It is one thing to read a book cover to cover, but it’s another thing to uncover the different ways that the text can relate to your life. So began our quest for questions and adventures for answers that we would present in the debate. The B.R.A.W.L. made me realize something I had never recognized before. There is so much power behind a question. It triggers thought, emotion, conversation, opposition, and reaction.
I fell in love with blogging in the same a person falls in love with a song. When you first hear the song, it doesn’t catch your attention very much. In fact, you might choose to avoid it. However, listening to the radio, you hear the same song again and again. Eventually, the tune grows on you as you find yourself drumming along to the beat.
I thought I was the only one that lost the Monday morning battles. It’s like YouTube “daily routine” videos, except a lot less glamorous and a million times more honest.
BZZZ. BZZZZZ. BZZZZZ.
The day was March 16. The alarm clock was buzzing. The alarm was set for 8:00 am. School starts at 8:50 am. Despite all of this, I woke up at 8:25 am.
10 minutes before this, my body was strewn across my bed in a very awkward position. The blanket was thrown down onto the floor. My face was pressed face-down into my pillow and I was drooling. This was the condition of my room when my mom walked in. The sight was terribly shocking, at least for her. After she had recomposed herself, she calmly walked up to my bed, stood there for a minute or so, and smacked me.
It took me a full minute for me to register the fact that I was smacked, thirty seconds to fully awaken myself, and thirty seconds to respond. At first, I just stared at my mom. Then…
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Just under a hundred years ago, Czech playwright Karel Capek invented the word “robot” from the Czech word robotinik. This original term was used to describe mechanical creatures that were made for one thing and one thing only. Drudgery. Upon their creation, they were doomed to a lifetime of dull uninspiring work. Since then, these robots, with the help of different human perception, have been developed to do great things. They speed up our means of productions, detonate bombs, explore hazardous places, mine resources, explore the depths of the sea, and spend time in space. This makes us think: what else could robots possibly do? Continue reading
I remember my seven year old self popping a DVD into the player and plopping on the couch. When it came to my comedic taste, I didn’t need variety. I just needed my daily dose of Mr. Bean. I wasn’t like most kids that spent all waking hours watching the typical cartoons, such as Courage the Cowardly Dog or The Teen Titans. From the first episode of Mr. Bean there was something that made it remarkably different from all the other humor.
I think his performances are funny and memorable because they brought a funny light to everyday life. He did not go on faraway missions to and encounter strange things in order to do something funny. Instead, he brought strangeness to the way he dealt with his everyday problems. Many of his performances revolved around the simple but real “struggles” in real life. Often times, the laughs didn’t arouse from the problem itself, the true humor lied in his often exaggerated reactions.
Little me easily laughed at the his incoherent mumbling and his moments of rage.
Oh yes Mr. Bean, the rage is real indeed. We can also never forget the facial expressions. Whether it’s because he is stuck in line or he has lost his watch preparing a turkey, his reactions are always suitable and hilarious. They’re the best part.
Fast forward into the future I’ve watched many other comedies. I still laugh just as easily as I did when I was little. One thing did change though. The elements of humor in popular movies have become less diverse. The performance of the actor has lost some of its original importance. Modern humor in movies often achieves comedic effect by making sexual or simply controversial references.
I realized this when I sat down two months ago and watched Johnny English Reborn. It was a major blast from the past. I had completely forgotten what it was like to watch a movie and laugh without any inappropriate dialogue to cue it. It made me wonder if Rowan Atkinson is some mystical human being because he communicates humor like no other that I’ve seen today.
“I want to express myself in a different way. I have a performing inclination.” -Rowan Atkinson
In my opinion, what makes Rowan Atkinson stand out the most is that he acts in the manner that is outside of social norms in the most carefree manner. We live our lives fighting to not sleep during church, resisting the urge to mess around with dentist tools, and trying not to mess up laboratory experiments. So when Mr. Bean does it on the big screen, it’s a nice relief. For just a while, you forget about what’s socially acceptable and what isn’t. You just laugh because of all the trouble that he gets into for caving.
So that leads me back to my question: Is he a mystical human being? Maybe he is. He’s brought laughter to the biggest and smallest of stages ranging from the 2012 Olympics, Snickers commercials, radio, and my very own home by just being himself.
I remember standing before the rocks that piled high as if they were competing with the towering pines. I was already who knows how far up the San Bernardino Mountains; but still, my camp buddies were urging me to climb up the rocks that we found during our walk. In that moment I didn’t know what I feared more: the thought of falling from that height or regret of missing out on something so adventurous.
I was barely a teenager at the time. I remember that I was itching to see and experience things for myself. Sure, I went out with my friends and went on frequent holiday vacations with my family. But sure enough it would end. I would come home to the same four walls of my room and wake up to my dad, mom, and sister. You would think that under these circumstances, the teenagery sense of adventure would eventually die out in me. I was ready to bury the cause —until my best friend’s older brother offered to take my friend and I camping.
It was a late Friday night and my parents invited their friends over. I was a freshman at the time, and my mom warned me that I would be meeting the oh-so-outspoken daughter of my mom’s best friend that was also my age. My premonitions were confirmed when I saw her. She walked in without a single glance in my direction and there was an edgy expression on her face. Her eyes were darkly lined and her eyelashes were thick with mascara. Her lipstick was the kind of bright red that is stocked up at the makeup store because no one dares to pull it off. My eyes fell to the dark t-shirt that she was sporting. In bold white letters it spelled out “Crush the patriarchy.” I suddenly completely understood what my mom meant. Continue reading
Three Saturdays ago, I went out with one of my close friends for the first time in a long time. The weeks of FaceTime, texting, and Snapchat just weren’t cutting it for me, Frankly as humans, we are communicative creatures that crave interaction… outside a phone screen. Like a classic rendezvous, she quietly slipped into the table of our agreed dim corner in Starbucks. I couldn’t wait, I knew that we had a lot to catch up on —once she would put down her phone.
You’re driving farther down Brookhurst Street and the amount of cars on the road is overwhelming. You tell yourself dear God, I’m not taking this street for weeks. It’s like Black Friday — except it’s just a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of February.What in the world was this? The world was preparing for Lunar New Year. The traffic jams are just a side-effect to this great time. To make it worth all the road rage, here’s my top four list of things to do before the big day to ensure that you make the most of it next year.
1. Cooking your own tet food is a must try. In Vietnamese culture, we show our appreciation to friends and family by giving gifts of traditional food such as pickled mustard greens, candied coconut ribbons, candied ginger, and different types of wrapped sticky rice. Of course, homemade foods are ideal and let’s the significant others know how much we really appreciate them.
My mom and I took on the challenge for ourselves by making homemade candied coconut ribbons.
After massaging my wrists, I thought the end product was completely worth it.
2. Next comes the comfortable fashion risk. My favorite family tradition for this special time of year is designing our own ao dai, or the Vietnamese long dress. You pick the fabric, top to bottom. The design is according to your taste, ranging from sheer to solid and plain to sparkly. Then comes the agonizing (and exciting) wait for it to be done so that you can show it off. This is the perfect way to make it all about you in the new year and to embrace the beauty of this traditional wear.
3. When the new year rolls up next year, don’t forget to buy some blossoms and orchids. It’s a really exciting and selective process. It brings so much color to our homes and its rarity makes it feel like it’s truly Lunar New Year. While they are decorative and beautiful, they also make good backgrounds for nice family pictures.
4. Lastly, it’s never the new year without the Lunar New Year festivals. You can never miss attending the Lunar New Year festivals where there is live music, free gifts, games, and fresh food. Bring yourself home some free souvenirs from the commercial venders and sweet memories. There are two popular tet festivals in the Orange County area. I recommend the USVA Tet Festival in Costa Mesa where it is bigger and more popular. If you are looking to spend a peaceful day, the Bolsa Grande High School Tet Festival is still a great Lunar New Year experience.