This year I learned that there are two types of Christmas trees: a noble and a douglas.
I was standing in the parking lot of Lowe’s, searching the fenced in barn for this year’s tree. To my left, there were the douglasses. I knew that any one of them would look great in my living room. They had the classic Christmas tree feel, and I felt satisfied with the quality.
Then, I looked to my right. Propped along the wooden fences were the plush, green noble trees. And they were, indeed, noble. The trees looked as though they came straight out of a holiday hallmark movie. The branches looked as though they grew to meet cold winter snow, and I could not picture any kind of tree that represented the holiday better.
I again turned to my left. The douglass trees then looked drab. Dying, even. The only thing that made them more appealing than the tall nobles was the pricetag. I sorted through each of them, however, and found one that would suit my living room. I admired it and it’s imperfections seemed to disappear. But I again turned towards the nobles.
The contrast in beauty was striking. The tree I had found did not seem as beautiful anymore.
I recently watched the notebook with my friend, we will call him John for now. So my friend John practically begged me to watch the notebook, and I agreed and give him the normal run down. I warned him that he will absolutely cry. So we get to the part in the movie where Noah and Allie are LITERALLY in the rain in the boat. She’s about to find out he wrote her 365 letters and that he still loves her. I’m sitting there stuffing my face with popcorn, and I start to hear the sound of logs being sawed. John is snoring. He has the audacity to fall asleep. So I do the thing any dedicated notebook fan would do and I pushed him off of the couch. The movie continues and we are at the end where they die together and I am crying, ugly crying. And I look over and John is asleep AGAIN! I asked him how he liked the movie the next day and he said that it was “alright”. And that is the story about how I stopped being friends with John.
I’ve been trying to get my dad to stop eating meat since I was four years old. We traveled to Ireland and I remember watching him eat bacon day after day and wanting nothing more than for him to understand the terrible health risks. I’ve always been worried about his health… His “weight loss” diets would always consist of meats and cheese (protein fads) along with Diet Ginger Ale… He would lose weight and looked fit so it worked for him, but I became more and more worried.
I tried to explain to him that natural sugars are okay and animal products were truly the problem. He was raised in a family of ten siblings so if he didn’t eat what was served (unhealthy crappy foods) he wouldn’t eat, period. Meats, processed foods and dairy was on the menu during his upbringing. So when I was young he was hard on me for my decisions because he simply didn’t have the proper knowledge.
As I got older he started to support my lifestyle more and more, eventually taking me to vegan festivals and even dining with me to enjoy high quality vegan foods. He even asked me where he could get a metal straw to help with plastic pollution. I figured this was as far as he would ever go. I accepted this reality and kind of gave up on him, sadly. I figured he would never change and that was okay…Because everyone is different right?
When I got the call last month…it was my dad on the phone telling me he is going plant based after watching “The Game Changers” documentary on Netflix. I was in utter shock. Out of everyone in my life, he would have been the last person on my list I would ever expect to go vegan. For me, this showed me hope for humanity! He is the most “manly” guy I’ve ever met so for him to make this change is amazing. With all the stereotypes about vegan guys being weak, feminine and all that other nonsense animal product companies endorse, this shows me how anyone can do it just letting go of their ego. My dad said, “All the research supports the vegan diet and this way of life is by far the most healthy. I have always known that you are on the right track. Now I am seeing that eating plant based can even build muscle, strength and healthy blood flow. It seems that it can also lower my cholesterol which is elevated at this time. I am so proud of you for paving the way. You are a great inspiration to me and I’m never eating meat again.”
A lot of the time people will tell me they would totally go vegan if they could, but it would be “too hard,” “I tried and just couldn’t” or it’s not the time and they will eventually make the switch… But the time is now. We have the resources. Nobody cares about getting the right nutrients until veganism comes up. People will be eating McDonald’s all day and act like veganism would just be detrimental to their health. Another excuse is that it’s too expensive. It is simply not expensive to go to your local grocery store and buy a can of beans or some vegetables. Research the right foods and stop saying you “can’t.” Stop making excuses to make yourself feel like a better person because it is total BS.
This is a lifestyle. And yes, changing your lifestyle is a big deal but crucial for your health and well being. This switch will change your life, and the ones in it, but only for the better. I hope my dad can be an inspirational success story and help you and your family on your own health journeys.
Released in 2019, Demon Slayer has been the anime of the year. After enjoying the 26 episodes of season 1, I must say that it’s very good. I have devoured all of season 1 in a matter of 3 days.
A 2-hour long movie has been scheduled for Demon Slayer, which will be released in 2020.
I’ve watched many animes. The ones on top of my head right now are: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, TheDisastrousLifeofSaikiK., One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100, Black Butler, Fairy Tail, Devilman Crybaby, No Game No Life, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions… Even the old ones like Lupin the 3rd, or Dragon Ball Z.
I always find joy in watching animes, and I will keep watching animes in the future.
As a critic, watching all these animes, not all of them satisfy me. However, Demon Slayer is a masterpiece, even in my eyes. The anime contains human nature and emotions on a whole other level compared to some animes, I would say it’s one of the best and truest. I’m excited for the future of the Demon Slayer series.
It’s a philosophical paradox. Am I gaining or losing? People often say that you get abs from training. But without losing the fat, you can’t see them. So is it really gaining or losing? I don’t know. Just like life, when you gain something, you’re automatically losing something.
From ancient epics to nowadays trivia, the paradox applies. Achilles’ mother dipped her son into the styx, which made him powerful—except that Achilles got the fatal weakness in his heels. He gained strength but also weakness… you gain some you lose some. But was he really losing when he got the weakness in his heels? Although it was bad for him, he was gaining something. Or is it really a bad thing to have weaknesses? Immortality is considered miserable by some—gaining everlasting life while losing your humanity? Or should we stay animals, return back to the caves? Our existence does stop the evolutionary path, like Ishmael said. If we are animals, our IQs lower and we keep evolving. Is losing intelligence really bad? “Ignorance is strength,” George Orwell said in his novel… This is a paradox indeed.
Am I gaining or losing by being here right now? Not having an existential crisis, but what really am I? A person born to die, I would say. So, is my birth a gain (because I’m added to the world) or a loss (because I’m destined to die)? I fancy the idea of an afterlife and envy the people who believe in it. Everything turns out to be paradoxical when you look at the perspectives. Brutus loved Rome just like Caesar did, and he killed Caesar for it. Caesar was his friend and he murdered his friend for politics. Did he gain from his participation in the conspiracy or lose honor from killing his friend? Would I make the same choice if I were Brutus?
You gain some you lose some, so is there anything to be gained in life when you’re losing while gaining? I guess thinking too much about something can only make a simple subject complex. We should make choices that are good for us, and sometimes they come at a cost… Are you willing to make sacrifices for your desires?
Theater is one of my favorite things in the world. And though I have the talent of a rock, and would never participate in any musicals ever, I love watching them and over the past couple years my obsession with Broadway has grown stronger. So, I decided to compose a list of my favorite Broadway shows and movie musicals and why.
10. Dear Evan Hansen: I haven’t seen this musical yet, but I am obsessed with the soundtrack, and I really hope I get to see it one day.
9. The Lion King: There’s no reason why this musical is low on my list, because I loved it with all my heart. I was in awe during the whole production with the costume design, music, and set, and would recommend it to anyone, but it’s not a show I would go see a second time unless I went with a friend who would really want to go.
8. The Greatest Showman: This is only a musical, but there are rumors that a Broadway production of it is in the making. This was my favorite movie during all of 2017. I loved everything about this musical movie. The music, the actors, the story, all of it. So much so that I saw it three times in the theater within three weeks, and several times after that on the plane.
7. Wicked: This one should definitely be higher on my list, but I have too many musicals to mention, so this had to be right here. I’ve seen Wicked at least three times because every time it goes to my city my family has tickets. It was the first musical I’ve ever watched and it’s been one of my favorites since.
6. Kinky Boots: To describe this musical in one word, I’d say iconic. A Broadway show about drag queens? With a powerful, positive, feel-good story and catchy as heck tunes? I stan it. Plus, Brendon Urie was a part of it over the summer, which started my obsession with the musical, but isn’t the only reason I love the production. The show’s amazing with or without him and I saw it with David Cook and he was amazing in it. I’m gonna miss this show when it closes in April. #Revival
5. Mamma Mia: Anyone who knows me knows this musical is bound to be on my list whether they decide to read this or not. This is my favorite movie. I’ve never seen the live production of it, but I’ve watched the movie at least 100 times and if I could revive any Broadway show it’d be this one (or Newsies).
4. Hamilton: Do I need to explain why Hamilton’s so high up? I’ll probably have to say why it’s not my favorite, but this musical is amazing. There’s a reason why it’s so freaking popular. It’s a rap musical and all the dialogue is done rapping, there’s no simply talking except for maybe two times in the whole production. I was lucky to see this show with my aunt last year in Los Angeles with tenth row seats and it was the most magical three hours of my life. Additionally, history is one of my favorite subjects and this musical was a modern production on a story from almost three hundred years ago with a diverse cast and an incredible soundtrack.
3. The Book of Mormon: I dedicated a whole blog post to this show last year, but it didn’t do it 100% justice for how amazing it was. This show was hilarious and I went into it skeptical that I was gonna like it, but I loved every part of it. The second it comes to California again I’m buying tickets and I’m anticipating the moment I get to go watch it again.
2. Phantom of the Opera: I get to finally see this musical during summer time and I’ve been wanting to see it more than anything since I watched the movie on Netflix last summer. As of now, it’s still the longest running Broadway musical and I still haven’t seen it, but that will change… hopefully. But, it’s still reserved this spot on my list because I am obsessed with the story, despite how high-key toxic the relationship between the Phantom and Christine is. But, that’s what makes the story so interesting and addicting to watch.
1. Aladdin: This show is the most underrated popular show in Broadway right now. Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie, but watching the Broadway version was the most magical three hours of my life. I remember at one point I had to close my eyes because the costume and set design were so insane with bright lights and glitter that it was blinding. I never saw so many dancers in sync and so many perfect voices in harmony together in one song. I remember when the show ended, and my aunt, sister, and I were all leaving the theatre and I was in a daze for the rest of the night. Then the next day, I wanted to return.
This was a really long list, but if you’ve made it to the end, I 100% recommend you go to any of these shows and you’ll have the best experience ever.
I always go to the movies purely for entertainment. I’ve never gone to a movie where I’ve left inspired about my future.
But after watching On the Basis of Sex on Saturday, I couldn’t wait to be a lawyer.
The movie was based off the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was the top of her class at both Harvard’s and Columbia’s law schools, but she wasn’t allowed to practice law in New York City solely on the basis that she was a woman during this time.
The story followed her through her first case following a male who wanted a care giver tax deduction, but the law stated that only women or widowed men could be care givers.
This case was the spark that started a series of changes in laws contributing to giving women their rights, many cases won by RBG herself.
Ginsberg went from a lawyer fighting sex-based discrimination against people who wouldn’t listen to being a Supreme Court justice with a 96-3 vote from Congress.
If that’s not inspirational for a young female and aspiring lawyer, then I don’t know what is.
Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I would make up cases and make my family act as the other lawyers and defendants. I went to a mock trial program at UCLA over the summer and most of my daydreams lately have been about excelling in law school.
I’m pretty sure I’m more excited for law school than I am for college.
Watching that movie made me excited for my future, excited to live in NYC, and excited practice law and work on influential cases.
So, thank you RBG. I hope to follow in your footsteps on the path you’ve helped create.