Wednesday, June 29, 2011


AAAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH. Did that catch your attention? Good. Cuz you know what I just realized? I'm competing for your attention among thousands of blogs, dozens of social networking sites, the TV, Youtube, your mother.... I guarantee at least one of the things I mentioned is in close proximity to you right now. So yeah. Believe it or not, we are all competing for your attention and time. And especially your subconscious. (Haha just kidding that's just creepy, I just wanted to make a reference to my previous post =P)

So like all good businesses do, let me tell you why I am better than my competitors out there. Give me 15 minutes and I'll save you 15% or more on car insur.... wait wrong thing. ^^ The truth is my measly blog probably can't compete with those giant monopolies out there such as Facebook and Youtube... I mean seriously, Facebook and Youtube are both open on tabs next to my blog right now. So I guess I'm competing for my own attention as well, who knew?

Anyways, here's my real argument: you probably have important stuff to do and a life to live. So as long as you're wasting time on Facebook and AIM and Youtube browsing and, why not let me waste your time? Because unlike all those other sites, I'm completely HUMAN. That's right, not only do I have ten fingers to type with, but I also have a human brain and heart. So when I take a photograph of the world (figuratively speaking), I take a picture but I also cry or rant or laugh or muse about it as well. Like millions of teenagers out there, I have my own opinions and my own aha! moments. I hope as you're reading through this blog you'll find a post that you can relate to and all this typing will be worthwhile. 

So entertain one of my thoughts for a while... what if I tried making this site and blog even more human by adding in an interactive feature? DRUMROLL please....... I'm proud to present....... the first ever...... WEEKLY CHALLENGE!!! Hooray! Though I might not have one of these every week, I'll toss one in whenever I feel like it. The idea is that I'll have a question or challenge, and the first reader to take the time to email me the answer will get the honor and prestige of choosing the next topic I blog about (appropriate material, of course). I guess I'll start off easy.

-What company's slogan did I reference in this post?
*Email me at
*Subject header should include the word BLOG somewhere so I know it's not spam
*Include ONE topic that you would want me to blog about!!
*I'll be checking the times that emails arrive in my inbox to determine which reader is first
*Good luck!!! (considering this blog is relatively new, let's hope I'm not going to be left hanging and feeling stupid about myself... xD)

Subconscious Spasm

My friends and I were very entertained by this website the other day titled "Silly Mind Tricks." Before I go any further I'd encourage you to check it out for yourself...

Some of them might be familiar or you've done them before, but the concept is the same: your brain doesn't always think in the same way that you think it does... weird thing to think about, isn't it? I was a bit surprised at some of the results that I got, compared to what some of my friend's saw. It's cool to think about your subconscious and what might actually be churning there when you consciously think or experience something. (Inception anyone??) Maybe it takes a shorter route to arrive at a conclusion, bypassing some thinking paths that slow down conscious thought. Or maybe it's some entirely different way at arriving at thoughts. I'll never know, that's for sure.

But it's kind of weird, knowing that you're actually thinking and computing and brainstorming ideas when you're just resting or watching TV or sleeping. I can just picture the brain waves that are sent out each second out of our skulls that we aren't even aware of. I just hope my subconscious doesn't suddenly malfunction or spasm (though maybe our subconscious is totally responsible for those Eureka! moments...)

Anyways, I thought these examples were pretty cool. Entertaining, at the least. I am very curious about that third one, though... leave a comment or something if these tricks really did work for you. You know your subconscious wants to.... =]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Willpower vs. Fear - The Green Lantern

My last post about the alien robots who came down to Earth to well, run reminded me of The Green Lantern that I saw a couple of days ago in the theaters. So yeah, the moral of the movie was that the power of will is greater than the power of fear. It's awesome that they characterized it nice and simple with will being everything green and fear being this scary dark yellow. Sweet.

But as I was watching I realized there was some truth to it after all. I mean, fear can only compel you to do so much. And society today in the US is already past dictatorships and monarchies that force citizens to act out of fear. People don't always do their best when threatened, either. The best works and masterpieces always come from people who were internally motivated, motivated to do something because they believed it was important or worthwhile. Actions that are internally motivated have an intrinsic value that will overshadow anything that is externally forced or stimulated.

So yeah, the movie was a bit cheesy but the humor and good action made up for it. I liked it overall, the characters were fitting, Blake Lively was hot as the pilot and female lead, and the pace was good. The only qualm that I had was how it ended: I felt it was a bit anti-climatic after the whole scene with the gathering of the Lanterns. I mean, I know Hal Jordan would be the one to eventually kill Parallax, but I expected a large-scale battle scene with all the Lanterns firing off cool green energy at once in space. And what was with Parallax's death?? It was cool to cycle back to the "the bigger you are the faster you burn" line and the stunt that Hal pulls off in the beginning, but it was way too lame for Parallax, who was supposedly once a guardian. There are a kajillion stars in the universe, did Parallax and the guardians really not encounter any in their whole existence to know how to avoid a star's gravity? Haha but that's just me, it was a good movie overall, and I'll be interested in seeing the sequel.

I'm a Little Scared of Cross Country Runners

Cross country runners can't possibly be human. Every time I see one running on the streets, I stop and gape, feeling miserable about myself and the world in general because I can't do what they do. I do a fair bit of running, but not nearly enough to even compare to the distances that some of these alien robots cover on a daily basis.

Alright, not every human was built to run like these monsters do. It's just not natural. Occasionally I see people who are cross training or running to prep for a different sport, like myself. I would say that's fairly admirable. The really hard core ones might even run as much as cross country runners do. But to take the act of running- edit: the act of running really really really LONG distances- into a sport... man, that's just intense. And it's not just the short shorts, intimidating as they might be, but the way these guys and girls commit to their sport. One of my good friends (yes, I am friends with one of these strange creatures) once said that running was almost like a religion to him, and that he runs to keep himself true- physically, emotionally, spiritually. His whole mentality was focused around the fact that he ran for himself, and as long as he was satisfied and happy with himself he wouldn't care at all what others thought of him.

And in his words, cross country is truly a developmental sport. It requires a person to be brutally honest with themself. Every day of training requires commitment. And that's one of the things I admire most about my friend is that he gives it his all, and isn't willing to sacrifice his training for anything.

I wish I could be more like them. In all aspects of my life, not just athletics. I feel that self discipline and hard work, two very important aspects of cross country running, are necessary for any avenue of life. I see a cross country runner in a race and I know they are mentally focused, fighting through the pain and constantly willing themself to perform better.

There's a reason people have associated training the body with training the mind. Cross country can be seen as the apotheosis for this, the embodiment of a sport that is truly comprised of just a person, his (or her, plenty of female cross country runners out there I wish I were friends with xD) willpower, and many many miles of road. I probably won't ever have the patience or the discipline to take on cross country, but for those who are, keep running. You show the rest of us how to live.

Night is the New Morning

I think my inner biological clock is shifted a whole seven hours from Eastern Time. Seriously though, I've noticed for the last couple of days that I've felt the most alert and ready to do important things (like start this blog) at night, around 9 p.m. ET. I go to sleep a few hours after that not feeling very tired at all, which I find strange since I hadn't consumed any caffeine and have been pretty active during the day. Aren't people supposed to feel the most rested in the morning, after a full night's sleep? I mean, it would make sense to me. Or at least in the afternoon, when the energy consumed during breakfast starts to kick in. So why have I felt so tired in the morning and afternoons these past few days?

I guess people talk about morning larks and night owls in order to explain every person's own sleeping habits and how they approach the day. In that case I am definitely a night owl. Even when I get a full eight to ten hours of sleep, I still feel groggy and unmotivated in the morning. I'm not talking about school days, either. That's a whole other kind of pain. I'm talking about the weekends and summer days, when I literally have the whole day ahead of me to plan and get stuff done. And in the mornings I always end up crawling around the house like a slug. Except today, because I sat myself down to write post number deux. Wait, scratch that, it's already past noon. But whatever.

It probably comes down to habit. I'm sure of it. I would love to become a morning person (very well written article about that here, check it out!), but I just don't have the capacity or the self discipline to fight the urge to slap the snooze button in the morning. Those morning people who wake up at 6 a.m. sharp every single day of their lives have my total respect. And when you think about it, mornings really can be the best part of the day. Everyone else is asleep, the sun is just glancing over the horizon, the air is fresh and cool to the touch, the roads are quiet, the birds are chirping... if only I could resist the overpowering temptation to go back underneath my bed covers. But I guess I have a period of quiet alone time in my day too. It's just shifted forward seventeen hours (or backwards seven) from that golden time of 6 a.m. Yup, I've always loved that period when my parents have gone to bed and I have the whole house to myself (that includes the fridge!) The evening breeze from my open window is fantastic. I just hate the moths and other insects that are constantly bumping into my screen because they are so attracted  to the light on my desk. But all in all it's a pretty peaceful time after midnight. I guess I'll call it my new mornings.

With patterns from school weeks and then wacky weekend schedules, my sleep patterns are pretty much screwed up. I guess the only advantage to that is that I get over jetlag much more easily than say, my parents. But I don't know, I would still like to feel my best in the morning instead of walking around like a zombie for the first few hours upon awakening. I've concluded that my biological clock would fit that of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I think I'll go start packing. Well, not until I wake up around 11 p.m. ET tonight.

The First Penny

There's something scary about writing on a new page or typing onto a blank screen. There's a hidden fear of imperfection with every letter that comes out, a thought in the back of your mind that you just might screw it all up. But I guess everything has a beginning that must start sometime.

So, this is the sometime. I think the title of this blog suggests that each post could be seen as equivalent to a penny. Good to know that even in a couple of months time there is a high chance that all my rambling thoughts won't even amount to a dollar. At least that takes care of the pressure. But I'm already doing that right now as I type, hitting the delete button and trying to rephrase sentences so they sound better. I don't think that's gonna get me very far if I want to post frequently to keep potential followers happy. So I have to swallow some of my pride and accept (and possibly apologize to english teachers who criticize my use of "gonna" and other colloquialisms) that my writing here won't nearly be perfect, or anywhere near my own standards for writing.

So there you have it. My first post. They say that any number is infinitely larger than zero. So now I am infinitely richer than I was a moment ago. Glad to have you along for the ride.