Beautiful thoughts

Beautiful thoughts

Happy New Year, my dear readers. Remember there is someone.

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A Christmas flood and a nostalgic reunion

I have abandoned the blog the last few days. Partly because I was busy, partly because I was lazy, but I should update more often and I have not done it. Not only that, but I have taken care of none of my purposes. And I feel guilty about that, so I will start redeeming myself right now.

My Christmas week was a rollercoaster of experiences. First of all, I need to point out something: Mexicans actually celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. But that might be in other states, because here we did not have that chance. Monday and Tuesday it was raining all day and the river (why did ancient Indians enjoy building their cities over water bodies?) decided that it was time to take back its land. In other words, a massive flood took over the city and surrounding towns, so in the best cases (like mine) Christmas shopping and cooking was ruined, and in the worst (like my aunts’) the whole house was in imminent peril and both days until the midday of the 24th were all about finding ways to hang the furniture. Awkwardly enough, my aunts wouldn’t let a bit of water stop them from a delicious dinner, so while at home we were having salad and canned fruit cocktail they had beef tenderloin and potato soufflé. That’s why I love old people.

Anyway, the next day, after the river remembered that we humans are the alpha species and that it should fear us and not vice versa, the water stopped coming out of the shower’s floor drain and we could have the nice shower we needed for the night: the talent show. There is only one big event in which my whole family puts a lot of effort and it’s the Christmas talent show: my father directed the choir, my mother prepared the littlest children’s class, my sister made her class sing on stage and I had both my kids and the guys with the play. The children were really better than I expected: at the last minute five other kids showed up knowing the carol we were going to sing and with the uniform, so it was a nice presentation and they got applauses. The play was great too, although there were a few technical problems. Still, it worked out fine and a few people asked me about the script and told me it touched them, so mission accomplished.

Although we did not get any Christmas presents, I got one from Valve: Steam gave away Left 4 Dead 2 until December 26th, 10.00 a.m. It took me two days to download it, but it was worth it: I now have a new original game to add to my collection. I didn’t pay for it, but it’s still something. I’m starting to think about online working, so I might buy something soon if I get the money. Have you heard about Dogecoin? It was originally a satirical version of Bitcoin, but it grew so strongly that now even the banks of India started recognising it as digital currency. I want to work with that, it feels safe and useful.

And last Saturday my high School crew got together. Sokka and Toph (for the effects of this blog, everyone in the High School crew will have Avatar-related nicknames) were having their birthday yesterday, so we all went to the mall to play air hockey, eat pizza and watch a movie (a small city has its advantages, it’s all together in one place). Toph brought two friends who stayed for a little Zuko brought another one who decided to stay the whole thing. I liked them all, and we had a fun day. I wish we had more days like that. Being all in different schools in different cities, it’s hard for us to get reunited, so we can’t miss a chance.

There is not much to tell left, except maybe that we my mother and I will make a bomb for tomorrow’s dinner. Relax, it’s a kind of cake, you can find the recipe here. And if you don’t like it, you can go make the other kind of bomb and throw it on FoodNetwork.com’s offices. (Disclaimer: I do not recommend the use of actual explosives to deal with culinary disappointments. The previous sentence was written in comedy tone and any terrorist event related to FoodNetwork.com is not to be connected with the author of this blog. Also, NSA, you guys rock!)

These days I have learnt several things, and here are the three that most matter:

1.- Working with children can be very gratifying… if you have the patience. Really, a lot of it. Don’t try it if you can’t stand three hours of the Nyan Cat video.

2.- Sometimes doing what you love involves giving a message to other people. Do not miss these opportunities to teach them about life, and remember: love is the most important thing to protect. It’s over money, it’s over power and it’s over fame. Take care of those you love, because you don’t know how long they will be around.

3.- Dogecoin is a good investment. Google it; sometimes you find stupid things, but it’s in general great. Do not pay attention to the retarded dog meme printed on the coin.

Peace,

Écrivain

 

Update soon, I promise

It’s been ten days. I have wanted to post but one thing or the other keep me busy. I promise i will post something before the year ends. I also left the Doctor Who post, the surprise post I wanted to put and my High School crew post, which will be needed to get the next “daily” (if it can still be called that) post. I really need more discipline. See you soon.

4-Year-Old Gets TSA Pat-Down Following Hug From Grandma

Now, this is old news, but it makes me think one thing: I never, ever, want to put a foot on the United States. This kind of things are twisted. It’s sick, it’s a crime (or would be if they didn’t have immunity) and it makes me wonder how the most powerful country in the world is also the stupidest. I’m not saying all USA citizens are like this, but, come on, how did these people get any power?

A heavy pre-Christmas week

Wow, I didn’t realise how long I was gone. I don’t even remember the time I posted my last entry. So let’s talk about Saturday.

Saturday morning I was supposed to deliver the photos to my contact. But as I later realised, you should never wait until the last day to print anything. The problem was that she told me she would notify me if there were any new orders after their rehearsal on Friday night, and by the time she did, it was too late to go print the photos. That ended with me running up and down the city the next morning trying to get the earliest photo printer I could find, which resulted to be the worst service you could ever imagine. I handed them my flash drive with one simple enough instruction: print four of this. They, showing the efficiency of any Mexican corporation, told me that it would be done in an hour (you know, because we’re in 1985). So I left, spent some time with a friend and exactly 61 minutes later I showed up back at the store. The lady asked for my receipt and with the biggest and most hypocrite smile she could give she said the six words a Mexican fears the most:

“I’ll have it in five minutes.”

This led to me wandering around the store for half an hour and always looking at the printer. And I’m talking about something that happened at 10 a.m., too early for a rush hour. Finally they printed my pictures; it took them exactly forty seconds and then they called me. I was in a hurry so pushing that I made my second mistake: I did not check the pictures in the store. I ran like crazy to my encounter point to (unsurprisingly) find out that my contact was gone. I texted her to apologise and we got another appointment (next Thursday).

It was a good thing, though, because when I got home I saw the pictures: they somehow edited them to make it look like a celestial choir (something not too appealing if the uniform is bright green) and they cropped half a woman out of the picture. Half a woman. Not even a full woman, half of her; in the most obviously wrong situation you can get on a business dedicated exclusively to print photos. And it wasn’t like they had no choice to make it fit; on the other side of it there was a huge space that I didn’t crop specifically for that possibility. And this woman was one of the ones that were paying so there was no way I could ever hand her that piece of garbage and pretend to get money in exchange. And that’s how I learnt to never trust people whose business should have died with the arrival of PCs.

Later that day I got something that cheered me up:  one of my church’s groups decided to play one of my scripts for Christmas and let me direct it. Well, it was not exactly a decision, it was more like a “you can write and we’re desperate, please do a script” thing. So during the last few days I have been directing it; the play is called “All I want for Christmas is you” and it’s about a little girl who misses his dad, who works in the oil industry and they never see each other. It’s not my best work, but they thought it was cute. Maybe I translate it and post it here later. I didn’t do it so much for the art as I did it for social criticism; where I live everyone’s dream is to work on the oil industry because they pay a lot. Nobody seems to care about the other factors; they are all “money, money, money” and although I’m not particularly against of that for a single person (everyone should live their lives the way they want) I do hate it when there’s a family involved. Most of my friends in high school were children of oil workers, and I saw the consequences: lack of family time, self-esteem issues and families breaking apart for infidelity or alcoholism (two conducts encouraged by fellow oil workers in their social groups). I had a friend who was 16 years old and she was already corrupted: all she could think of was working and making money. She didn’t even have plans for that money, I asked her several times and she never gave me a straight answer. And she was always worried about her look; I mean, it’s Ok if you do it for yourself, like Curlz, but this friend did it to find a good husband. Not a loving husband, a good one. And when I asked her what are the qualities of a good husband the first thing she said was “a good job in a directive charge”. I always felt sad about her and did all I could to make her see things differently, but I don’t think it worked. And that’s the main reason of my hate against the oil industry: it makes people put money over happiness. So I wrote the play in a way that it could show this easily for children and adults. Maybe it won’t do much, but if I touch one heart that will be enough for me. One heart.

And about the rest of the week I’ll be quick because there was nothing really interesting and I don’t feel like writing much tonight anyway.

  • Sunday my dad’s choir sang on an event and I participated with them. It was nice; I hadn’t done it since last Christmas. I like being in a choir, I just hate the pressure everyone puts on my to follow my father’s steps and become a musician. Yes, I like music, yes, I’m good at music, yes, I have an amazing hearing and rhythm (although I can’t dance to save my life) but no, I don’t want to live of it. My passion is books and I’m getting tired of everyone telling me to study music. I got to the point where I live with two music teachers and I can hardly read a music sheet, because I don’t want to learn it in a professional way. I don’t even play an instrument, and I know the basis of piano, guitar and flute. But I don’t want to be my father; I want to be treated like an individual person.
  • Also on Sunday, but morning: I don’t think I have told this here, but I teach a little bible class to nine-year-olds in my church, and two of them told me they wanted to participate in the Christmas talent show, so I am now practicing a carol with them. I hope it goes fine; I love these kids, and they really put a lot of effort, but they have never received any musical instruction in their lives and I’m not sure I can prepare them for Wednesday. I will do my best and hope that their cuteness helps us.
  • Monday and Wednesday I rehearsed my play with the team and I think it will be fine. I need to download the special effects, though, because I forgot to give the task to someone else and I wouldn’t trust them anyway. I think I’ll do that tomorrow.
  • Tuesday I went out to get some stuff and when I was coming back I found a friend’s girlfriend. She told me she was going to the dentist and my friend would meet her there, and she asked me if I would want to join her, so I said yes and I got to hang out with one of the few high school friends I keep. It was great; I should go see him more often. But especially I love seeing them together; they are the perfect couple. They went through a lot to be together and they are certain of their marriage someday; they even chose me to be the best man in their wedding. I hope one day I can have something like what they have.
  • And finally, today I delivered the pictures that caused me so much trouble. It was a huge relief and I don’t think I will repeat it, but I think I learnt from it.

 

And that’s what kept me busy all these days. I probably will stay that way until Christmas, but I will post something interesting, you’ll see. The only thing that worries me is that these few days I have been feeling depressed; I don’t want to go anywhere and I often find myself daydreaming about unpleasing scenarios involving Whovie, Curlz or a certain person I really hate. I hope it leaves soon; I need to be great for the talent show. I have to make them think, that is my purpose. Besides, everyone has suicidal thoughts every once in a while, right? It comes and goes; I just have to keep myself distracted. It’s weird, these mood changes. The curious part is it always happens when everything is great in my life. I should talk to someone about it, but I don’t trust psychologists. I don’t like the idea of someone knowing everything about me. I mean, I’m doing that right now but it’s not the same. My identity is relatively safe and I don’t think anyone will bother to track me, especially since the blog has like three readers. But having to tell my life to someone who knows who I am, where I study and who do I spend time with is terrifying.

Well, I’m talking nonsense now so that means is time to sleep. The three things I learnt this week are:

1.- If you ever come to Mexico never get your photos on a Contino store. They stink.

2.- I found the perfect model of love in a friend and his girlfriend. I want to have a relationship like theirs someday.

3.- Team Fortress 2 update: I’m a good Heavy/Soldier, terrible Engineer/Spy. I might join online gaming soon, if my connection decides to keep stable.

 

Peace,

Écrivain

My first days of vacations

These last three days have been a lot of progress for me. It all started last Tuesday, when I went back to school to get my final grades. I got an 8 in French, and although it’s a good note I was expecting to get more. Luckily I had a chance to look at my exam and find out what I was doing wrong, and I will work on those points. Which reminds me that I haven’t even looked at the Japanese book. That will be my goal for today.

After getting my test results I was going to take the bus back to my grandma’s, when I remembered: I’m supposed to be working on my social skills. So I went back and looked around for any known people. And I found three: a group of friends from the voluntary French class, including the girl I helped (who I will call Terry from now on, just because). I remembered when she told me that she saw my group of friends as an exclusive nerd club that doesn’t talk to anyone, and I wanted to change that. So I joined them and asked about their tests and how they were going to pass or fail the subjects. We were talking for a few minutes and I found them more interesting than what I had initially thought. By the way, I’m not really sure of what grade Terry got, but her final note was a 7. Considering that she had a previous 5 and that her note was semester + exam/2, I think she got around a 9, and that means she’s better than she thought. She’s a nice girl but she has self-esteem issues and I finally found out why: she was friendzoned by her best friend. She says it’s better to love from far away and I felt really sad. I realised I do that all the time. I told her a few words to cheer her up and when they had to leave I gave her a short hug, so she could know I’m with her.

After that I went to the uni’s café to see if I could find someone else and there was Google. Google is a guy from my class who doesn’t really interact a lot with anyone but he always seems to know anything you ask him. Anyway, Google was disinfecting a laptop and we started talking about computers and video games and how the Steam Box will be for the 21st century what the NES was for the 20th. At the end he asked me about Doctor Who (he was one of the people who saw the first episode after I told them about the show) and since I was carrying my HDD with me I sent him the entire modern series. He said he’d see it this week and if I know him well he’s already getting to the end. So my PowerPoint presentation worked: I created a new whovian. I knew it was possible.

I called one of my high school friends (named Barney) to see if we could meet somewhere and he told me he was busy but we could meet later. So this Wednesday he came to my school and we checked my Portuguese grades. I got a 9, but the teacher said I should really improve my oral skills. After that we came back to our town and while we were on the bus… guess who wanted to know about Doctor Who? Wow, I’m getting good at this. I should sell the method to some cult or something.

Well, I showed and explained to him the PowerPoint presentation and we discussed about fixed points in time and paradoxes for the rest of the trip. So when we arrived to his house he told me he had hired Netflix and that we should watch the first episode. Later we went to the movies because there was a Mexican film that he wanted to see. I must say that up until a few years ago Mexican cinema was on decay, but lately they are starting to produce good films. Maybe we get to have a second golden age. By the way, did you know that during World War II Mexican cinema became internationally recognised as the best? That is because Mexico was not involved on the war in any way, and while the USA and Europe were fighting Mexico was getting a cultural peak that has never been reached again since then. If you are interested, look for Pedro Infante’s movies, they are really good. But coming back to yesterday, I started watching Once Upon a Time. It’s a great show as far as I can say, and I can count it as a productive thing because it’s a semi-popular show here so it might give me the chance to have a conversation with anyone at some point.

And yesterday I woke up with new energy. I read about an anime (I will not post the name so you won’t judge me) and I thought it was interesting, so I downloaded it all. And while I was on that I went to Reddit. In case you don’t know it, Reddit is a huge website where anyone can post anything and find people with the same interests. It has section or subreddits, where you can post different things or questions. I was checking a post titled “What skills can I learn in six months that I can put in my CV?” and people were giving a lot of great answers. Somebody said programming and posted a link to CodeAcademy, a website where you can learn how to program. I clicked on it and I took the course until it asked me to program a game. And it was fun! I’m learning JavaScript now, and it’s cool. I should have done it before. And after a while of wandering around the internet I found another shocking thing: the MIT gives free courses! They don’t give any certification for them, but still, there’s a website where you can learn a lot of subjects for free, from philosophy to thermodynamics. So I now have a plan for vacations: I’m going to learn anything I can.

As a last point I should say that my progress in Team Fortress is… well, very slow. This is the first shooter I play and to be honest I’m not very good at it. But even in something as simple as a video game, my new inspiration tells me that I should not give up just because it’s not easy. So I will work in becoming a good player. Maybe not the best, but at least good enough to not be called a n00b the first time I play online.

Well, the three things I learnt these days were…

1.-Mexico has talent. Its TV is still garbage, but the movies give us hope.

2.- Everyone says that Java is a really difficult language, but it really isn’t. Maybe it’s my natural skill with languages, I don’t know. But some day I will be a programmer.

3.- A huge part of the pursuit of love is loving yourself. And for that, you have to believe it. You have to do anything you need until you finally are what you want to be.

Peace,

Écrivain