color).

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…After I dyed my hair and got it ‘all’ cut off

This month has been pretty inspirational for me. I finally went on a few good dates with this guy that I’m currently seeing. It’s cool to finally meet someone and click so effortlessly, I don’t even know how many times we’ve seen each other, but we both have to keep reminding ourselves we only met this month! He’s also a writer, so we spent Monday night critiquing each other’s work, which might not sound like fun, but it was. I think I could talk about the creative process to anyone who would listen, or anyone who will pretend to listen then later find out they really just had earphones in and was timing how long I spoke before taking another breath… I mean that hasn’t happened (I hope).inspiration-true-writers-31689625-1920-1200

Work’s been going well to, I already mentioned the marketing proposal that I got to do, but on top of that I was able to submit a game concept (I’ll find out tomorrow if it wins the office vote). One of the artists is giving me tips on how to sculpt using

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Isn’t it Beautiful

computer programs (I bought a drawing tablet for this, which I never thought I’d do, ever, because my “drawing” ability is very limited to stick figures holding balloons!) Even more inspirational gets drawn from the fact that I’m (seemingly constantly) hanging out or talking to a guy that’s a writer. Art really does inspire creation!

share_tempSo I’ve talked about my new job, the new guy, and my recent art kick, what am I missing… oh! I’ve been actually trying to eat healthier and go to the gym more. I found this class that I really like at the gym I’m a member of called Body Combat. It’s fantastic, although I might be doing it wrong because it feels hard on the knees, even though it hardly felt like a workout all of my muscles were pissed at me the following day. I also recently downloaded this app called “Plant Nanny” that one of my coworkers had. It’s super cute and a great way, so far, to keep me hydrated and on track to hopefully reaching my weight loss and health/fitness goals!

v2-1-deadpoolpressreleasetwBefore I go, I want to put a little word of advice out to the world. If you decide to watch Deadpool (great movie, but not for kids), and if you decide to make a drinking game out of it (again, not for kids), do yourself, and your liver, a favor and don’t drink to all of the dick jokes in the movie, there are a lot of them and my friend passed out, haha! I drank to all of the times “Dead” or “Pool” were said – “Deadpool” counted as one swig of my drink, Tampico and Vodka that was pretty tasty, and I learned that there’s a Deadpool song in the movie where I had something like 15 gulps, I’m sure I missed a few and many after because I couldn’t stop laughing! We did, however, wish we had a third person to join us in our epic experiment of what got watchers the most inebriated, “Deadpool”, “Dick Jokes”, or the name “Francis”. From what we tested, “Dick Jokes” wins.

In case you don’t believe me, here’s the Deadpool song, well, rap.

My Thoughts on Happiness

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coverMy sophomore year of college, after I turned in an assignment where I “defined happiness,” Professor Ellis told me that I had the most profound grip on “true happiness” of anyone she’d ever met. Before I re-read that paper, which I was able to dig up on dust covered file in my laptop’s hard drive, I wanted to describe what I think of happiness now. I’ll attach my old paper at the end, to see how much my views have changed in the past 5 years. The moment she told me, however, is something I will never forget.

thanksgiving-turkey-clip-art-569466I’ve been told that I’m “too happy” more times than I can count. People have even asked me what was wrong simply because I wasn’t smiling! I’ve been accused of being fake, pretending to be happy when I’m not, but anyone who really gets to know me, and knows me long enough, knows the truth (even though some of them probably do think I’m just too happy). I’m a genuinely happy person. Randomly funny story: when a good friend of mine’s dad met me for the first time (this past Thanksgiving), he told her that he thought I was a fake person because I was too happy. The next time he met me was on a less joyous occasion, a memorial service. The next day, he talked to my friend and told her how amazed he was that I was actually just that happy of a person. Later that day when she called me and told me about it, my face hurt from laughing, even though it was a relief to hear.

hedonic-treadmillSo, why am I so happy? If you read my last post, it’s definitely not because everything in my life is stress free and easy. I’d say I live a pretty average life, not terrible, but I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. The way I like to explain it is that happiness is a lifestyle choice. We can’t all be happy all the time, but we can choose how happy, or not so happy, a memory is. Everything in life is a learning experience. Failures are one of the best ways to improve, but only if you let them be. In one of my psychology classes, we were taught about the Hedonic Treadmill. What I go from this is that there is no one thing that will make you happy forever, no matter how badly you want it. People, for the most part, have a stable level of happiness, really crappy and really amazing things will only affect your happiness for a relatively short while.

happiness-1I wondered if I could increase my “base” happiness. I thought of all the things that regularly upset me. Things like: worrying about what others thought of me, stressing about failure, or things that haven’t happened yet, but might. I even considered why I had such negative thoughts and feelings about old friendships or relationships that had long since ended. I realized that I, like many people, tended to focus on the things that were going wrong. We’re conditioned to end conversations when we ask someone how they’re doing and they reply, “good.” On the flip side, if someone replies, “oh, not so great,” we’re curious. Then I started to think about things that made me happy. At first it was a lot of superficial things: Money, good food, new technology. Then it progressed to the simple things like going out with friends, smiling at others, holding the door for strangers. I made it a goal to make at least one other person smile every day and learned happiness really is contagious.

choiceBut we’re getting a little far from the topic of happiness as a choice. One of the best examples of a choice I had to create a good memory or taint old memories with a bitter flavor, was when a great friend of mine decided he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. It sucked. I wrote poems, cried, wrote more poems, cried more, cried to my friends while crying. The easy thing would have been to blame him; convince myself that he was a rude person who had it out to hurt me all along, but I didn’t, and still don’t believe that. Instead, I remembered all the great memories and amazing times we shared. I think of him whenever I say “it takes two” because he’d always say that when we were up chatting until dawn. I missed him, I still miss him. It was what I needed at the time though. I still try to convince myself it was for the best that we went our separate ways, and maybe sometime in the future our paths may cross again, or maybe not. What I do know is that I’ll always be grateful of the effort I took to keep my memories as good ones

Silver LiningTo an extent, I’m doing this every day; making an effort to focus on the positive things in my day, week, month, rather than the negative. Some days it works better than others. We can’t always be happy. There are other emotions that are important to help us learn, grow, and be human. But as long as we can believe there is a silver lining with the bad, some lesson to be learned or someone new to grow closer with. If we can hold onto that silver thread, it’s my belief that we can use it to better embrace, appreciate, and enjoy the happy moments when they arrive. Or maybe, help us to see the happy moments we would have missed before.

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the-immortal-life1As promised, here’s my old essay! I just read it and I do remember that in this assignment we were required to tie in our “common read book” which was a book that the entire campus was supposed to read. My sophomore year, it was a book called “The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks.” It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I did know some who liked it.

9/8/2010

Define Happiness

            Happiness can be defined differently for everybody. I think that’s why I want to write about it. For some happiness is related to religion, for others its family. Some find happiness in things I will never understand. Maybe where I find happiness will not make sense to some people, but that’s what makes it special. It is important to me to find happiness in the little things life gives, if you ignore them, or dwell on the bad, how can you be happy? I danced around the apartment when I found out my internet worked after a week of none. Or when I finally beat a game I’d been working at for a while. It seems weather its waking up to Mario alarms or finishing a 1000 piece puzzle, I realized if I focus on the little things that make me smile, my whole day seems just that much brighter.

But can little things alone bring true happiness?  I don’t want to say no, but I think without reaching some longtime goals, the excitement of the little things would begin to dry out. Maybe not all at once, simple everyday positive events may not bring as much joy as they would before. So what brings me happiness in the long run? To me happiness is my stories. I love writing fiction stories. I don’t think much could make me happier than to get one of my stories published. Currently I am working on a 400 (approximate) page story and I hope to be finished with it by Christmas time. Once it is completely written I know I will be more than just excited, it will be the first step on a journey I hope will last me the rest of my life. Not the one story, I hope I am completely finished with that within the next few years, but I hope this may kick-start a career in writing. I will be very excited once it is edited the first time, hopefully that will be finished by the end of 2011 then I get to search for a publishing company. If it gets published I think the first thing I would do is go to a bookstore and look at it on a shelf and that would be true happiness for me.

In a way I guess to me happiness is dreaming. Something that I hope may happen that possibly never will. I hope to get a book published, I hope to have a book signing, and I hope at that book signing multiple people show up. I think happiness to me would be maybe sitting at a bus stop next to a person reading a book and just having a conversation with them about it. Maybe they wouldn’t know who I was and I would get a truly honest opinion of the story. That would be very exciting.

What exactly is happiness? It’s anything that makes you want to smile, anything that gives you that funny feeling in your stomach that fills you with excitement.  Whatever makes you want to dance in the rain, whatever makes you want to give a stranger a hug. Happiness is not something you can measure, but it is contagious. If you are happy it is more likely for the people around you to be happy. For some wealth brings them happiness, however one can be penniless and happy, so money is not happiness.

To me, there is little in life more important than happiness. Why hold back being happy when happiness comes your way? If you only live life once, why not make the best of it? Why not make it a happy experience. You cannot expect everything to fall on your lap and for everything to automatically go your way, but if something nice happens to come your way, why not let it? And if you don’t ever have fun in this life, how would you expect to have fun in the next, if there is a next. Or how would you expect to be happy when happiness comes your way if you just look the other way and ignore its offers? Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way to some, but to me, it’s how I want to see it. It’s how I feel my life is better lived, smiling at everything that makes me want to smile. And laugh when I find something funny.

In contrast to happiness we look into the Lacks family. They are a family that has few things to be happy about. Henrietta Lacks was tortured and killed for her cells to further scientific studies and make scientists a lot of money, yet they were very poor and never saw a penny of it. Even still, members of the Lacks family feel pride for what Henrietta did for science. I think the only spot in this story with real happiness is for the scientists. They benefited a lot from what happened to Henrietta Lacks and the survival for her cells. The created vaccines, found out how cells would react in space and overall saved a lot of lives. Peoples whose lives were saved are too many to be mentioned within the pages of the book. I believe all of those people in a way are thankful for the research and happy that they were able to survive. The idea of happiness is everywhere, but sometimes it isn’t positive. Sometimes it is the lack of happiness that a story revolves around. In fact, for some reason it seems most ‘good’ stories are ones that the majority of the story is chasing happiness.

Henrietta Lacks’ story is one where she was unable to find much happiness. She was taken advantage of by doctors and scientists. They destroyed her life and gave her family no compensation. However, how can you really compensate someone for destroying the life of a loved one? I would say that the least the scientific community could do for the Lacks family is allow them to afford to see a doctor. In the prologue, a member of the family states that they do not understand how although their mom has done so much for the scientific community, they cannot afford a doctor. Henrietta Lacks and her family’s story seem to have an extreme lack of happiness to their story. They do not have money, they grew up without a mother, when they did have a mother she was being tortured by medical professionals, and they were being tested by medical professionals without knowing why. There are more reasons their story is one of sorrow and unhappiness, however I have not read enough of the book yet to know exactly what else went bad with this family.

 

Hmm, looks like my overall idea on happiness hasn’t changed much!

Story of My Life #2 – Mother, Money, Men, Marketing, and Medicine

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Last time I touched base was in November of 2015. A lot has happened since then, so let’s begin at the beginning (of 2016).

amri-to-lay-off-62-in-closing-of-uk-manufacturing-facilityMid-January, the company I worked for, Little Orbit, announced to us that they were very likely going to be closing their doors as they had been unable to secure any new contracts for games in 2016. This was a bummer as I’d been with the company for 3 years, but not unexpected. I think all, or at least most of us, saw it coming. Especially once they started to lay-off producers.

friend_zone_by_pork_n_beansNear the end of January, as work had been very scarce and I wasn’t expecting the company to make it to February, I decided to book a trip to Colorado to visit a friend. Admittedly, I had/have a crush on this guy for the past year or so, but with me living in California and him recently moving halfway across the country, it wasn’t meant to be. At first, when I visited, I was pretty disappointed to find out that he really didn’t feel the same about me, he really only saw us as good friends. Ouch, friend zone’d but at least I finally got an answer and could move forward. We hung out and the trip overall was fun, aside from me trying to cope with being rejected. I like to believe that there’s a bright side to everything. It took me until about yesterday to realize that the bright side to this is that I’m actually finally getting over him. He’s a really good person, so I think being friends with him will be easy, considering that’s really all we ever were. I’m slowly starting to realize that staying friends with someone you’ve dated is a fairy-tale we tell ourselves to make the initial break easier, but that’s a thought for another time.

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I don’t have any actual pictures of Charizard, but this is about how he looked.

Meanwhile, back at home, my mom’s car needed repairs, and since I left my keys for my parents to move my car during street sweeping, she decided she would borrow Charizard, my lovely 2000 Honda Civic who a friend of mine described his color as being, “if gold and tan had an ugly baby…” thanks Andrew! Anyway, Charizard, like most older cars, needed a little extra TLC, so before I drove it I made sure to check the coolant and the oil levels, as the car ate through coolant like a kid goes through Halloween candy if you don’t hide it (or use the same hiding place every year, kids are crafty). Long story short, while she was driving it to work, she blew a head gasket, and for those of you who are like me and not too privy to car jargon, that’s pretty-much a death sentence for your engine, yay.

otaszvny164So, mid-February I return from my trip and my dad lets me know my check engine light is on and that I have to go take my car in. This is the first I’m hearing of this and I found out the incident was from a week prior, so I’m a bit peeved. The repair shop tells me the bad news while I’m out at a restaurant with my friend telling her the sob story of my rejection in Colorado (over our favorite $2 Margarita Mondays @Aculpulco) followed by the death of my car, this was not how I wanted to start the new year. I lost the guy I liked, I lost my car (Charizard, may he rest in peace), and around the time I got back home, I got a call from Little Orbit telling me that the company was officially closing and that I was being laid-off. So I was now, officially, among the ranks of the unemployed. Oh joy!

20160215_183003On the bright side, I was at the bottom and it really can’t get worse, right? Wrong! So my mom decided that her breaking my car wasn’t her fault even though she hadn’t asked or notified me that she was borrowing my car so I could let her know to check the coolant (which was low and there was coolant in the trunk), and since the car “would have broken anyway” she decided that she wasn’t responsible for fixing or replacing it. Now I had to try to find a used car with no job. I was able to convince my dad to co-sign with me, making a deal that he would help on the monthly payments until I got a job, then I would take full responsibility. He agreed and we found Ruby, my burgundy 2008 Honda Civic. I’m not terribly thrilled that I have to drive an automatic now, but it was under $10k so I can’t complain too much.

broke-monopoly-july-27Finally I a little reprieve in March, since my dad was going to help with the car! I was feeling pretty good. I sold my old car and got a whopping $1k for it, way more than expected. Things were finally turning up! I deposited the money and felt a little more comfortable with my financial situation. Maybe a week later, something weird happened. I went to check my bank statement and I was -$500 and terribly confused. I went through everything with the bank and found out I had over $1000 in charges, from the past week or so, for not having enough money in the bank? I honestly didn’t even realize that was a thing, as I was told my bank account was ‘free’. Serves me right for thinking anything was free. I was able to reverse enough of the charges to get myself to come out even with the bank and I immediately closed my account, not wanting to be charged more for being broke. I’m guessing it was the stress of the situation, or something, because that night I began feeling feverish and extremely sick when my mom decided that my parents weren’t going to help with my car payments… awesome.

high-fever-sodaheadAt first I thought it was just stress, but I woke up the next morning with a 101.4 F fever and decided I should probably go to the doctor. I honestly didn’t even know adults got fevers. I really don’t get sick much, and as far as I could remember my parents never had fevers when they got sick when I was young so it just never occurred to me. Since it was caught in the first 24 or 48 hours or something like that, they gave me an anti-viral which seemed to help, after I was confined to my bed for, what felt like forever but was only about 5 days.

Mid-March, my unemployment check comes in and I’m able to make my car payment, thank goodness (even though the automatic payment isn’t working to my checking, I’ll have to fix that)! I’ve also put a pause on my student loan payment so I’m feeling pretty secure with money, for the time being. I’m pretty much over my flu and I met an awesome lady at the unemployment office who invited me to a marketing seminar in Los Angeles. Everything’s starting to look up!

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Glenn Morshower (Recently featured on the TV Show Supergirl) and Me

The seminar turned out to be more like an infomercial the first day I went, Thursday, and I almost didn’t go back, but I was glad that I did. The next day, not only did I learn some great tips that I’m going to keep in mind when I try to publish my non-existent books, but I met some cool people and there was a fairly well-known actor there who had a lot of fun games and some amazing insights to share. I felt like I gained a lot from the experience as a whole, (plus a few people told me they liked my singing, always a great feeling).

what-to-do-for-sore-throatTurned out, I got a little more from the seminar than I expected. Come Tuesday, I’m back at the doctors, this time the diagnosis is strep throat. Word of advice:  when I looked up home remedies for strep because I really couldn’t eat anything, solid or liquid, I found gargling with cayenne pepper water helps, it just hurts, didn’t even make it so I could eat dinner, and it tasted gross. I do not recommend.

I think we’re now about all caught up with my life! Oh also I really don’t know what kind of job I’m looking for. I’ve been applying on everything from marketing to associate producer, to PR, to technical writing and even thinking of going back to tutoring. To be honest, I’ve even started to try to learn guitar so I can be a busker, or street performer, mostly because I love singing! I feel like I have this great opportunity to find an amazing job, I just don’t know where to look. Ultimately I want to be a writer, but if you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments!career-ideas

Dream Log Entry #3 – Dare to Dream… About Pirates?

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Dream from the night of 3/16 (so pirates and St. Patty’s Day?)

 

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“I know it’s here somewhere,” I mumbled as I threw random stacks of paper from my dresser. My mind flew into a panic when I couldn’t find the small copper Spanish coin, about the size of a nickel. I shuffled my jewelry boxes and necklace stands looking for anywhere it might be hiding on the now chaotic dresser top. My mind reeled, she’s going to be here any minute and the stupid thing just grew legs and walked off!

171138342535_1Desperate to find it, I rushed to my older brother’s room. Before I could even ask, I saw the battered old copper coin hanging from its leather cord around his neck. I shouted his name, but he didn’t seem to hear me.

My head drooped as I began to question the power of the coin. Was it really just creating some sort of illusion? Was I just crazy and saw what I wanted to see? No, I told myself. It’s real, and Emily has to see it!

“Hey!” I called out to him again. This time, he turned to look at me from where he stood in the middle of the room.

“What?” He asked in a flat tone.

“That medallion coin thing…?” I replied, pointing at the coin hanging at his chest.

“Oh, yeah, I saw it in your room and I liked it. Do you need it back?” he said, his tone almost apologetic.

“Please. I need to show it to a friend.”

“Sure,” he replied as he pulled it over his head and handed the cord to me.

I thanked him before returning to the couch and staring at the coin. It looked like just a regular old antique coin, nothing special. My thoughts wandered to what I had seen when I held it, and I couldn’t help but wonder if my brother had seen it too.

Unaware of how much time passed, I heard the doorbell ring. I opened it to a smiling, yet confused, Emily.

“What was so urgent that I had to come here now?” she asked, her arms folded across her chest while she displayed her ever prevalent smile.

“I had to get this back from my brother,” I told her holding the coin out by the leather cord at arm’s length.
“You didn’t need to get it for me if he had it,” she replied, her smile morphing into a scowl as she stared at the coin. “It’s so old… what is it?” she asked after an uncomfortably long silence.

“It’s worth it,” I told her. “Trust me.”

She wouldn’t have believed me if I told her. I wouldn’t have believed her if she’d told me. She sighed and rolled her eyes but it seemed like she was on-board with my flavor of crazy, for today at least. I took in a deep breath and told her she needed to touch the coin. She looked at me as if I was asking her to poke a dead mouse, but she finally did. Then, so did I.

pirate_flag-e13690109261861The world whipped around me. The air had a new coldness, and dampness before I could see clearly. We were out at sea. The deck of the ship rocked below my feet. She saw the flag before I could point it out. Black with a white skull and crossed swords. I took another deep breath in through my nose and could almost taste the salt in the air. It was real.