Who Owns An Idea?

Ideas… where do they come from? And who owns them?

I have a lot of ideas in mind, and some of them just came right while I was thinking. Completely unaware that someone else may have the same idea as I do, there is a possibility of a comparison once we come up with a strikingly similar concept with some obvious differences. Really?

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Most of my ideas are generally my own… well, mostly proclaimed, but I don’t actually own them unless it’s something that I can produce out of these ideas, whether it’s an invention or a work of art. Of course, everything my mind conceives is always free and will always be. After all, everyone else may (and/or can) have the same idea as mine.

Okay, so can you really own an idea? Probably. Ideas are generally free unless it’s strapped down by a contract or a patent.^

Patents are the strongest form of legal protection for an idea. It is generally used for inventions, more of an intellectual property. While there are ways to secure protection for an idea, such as trade secrets or copyrights, there’s a possibility that these may be rendered ineffective once it is already patented.

There are some drawbacks, however. The relatively short life and limited subject matter (utilitarian) shows that there is no way you can own that certain idea in perpetuity.^ I know how your ideas can influence and inspire others and by that, you wanted to make sure that you can always take the credit, but there is no way you can always proclaim it as yours… forever. Yes, there’s no such thing as perpetual ownership of ideas, like it is permanently affixed to you and certainly requires a royalty fee in order for others to use it.

Oh well, there is really no effective way to protect a simple idea. While copyrights protect expression and patents protect inventions, neither of them actually protects ideas. In both cases, the idea is the first critical step, but without some identifiable embodiment of the idea there can be no intellectual property protection obtained and no exclusive rights will flow unto you.^ Yup, ideas alone cannot be owned and protected by an individual, so that means someone can have (and use) the same idea as yours without any [legal] trouble.

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As a writer, I knew that I might end up having the same ideas for the story as the others. Whether it’s inspired from or loosely based on a story, there’s always a possibility of comparing my work to someone else’s. We may have the same ideas for a story, but we differ when it comes to creativity… well, almost.

Yes, we all have ideas, that’s for sure. To have the same idea as someone else, that’s normal. It’s share and share alike, don’t keep such wonderful ideas to yourself. Not all ideas can be owned and proclaimed as yours or theirs just so you know.

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#2017: One Remarkable Year [E]

Well, a lot of remarkable things happened this year and for that, I’m extremely pleased. Except for a few stormy moments (mostly personal), everything went well.

Come to think of it, this year is remarkable in its own way. Just imagine how impressed I was with some of the good things that happened this year, especially from March and September.

January

The year begins with a post-New Year’s celebration. Of course, we managed to finish every leftover from the New Year’s Eve feast. I bought a couple of items, such as the digital alarm clock and the black knitted vest.

It was around this time when I finally get to witness the Dragon Dance at Ongpin Street in Binondo, but it was raining that time and I was exhausted from the crowd of people in the area. I decided to make a turn midway through the Dragon Dance, and head to the nearest mall. Before that, I also get to check the historic buildings at Escolta for the second time.

February

I just keep going back to the milk tea shop in Lagro, taking a moment to check the area and enjoy a nice sip of milk tea. Of course, I started wearing the black knitted vest and started experimenting with the string ribbon tie. Nothing special, it’s just that I might want to try it out.

March

I made three purchases this month. First, I bought the black cardigan. Next, I bought the black knitted blazer, but I didn’t wear it until my 27th birthday later that year. And of course, the black fleece coat that serves as a possible replacement for the black woolen coat that I bought a few years ago.

Around this time, I’ve been downloading some anime shows and a lot of music. I’m quite fascinated with a few anime characters, and I’m feeling kind of ecstatic about going out on a mall-hopping trip.

And then there’s a little mishap on the way home from a mall-hopping trip (where I bought another Tokyo Ghoul shirt from a stall in Binondo). First, there was a little accident where a jeepney hit the door of a UV Express I was riding. Apparently, a passenger was getting off that time, but it was a little off the sidewalk. And then a jeepney was passing through, but it just passed between the UV Express and the sidewalk while the door is still open. Result? A little accident. And while waiting for another UV Express, I can’t find my phone. After a few stressful minutes trying to find it, I actually misplaced it inside my bag. And that’s how that stressful moment ends.

And there goes the IV-Chromium gang again, trying to annoy me with some kind of messages through Facebook Messenger. They were planning a reunion that time, and some of them are talking about it. Apparently, they missed me a lot, but I hate them so much (even after ten years) that I was thinking twice about going out on the day of the reunion. Well, I did go out on that day, though I’m not actually planning to meet them anyway. Whatever.

April

April Fools’ Day. So here I was, minding my own business when two of my classmates from IV-Chromium approached me. They asked if I still remember them. Of course, I acted like I didn’t know them and walked away. I checked my Facebook Messenger, and they’re acting sad about it. As if they really cared about me anyway.

So I was really having a great time for the rest of the month. While on a mall-hopping trip to SM Masinag, I actually get to see the newly built piers of the LRT-2 East Extension. The rail tracks and power supply are yet to be installed, and the stations are yet to be built. Looks like we’ll have to wait a couple of years for the extension to be operational, eh?

May

I just happened to see a poster for an upcoming otaku event at the Fairview Terraces. I suddenly become interested in attending the event and even checked the venue for two weeks and checked the mall’s Facebook page. My excitement grew at the thought of it, as this will be the first time I’ll be attending an otaku event.

And there I was, admiring the cosplayers and their amazing costumes. I even had a few pictures with some of them. They’re really awesome. The two-day event is truly a memorable experience for me. I’m looking forward to a similar event, hopefully at the same venue. The event inspired me to start a new series on TWATK-Tumblr called The Keihancarl Diaries, which documents some remarkable things that happened during my trips.

The following week, I went on a mall-hopping trip to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and McKinley Hill, both in Taguig. But the recent news updates about a terrorist group invading Marawi City suddenly made me feel anxious and as a result, I didn’t get to enjoy the trip too much due to anxiety. Even with the tightened security in Manila and other cities, I still couldn’t help but worry about the possibility of some terrorist groups slipping past the security. We’re praying for our safety and for our beloved soldiers who are fighting to restore peace and order in the affected city.

June

We tried roasting a whole chicken on the turbo broiler… it was okay. Well, the problem is that there’s a problem with the timer dial so we had to closely guard the chicken, like, for more than an hour. It turned out dry in the end, but we managed to enjoy the meal.

I visited Manila again after a few months. While running to catch the LRT-1 to Baclaran, I had an allergy attack and I felt very uncomfortable throughout the train ride. Later that afternoon, I enjoyed walking along the streets of Ongpin, and just witnessed an incident near the LRT Carriedo Station. And since it was raining that afternoon, I skipped Baywalk and head straight to Robinsons Place Manila to have an early dinner before heading home. That time, my former blog The Kin Keihan Times had just celebrated its ninth year in the cyberspace, though the site itself is now an archive of posts from all of my old blog sites, including TWATKcox-Tumblr’s early posts.

July

I published the two-part School Days article, which tells much about my elementary and high school life, as well as the importance of education.

On my next mall-hopping trip to Ortigas Center-Kapitolyo area, I visited Estancia Mall and the newly-opened Ayala Malls The 30th for the first time. Heading to SM Megamall, I saw some cosplayers and otaku fans gather outside the mall’s Trade Hall. There was actually an otaku event, but I didn’t have time to check it out since I still need to visit a few more malls in the area, as well as Greenhills Shopping Center.

August

I visited the newly-opened Vertis North Mall, another addition to the two malls at North Avenue. Also, I checked out some interesting shops at Vertis North Mall and SM North EDSA.

The following week, I visited Eastwood and Tiendesitas for the first time in a few years, as well as SM City East Ortigas. I also bought my first pair of red socks at a Mumuso branch in Vertis North Mall before heading home.

I also published a throwback post about revisiting Lagro in 2014 for the first time in three years (seven years after the high school graduation in 2007). I celebrated that occasion at a milk tea shop near my high school and posted a note on the shop’s cork board. Later, I had a funny moment when I happened to see a scary looking doll inside a steel cabinet at HMR Fairview Terraces. All I did was picture the doll inside the steel cabinet, and even took a video of me opening the cabinet to reveal the scary looking doll inside, which I uploaded to my Instagram account.

September

I visited Rockwell Center and Century City for the first time in nearly three years, as well as Circuit Makati. Just the usual mall-hopping trip with lots of pictures and some selfies. Later that afternoon, I head to Binondo and saw a wonderful collection of anime figures at the Manga Mania Exhibit (Asian Festival) in Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Around this time, I suddenly become fascinated with Twitter and I’m starting to get the hang of it. Even though I already had a Twitter account since 2010, I never actually used it much except for promoting my blog posts (TWATK-WP and TWATK-Tumblr) and I rarely changed my profile and cover photos. All of a sudden, my Twitter account experienced a revival of all sorts as I started following certain accounts as well as tweeting (and retweeting) posts. This is where you’ll hear me rant about various things, as I don’t feel like doing it on Facebook anymore. Also, I feel more comfortable expressing myself in here than Facebook, to be honest.

I get to visit another event, the Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center. I actually had to fall in line for about thirty minutes before I finally got inside. There were a lot of people at the event, and there are some interesting booths… though I didn’t buy anything, except for a couple of Mogu Mogu bottles which I consumed outside the premises. I then passed by S’Maison, a two-level luxury mall just below Conrad Manila, as well as SM Mall Of Asia. I get to see the mall’s expansion, though they’re partly open at the moment. The expansion is still a work in progress. After that, I head to Landmark Trinoma to buy some ingredients for a cheesecake.

The next day, I made a no-bake cheesecake, though the result was far from what I expected. It was like an ice cream cake that needs to be refrigerated in order to set. My next attempt is just the same as the first one.

Then came the unexpected sad news. My sister-in-law’s father was killed in an unexpected accident in Sangandaan. He was riding his mountain bike on the way to his destination when a ten-wheeler truck struck him. Although he encountered an accident last year involving another mountain bike and both cyclists ended up getting injured, this one took his life. He was a dedicated cyclist and a loving father to my sister-in-law’s family, as well as to his son-in-law (my brother). I met him a few times and he’s really a nice person. I immediately offer a condolence to my sister-in-law before dinner for her loss. Right now, the case against the truck driver is still ongoing as of this writing. I immediately suffered a momentary depression that I don’t feel like writing and blogging for a while. I resumed blogging and writing a few days after his burial.

October

This month, we’re having a double celebration: my brother and sister-in-law’s first wedding anniversary, and my 27th birthday.

I was planning on celebrating my 27th birthday with a mall-hopping trip in the south (Alabang-Las Piñas area). But before that, I treat myself to a blueberry cheesecake and winter melon milk tea at a dessert place in Lagro. And since my birthday coincided with my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding anniversary, the sumptuous dinner serves as a celebration for two occasions. They bought a cake and a tub of ice cream for my birthday two days later. I managed to finish most of the food in the next few days, except for a few pieces of the sushi roll which was already spoiled just as I was close to finishing them all.

And there’s the second part of the birthday celebration, a mall-hopping trip in the south. That was the time I finally got to wear the black knitted blazer that I bought six months ago. Also, I bought a couple of zipper ties, but I don’t feel like wearing any of them for some reason. I ended up wearing just the olive-yellow collared shirt with the blazer. The trip went okay, but the sudden allergic reaction after running to catch the PNR train and the traffic in Alabang (and later, Commonwealth Avenue, Fairview area) and the rainfall nearly ruined it. Also, the planned concept didn’t go well. The only consolation for this trip is the red and gray socks I bought from a Mumuso branch in Ayala Malls South Park, and the light traffic along Alabang-Zapote Road (Las Piñas section) and CAVITEx.

The month ends in yet another problem. The desktop PC’s motherboard finally gave up after more than eight years. The PC is running slower than usual and it really needs an upgrade. For a while, I’m using my sister-in-law’s laptop, but I’m pretty anxious about retrieving the list of upcoming post titles, which is saved as a sticky note courtesy of a now-defunct freeware ATNotes. I know it is saved on a file, but there’s a possibility that I might no longer retrieve the sticky notes saved on my desktop.

November

It was raining these past few days and I’m starting to feel depressed. I’m already suffering from a case of anxiety due to a lot of reasons (mostly due to the PC’s dead motherboard and the inability to retrieve the upcoming post titles and their schedules), and the gloomy stormy weather makes it even worse. I don’t know what to do, I’m starting to lose focus on my upcoming blog posts. I took a day off from blogging to lure myself out of depression.

I head out on another mall-hopping trip, and I come up with a brilliant idea for my outfit. I finally get to incorporate the black zipper tie to my outfit, which consists of my old orange button shirt, black fleece coat, and a black sun visor. I actually looked good on it so I decided on that outfit. And it yielded a lot of good looking selfies. Anyway, I managed to squeeze a lot of malls within a 12-hour trip, and so far everything went well… until the MRT Ayala Station situation makes it difficult for me to head home. I was forced to take a detour, and it took me long enough just to get home.

The new PC arrived, and it’s running Windows 10. For a while, I’m pretty overwhelmed by its features, and it took me a few weeks in order to get used to it. The old hard drive containing the old OS (Windows 8) is connected to the new motherboard, and we tried to run the old OS. It booted successfully, albeit with a few problems, mostly with the PC’s drivers. And that’s how I eventually managed to retrieve the list of upcoming post titles, along with the rest of the sticky notes and some others. The partition containing the old OS is eventually formatted and is distributed to the remaining partitions on the old hard drive.

The only disappointment though is that the DVD-writer cannot be installed due to lack of SATA slots. So that means I’m going to use my sister-in-law’s laptop in order to retrieve some data from my backup DVDs, as well as burning some important and not-so-important junk into numerous DVDs for the time being in order to save space.

I was thinking of installing ATNotes on the new PC but decided not to and installed Keynote instead. Yup, that freeware I downloaded a long time ago finally got some use as a replacement for ATNotes, which I relied on for a few years. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing the list of upcoming post titles and their schedules again, at least I know where they are saved.

December

I’m off to another mall-hopping trip, focusing on the malls located along LRT-2, plus the mall along Katipunan Avenue. Due to the construction of the LRT-2 extension in the area (Pasig-Cainta-Masinag), I’m stuck in heavy traffic going to SM Masinag and I ended up getting stressed and anxious throughout the trip. I’m planning to skip SM Masinag on my next trip in the area until the LRT-2 extension is finished.

I was planning to relax at the milk tea and coffee place in Lagro, but I did some shopping as well. I actually chose the second Saturday of this month to go out because I was feeling kind of motivated that time, not to mention that My Awesome Classmate’s birthday celebration is taking place on that day. The chance of running into him is pretty low, but if that happens, I can always say “Hi” to him. Anyway, I had a vanilla frappe at the milk tea and coffee place, and I continued writing the story that I started months ago. I then head to the Fairview malls to continue my shopping.

And for the last mall-hopping trip for this year, I chose Manila as my itinerary with a little side trip to the newly-opened Cloverleaf Mall and, supposedly, a mall in Valenzuela. The latter was scrapped due to time constraints and the possible heavy traffic in the area. En route to my first destination, the heavy traffic in Novaliches area is stressing me out, and I spent a couple of hours getting stuck in traffic. Later on, I have to deal with a busy crowd in Divisoria and Binondo. Aside from the mall in Valenzuela, I also skipped a couple of places due to light rain. Reaching Robinsons Place Manila, I’m amazed at the Christmas display featuring a group of children singing Christmas carols. I really enjoyed taking a lot of selfies on the Christmas display, and that totally cheered me up.

For Christmas Eve, I made some cheesecake topped with cashews and crushed graham crackers and a cream cheese carbonara with ham and mushrooms. For New Year’s Eve, we only had spaghetti, French fries, and fried chicken, as well as a plain graham cheesecake. We did celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family and relatives with a simple feast.

Conclusion

The year 2017 is not much like I expected, but it’s pretty remarkable in its own way. I mean, I still had a lot of fun. I visited a couple of events, as well as a lot of malls. I bought a lot of new clothes and some accessories,  posted a lot of pictures on my Instagram account, published a lot of posts on my blog sites, and revived my Twitter account after a long inactivity and started following a lot of accounts (mainly otaku related accounts). And of course, some stormy moments too.

Well, I guess that’s the way it is, you really can’t replicate a previously good year with this one. On a brighter side, however, it was an interesting year for me and a prolific year for my blog sites. I’m looking forward to a better and a brighter 2018 ahead.

The Year 2017: TWATKcox’s Year-End Post Special

Time flies fast, and we’re close to switching to a new year. But before that, let’s have a recap of some of the posts for this year. I featured 30 articles for the year-end post special.

The Holiday Hangover

As the holiday season ends, there’s always a holiday hangover. This post tackles the struggle of switching back to normal after enjoying a lengthy holiday break, as well as some tips on how to overcome your holiday hangover.

The Year 2005: One Remarkable Year (The 150th Post Special)

A lengthy post about the remarkable things that happened in my life during that year. It includes my awesome summer vacation, my sudden interest in watching anime shows, discovering new interests, and my fascination with smooth jazz.

Why I Blog: The TWATKcox’s 4th Year Special

Blogging sure is a great way to express yourself. Anyway, this post tells much about my blogging experience, and why I started blogging. It also includes some snippets from my former blog, the Kin Keihan Times.

Alone For Comfort: A Recluse Inside The Room

I know how it feels like to be a recluse, so I wrote this. It includes my thoughts about being a recluse, as well as some reference from the anime series Welcome To The NHK since the show is basically about the main character Tatsuhiro Satou, who is a hikikomori (a Japanese term for recluse).

Fascination With Night And Darkness

I have this obsession with being surrounded by darkness. I actually discovered the term nyctophilia while I was browsing the internet and I just happened to appreciate the darkness of the night so that’s how I come up with this post.

Comfort Through Darkness (A Thought)

At the same time, I was seeking comfort through the darkness, as a result of being a loner for a very long time. This post explains the reason why I’m lured into the dark side of life.

The Dangers Of [High] Expectations [E]

Having high expectations can be pretty dangerous and disadvantageous to a person, whether in daily life, at school or at work.

The Missing Moments Of My Life

There are some things that I never get to do during high school and college. And so, I decided to recall some activities that I could have done back then, but didn’t.

Goodbye, Student Life (Timeline College Series #18)

The last post in the Timeline College Series focused solely on my college graduation. Coincidentally, it was published five years after my college graduation back in 2012.

My Quirky Ways

I know I’m different from the rest, and I can live with it. This post tells about my non-conformist lifestyle and my unusual creativity, as well as my weird rituals and habits.

Expressions, In Light And Dark: The Six Poems, Written By KCOX [L]

Initially, I was planning to write six stories for this special literary post, but I ended up writing six poems instead. It consists of three light-themed poems and three dark-themed poems.

Fantasies, In Real Life

I wrote this article as a homage to my imaginary fantasies. I admit that I’m still drawn to make-believe fantasies, even though I’m already in my mid-20’s. Well, this post covers everything about my childhood make-believe fantasies and my high level of imagination.

A Cynical Life [E]

Sometimes, I tend to have negative views on life. It’s hard to believe how I can be pessimist and cynical at times, especially when it comes to my future plans and my unfulfilled goals in life. But it isn’t at all bad.

Shyness Is A State Of Mind…

Being a shy person, it’s really difficult for me to accomplish certain tasks and activities such as applying for an OJT on my own, asking a salesman regarding the item on the shelf you’re about to buy or even going to a friend’s house without feeling anxiety. Dealing with shyness really takes a lot of courage and determination to overcome this.

Quirkiness Through Fashion

I usually find myself donning unusual outfits whenever I go out. This post is all about my obsession with unusual but cool looking outfits, as well as providing some ideas for a creative outfit that you can call your own.

Awkwardness Is…

I just couldn’t help feeling awkward in some situations, so I decided to write this post. Anyway, it’s all about socially awkward experiences and how to deal with it.

School Days: Achievements, Activities, Moments, And Experiences / My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education

This two-part special post tells about my elementary and high school life, as well as my thoughts and the importance of education. A very timely post for the start of a school year, which actually begins in June.

The Writer With An Attitude (175th Post Special) [E]

The 175th post special focused on my perfectionist attitude as a writer-blogger. Seriously, I always keep proclaiming myself as a perfectionist with an attitude, as if anyone cares. But that should explain who I really am, especially when I’m currently at work with a story or an article.

A Grudge Caused By A Miserable Past [E]

Inspired by a not-so-friendly encounter with my classmates in high school on April Fools’ Day (fourth-year high school classmates, to be more specific), it tells much about holding grudges against the people who made someone’s life miserable, as well as its consequences.

#Throwback: Lagro Revisited

A throwback post about revisiting the place (where my high school is) back in 2014. I was actually heading to a shawarma place but I also decided to pass by my high school, and possibly the street where My Awesome Classmate lives. To be honest, there’s nothing special about this revisit, but I did it anyway.

The Dangers Of Wearing All-Black

Since I started wearing all-black, I tend to become emo at times and I feel kind of strange too. Anyway, this should give you the idea why wearing all-black can be harmful to your emotional well-being.

Keihancarl’s Guide To Budget City Travel

I tend to go out and visit every mall in the metropolis, as well as some places of interest. So here’s a post that will help you manage your time and expenses on every trip, in and out of town.

A Prank Goes Overboard

Not all pranks are funny, that’s why I decided to write this post in order to spread awareness on the consequences of committing unnecessary pranks against an individual or a group of people. Sounds like a killjoy advice coming from a prank victim, but I don’t care.

What It Means To Be Cool (And Look Cool)

The definition of cool can be either good or bad. Being cool is something to be desired, but it can also be a life-changing experience, especially in your lifestyle.

Night Shift

This special post deals with the pros and cons of working the night shift (also known as the graveyard shift), as well as my brief experience as a call center agent in a BPO company in Makati.

The Dangers Of Anxiety [E]

Too much anxiety can be harmful to your well-being. So I wrote this to inform the people about the dangers of extreme anxiety and its negative effects on your physical and emotional well-being.

The Thoughts Of A Person

Sometimes, my thoughts are motivating me to do something. But then, there are times when I was thinking about weird and/or negative thoughts, and that’s something to write about.

Pretty Normal… Not!

I’m not a normal person, that’s for sure. It’s actually similar to My Quirky Ways, but I’m mostly focusing on my mannerisms and strange behavior, which are generally a cause of concern for some.

The Disadvantage Of Spending…

These days, I find myself spending a lot on my mall-hopping trips and some useful and not-so-useful stuff. Well, this post explains the downside of spending money on some expensive or useless stuff, as well as overspending.

A Feast For The Eyes

What good is a feast if the food presentation’s not pleasing enough to the hungry eye? Oh well, this should serve as a guide to those who are planning a sumptuous feast but worried about how it would look like on the table. Just the basics though, since I’m no expert at food preparation.

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It sure was a prolific year for TWATKcox-WP, having published 49 posts (50 including this one), and that’s what I called a great achievement. Anyway, may the next year be as prolific as this one.

From Keihancarl in Manila, we all wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hooray for 2018!

A Holiday To Remember

‘Tis the season to be jolly… fa la la la la, la la la la!

All right, so Christmas is just a few days away and we’re looking forward to another holiday celebration. Oh, the joy of spending Christmas with your family and relatives… having a feast, having fun, and exchanging gifts. But there’s more to it than just celebrating the holidays.

Now come to think of it, we seldom have Christmas parties and we no longer celebrate the holidays as a complete family. But we do have a special feast on New Year’s Day as a compromise. Still, nothing beats the fun and joy of having a Christmas party.

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The holiday season is the season of love, peace, and joy to every mankind. It is the time when families and relatives gather for a heartwarming sumptuous feast and exchanging gifts with one another. Even friends also celebrate the holidays together like a family.

So what makes the holiday season truly memorable? Perhaps it’s all about spending quality time with your relatives and loved ones… something that truly matters since it’s not often that they gather around for a simple occasion such as birthdays or weddings. Plus it gives them the chance to show their love for each other by means of gift-giving and enjoying a sumptuous feast. Of course, there’s the usual chatter, laughter, and having fun.

Looking back, I always look forward to a Christmas party since I love the cheerful and joyful atmosphere of a family gathering. But times have changed, and we no longer gather for a Christmas feast. So it’s just a family thing for us, at least on that day. Of course, we still gather on New Year’s Day, but it feels different from the ones we used to have.

Again, there’s more to it than just a simple family gathering or a sumptuous feast and exchanging gifts. Perhaps by listening to Christmas carols, you now have the idea why we celebrate Christmas.

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This year, I’ll finally get to spend Christmas at home for the first time in six years. The previous Christmas I’m out of the house, either I’m in the province celebrating my grandmother’s birthday (2012, 2014-2016), or I’m at work as a call center agent in training during that time (2013). Anyway, looks like I’m gonna try my hand at cooking something special for the holidays.

Nowadays, celebrating the holidays feels kind of different at the time of social media. Of course, there’ll be online greetings and live video chat with loved ones and relatives… but still, it feels more special to greet someone a Merry Christmas in person.

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All right, so let me recount some of my memorable holiday celebrations:

Twenty years ago, in 1997, we get to celebrate a Christmas party with our relatives (at my uncle’s house). We had a sumptuous feast, parlor games, exchange gifts, and a videoke session (on VHS). I recall some moments where we cousins danced to the music and getting really excited about the gift that I’ll receive. Of course, there’s a part two of the celebration, which is the New Year’s Eve party (media noche).

Twelve years ago, in 2005, we celebrate Christmas Eve at my cousin’s apartment. We only had a feast and some music, but it’s still a memorable experience and we cousins have fun.

Since 2008, we only celebrate New Year’s day at my uncle’s house with a feast. Of course, we celebrate Christmas at my grandmother’s place in Pangasinan (her birthday falls on the day before Christmas, I think), though it’s every two years. At times, we only celebrate Christmas at home with a simple feast and some music.

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Change is constant, yes. And that includes the way we celebrate the holidays.

Looking back, I always recall the joy and excitement of celebrating Christmas as a kid. I guess things will never be the same again, even if we decided to revive the tradition of celebrating a Christmas party with family and relatives. But then, the spirit of the holidays is and will always be present, with or without a feast.

A Feast For The Eyes

A good feast calls for a good presentation.

So it’s holiday season once again, and some of us are already planning a great holiday feast that involves a variety of dishes that are commonly served at parties and events. It is the perfect time for a family gathering, feasting on mouth-watering dishes that makes it truly heartwarming.

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So much food, so much fun. It’s really hard to resist such mouth-watering foods, especially if they’re attractively delicious. Just looking at them makes you feel full.

It’s no secret why some people are attracted to some of the food served on the table. The colors, the arrangement, and the way how it’s done… just looking at them can really make my mouth water, not to mention the delicious smell that wafts my nose. Somehow, the aesthetic appeal of the food served on the table can really help in upping someone’s appetite and enjoy a sumptuous feast.

So here are some tips and ideas for making your dishes look good and picture-worthy:

A Variety Of Colors

Some dishes are made with various ingredients including meat and vegetables. A colorful stew can be made with meat or seafood, an assortment of vegetables such as red and green bell peppers,  carrots and/or potatoes, and other great additions to the stew. A simple roast can be decorated with sides, such as mashed potatoes, carrot or potato sticks, and slices of cucumber. If you’re creative enough to come up with a colorful dish, then you can actually make one. Of course, it’s important to make sure that each of the ingredients compliments each other.

Arrangement

Finger foods and some fried foods can look great if they’re arranged properly.  You can even place the sauce at the center or at the side, depending on your preference. For garden salads, the assorted greens, vegetables, some fruits, and other ingredients can be arranged for a more artistic appeal.

Garnishes And Sauces

Garnishes and sauces do wonders for any dish. Pasta dishes can be sprinkled with cheese, parsley, or basil. For fillets and steaks, a drizzle of the sauce can make the otherwise boring dish look (and taste) delicious.

Toppings

It may sound like decorating a pizza, but it really does wonders in bringing out the beauty of a dish. A rice dish called paella can be topped with some seafood, meat, vegetables, and sliced egg. Some desserts, especially cakes, can be topped with a choice of fruit or nuts.

Decorations

Food carving is a culinary work of art, usually done by artists or chefs. You can always see such works of art in hotels and restaurants, and at times, catering services. It doesn’t have to be extravagant for a typical holiday feast, just a simple rosette of flowers made from vegetable peelings will do. All you need is a proper tool (such as a paring knife) to achieve this.

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The sight of mouth-watering foods can really make you hungry, but the sight of the dishes served on the table can really tempt you into trying every dish. Maybe the color of the ingredients, garnishes, and some toppings really helped in making some dishes (and maybe the entire feast) more appetizing, and picture-friendly too.

Yup, a good feast calls for a good presentation… and a good presentation makes a livelier, heartier feast.

The Disadvantage Of Spending…

You’re thinking of saving every penny for a rainy day, but there goes the temptation of going out just to shop or travel, and end up spending more than you can save. Isn’t that kind of frustrating?

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These days, I tend to spend a lot of money on my city trips, as well as some useful and not-so-useful stuff. Oh well, there’s always a good reason to spend a lot of money on something you love or desire, but then you might go broke if you don’t know how to control your spending habits. I wish I could save more than I can spend, but… I still end up doing the opposite. I guess I’ll never learn, then.

A person’s spending habits depend on his/her personality. For instance, a certified otaku might end up spending a lot of money on anime DVDs or subscription services (cable or online streaming), manga books, and some anime merch such as anime T-shirts or stuffed plushies. A well-groomed person might spend a lot of money on some nice clothes and stylish haircuts. Sometimes, what you’re actually spending on reflects your lifestyle, and not just plain obsession or vanity.

There’s no stopping to your spending habits, as long as you still have a lot of things you wanted to try or have. Of course, you’re working hard just to earn enough money just for that purpose, but sometimes this may not be enough to cover such expenses. Also, there are some things you need to prioritize first such as your basic expenses and bill payments, and they’re taking most of your salary leaving you with just enough or little money to finance your spending habits. Oh wait, there’s also setting aside a significant portion of your salary for your savings, in case of emergencies.

Come to think of it, it’s really difficult to decide whether you want to spend some money on something you like or not. We always tend to live by the saying “buy it now or regret it later”, something that compels you to buy something even if you won’t be using it for now. This kind of mentality is getting real prevalent, especially for shopaholics.

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So what are the disadvantages of overspending?

  • Some people tend to buy more than what they actually need. Even if one is enough, they’ll just buy two or more of the same item, just to stock up on those.
  • Some people are attracted to cute and collectible items, especially if it’s rare or limited edition. They’d probably want to have a hand on these items before someone else buys it.
  • Some people don’t know how to stick to their plan and budget their expenses and ended up spending a lot of money on unplanned purchases and unnecessary luxuries.
  • For people who use credit cards, there’s the uncontrollable urge to swipe the card often just to get what they want. They just don’t realize that interest rates aren’t really that friendly, financially speaking.
  • For people who stick to cash, there’s the feeling of running out of cash after a shopping spree, and the inconvenience of having to budget the rest of what’s left of your cash for food or transportation expenses.
  • There’s a possibility of a cost-cutting measure after spending more than you actually need. It really sucks when your next payday is just a long way ahead.
  • There’s the feeling of regret in case of a bad investment.
  • There’s the feeling of anxiety while buying expensive items, especially clothing and electronics.

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Let’s face it, our spending habits can be quite unpredictable, especially when we’re in the mood for shopping or going out. But that is something we can control. All it takes is the will to practice self-restraint.

My advice? Nothing beats the practice of sticking to the shopping list and buying only what is needed. But more importantly, make sure that you don’t spend more than you can afford.

Pretty Normal… Not!

I always keep describing myself as weird, eccentric, unusual, or strange… but certainly not to the point that I become a creep that everyone avoids. It’s true that my eccentric (and strange) behavior is sometimes making you feel uncomfortable, but I just couldn’t help it at times.

Well, as you can see, I was trying to be a normal person, but I’m struggling to lure myself out of this situation. Just what am I supposed to do with my strange behavior(s) anyway?

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Being unusual isn’t just limited to a person’s behavior, sometimes it also involves their preferences and habits. My choice of music, TV shows, books, food, fashion… and sometimes my fascination with darkness and anything weird (but cool) are some of the things that differs me from the rest. So does that make me a weird person? Probably. But since I consider myself a weird person, I guess you can say that I’m not like the others. It’s just that I have my own preferences. As for my habits, it’s mostly a matter of being an OC.

But let’s focus on strange behavior and being weird, as these are the topics for this post. For starters, being normal is being consistent with the most common behavior for a person.^ Although its definition varies by person, time, place, and situation, it does have a specific standard to determine what is normal and what is not. Through time, the definition changes along with changing societal standards and norms.^

Being weird, however, is just the opposite of being normal. It just shows how you tend to exhibit such mannerisms, as well as having such unusual obsessions, hobbies, and/or rituals that others might wonder what was going on with you. For some people, it’s the socially acceptable behavior that matters, something that they’re expecting you to have.

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So here are some facts about me that are perceived as weird or unusual by others:

  • My movements are pretty awkward. I don’t know, but I always tend to observe my surroundings while walking instead of walking without looking around. I don’t know if they noticed, but some people might think that I’m a pretty awkward person with some kind of mannerism.
  • Prior to wearing glasses, I had a hard time seeing things. So I often resort to squinting my eye just to see anything out of my blurred vision, much to my mom’s annoyance.
  • I always had this habit of pushing up my glasses, usually on the bridge part using my index finger. I do this even though it doesn’t even slide down my nose or when I’m not wearing them. And when I need to take a closer look at something, especially while reading a book, looking at the photos, or surfing the net, I have to take off my glasses and peer closely on the book/magazine, picture, or the LCD screen in order to see clearly.
  • I had this habit of rubbing a [smooth] cloth between my two fingers. It could be a shirt, a handkerchief, or a pillowcase. I often do this most of the time, just to relax or when I’m bored… and at times, just to fall asleep.
  • Back then, I always make sure to sleep on the same pillow that I slept on for more than a decade, or else I won’t be able to sleep. Even though it’s a little lumpy, I still find it more comfortable to sleep on. I eventually bought about four new pillows (two of which I actually slept on) and kept the old ones so I still have something to drool on.
  • I tend to skip or leap around the house during an LSS (last song syndrome) moment or just to fuel my creative imagination. Of course, I always make sure that no one is there to see me doing that.
  • Listening to the same song on loop, for about an hour or so. Maybe I loved the song so much that I need to play it over and over again until I got tired of it or switch to another song.
  • I tend to double check things, just to make sure that everything’s okay. I actually mentioned this back when I introduced myself to one of the instructors, and he told me that I might be OC. I always believe that it’s normal for someone to double check everything just to be safe, but I think I might be overdoing it at times.
  • Whenever I go out, I tend to mumble to myself like I was talking to a person. Oh well, it must be lonely spending time with no one but myself.
  • I tend to stutter at times when I need to say something. Obviously, I’m not good at making conversations with others.
  • My obsessions in life are the things that keep me inspired. And one of them is checking some random people’s profile for some pictures of themselves. Come to think of it, I always check some of my friend’s pictures on Facebook from time to time (especially My Awesome Classmate’s photos) and that gave me a surge of excitement and inspiration. It does look like I’m spying on them, but actually, I was drawn to their cute faces, especially when they look asleep (in the photo, I mean).
  • I always wash my hands and feet before a meal, and before going to bed.
  • My extreme shyness and fear of humiliation make it difficult for me to face the challenges of the real world. If I have to ask someone or walk into an office just to inquire about something, I have to make sure I’m doing the right thing and I’m asking the right person. Otherwise, I’m gonna suffer from extreme humiliation and it will take at least a few hours for me to recover.

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Well, being unusual and weird is something to be proud of, or to be concerned about. Yes, it pays to be normal, but there’s always a reason to be drawn to such strange behavior.

Yes, I keep describing myself as weird, eccentric, unusual, or strange. But at least I’m not trying to be a creep. I just hope I wouldn’t end up like that in the end.

A Certain Wish List

It’s that time of the year once again! Of course, we’re all looking forward to another Christmas celebration… and perhaps, the holiday exchange gifts too.

That aside, we all have our wish lists, and it’s not just material things or anything like that. Sometimes, we wish for a better life, a better future, a happy family, and a peaceful world. It doesn’t have to be grand or expensive, but it should be meaningful… always meaningful.

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A wish list is a list of something you desired in life and it can either be a material thing or not. In making a wish list, however, there are some things that you can’t just ask, like a huge amount of money or something impossible (like reviving a dead pet).

The goal of a wish list is to facilitate communication between the gift receiver and the gift giver.^ If a gift receiver (a recipient) wished for something in particular, then the gift giver (who also acts as a gift purchaser) will either purchase the goods the would-be recipient wants or may serve as an instrument in fulfilling someone’s wish to reunite with a friend, family or relatives, or finding someone to help him land a job or finish schooling through a sponsorship.

Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas, housewarmings and charity events may also have a wish list that would also serve as a guide for gift givers to give the necessary item that a group or an individual desire. Along with the gift is a message from the gift givers to their recipient(s).

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I never had a wish list before, but I knew the feeling when you start listing down all the things you wanted to receive. The joy of waiting for someone to give you the particular item you need, as well as receiving, it is absolutely priceless. The smile on your face shows how much you really appreciated the item that you longed to have. It’s like a dream come true for the recipient.

Whether it’s for a personal reason or a charitable cause, the aim of a wish list is to make someone happy. I’m pretty sure some of you are wishing for material things, but there are some non-material things that you can include on your wish list, including love, peace, and joy to everyone. Of course, always remember to show some gratitude to the people who make things possible for you and/or for others. This will surely make them feel more rewarded and happy.

The Thoughts Of A Person

Ah, the moment you think of someone, it’s like you’re actually spending time with that person, even enjoying some great moments together… only, it’s in your head. Well, isn’t that a shame? But then, your imagination must have taken you to greater heights, thanks to your creative way of thinking.

There are a lot of things you want to express. But of course, to speak your mind is to reveal your thoughts to someone.

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A thought refers to ideas or arrangements of ideas that are the result of the process of thinking.^ We tend to interpret a lot of things that come to our mind, and some of them proved to be crucial in producing ideas and making decisions. So what you’re thinking right now may give you some ideas on what you want to do next, whether it’s making a cheesecake or planning a memorable vacation.

Apparently, I was thinking about various stuff, from romantic thoughts to dark and depressing thoughts. It’s a matter of fantasy and reflection. Maybe I was having some weird thoughts too since I tend to act weird at times. So that means, I have a lot of ideas in mind, mostly produced by my imagination.

I generally let my mind wander as a way of gathering ideas. But at times, my mind tends to wander too much that I wasn’t paying too much attention to where I was heading. Oh well, I do this all the time, as long as I don’t bump into someone.

There are some thoughts that I can’t just share with anyone, partly due to the fact that it may be embarrassing to some people, including myself. Of course, a hidden thought is considered a secret that you can’t always reveal to anybody. I’m pretty sure that there are some people who wanted to know what’s inside a person’s mind. Well, too bad for them. It’s just that there are some people who are generally cryptic about their thoughts, making it difficult for others to read their minds.

In the end, our thoughts can be really helpful in making decisions, making a judgment, and expressing oneself without the need for a talk. Our mind is working hard to produce a wonderful idea necessary to keep ourselves creative and productive, as well as to help us decide what our ideal future will be, regardless of the consequence of your actions. Your way of thinking defines who you really are.

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So here I was, thinking about…

  • Me and my classmate in high school, spending some quality time together. I imagine him as my awesome best friend, though we didn’t actually hang out often in real life. Sometimes, I imagine seeing him in his pajamas and either having a nice conversation with me in the living room or watching him sleeping. I really wanted to make a story out of it, I think that would be cute. Just a bonus, I nearly had a chance encounter back in May 2016, only he didn’t notice me passing by (as he was talking to someone that time).
  • Some imaginary scenes from a series non-existent anime series and my future stories while listening to music. My creative thinking sure takes me to even greater heights, but sometimes I feel kind of frustrated at the thought of it not existing (in the case of made-up anime series), or being unable to turn the thought into a draft (in the case of the stories I’m writing).
  • Me in a variety of outfits, visiting a lot of places, and collecting and buying various stuff. I was feeling kind of ambitious, but it can be frustrating at times since I don’t have a job and I don’t actually earn from blogging so that’s all I can do for now. Well, I was trying to, but with the money that I saved up from the bi-weekly allowance.
  • My impression about the places I wanted to visit and the food I wanted to try out. I assume that they’re more than just exciting, but it’s also heavenly… okay, sometimes I tend to exaggerate on this one.
  • Judging others based on their attitude. There are times when I feel like saying something mean to a person for being rude and inconsiderate. Of course, that includes my dad (whom I’m constantly at odds with), and my classmates from fourth-year high school (the people who deserved to be cursed to hell).
  • Having suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, I just couldn’t help thinking about killing myself at times, mainly because I’m only causing problems for everyone and I’m feeling cynical at the thought of others ditching me as a friend, thus becoming a loner. I simply shake my head of those thoughts and try to move on.
  • Having a series of dark thoughts, but mostly related to the stories I’m planning to write and/or currently writing right now. Some of them are too gruesome to mention.
  • My future. I don’t want to imagine what I’ll end up to be as this can make me feel depressed. Same thing with death…

If these thoughts are what I’m thinking right now, then at least I’m being honest about myself. I already shared what’s on my mind, even though some of these can be quite embarrassing for some of us, and may even cause some concern for others.

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Your thoughts are like a book, always full of imagination and reflection. One moment, you’re thinking of good thoughts. In another, you’re thinking of negative thoughts. I’m sure these thoughts are meant to be expressed, though it doesn’t always have to be direct. All you have to do is walk or sit down and think, think, and think.

Right now, there are a lot of reasons why I come up with some exciting, embarrassing, or depressing thoughts. Of course, it depends on the situation I’m in right now. The mind is such a wonderful thing to have, don’t you agree?

My Future [E]

“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

I just keep repeating myself over and over, but I couldn’t help it. Maybe this should serve as a constant reminder (to myself) that no matter what happens, life goes on…


I hate myself. Sometimes, I believe that my life isn’t really meaningful at all. My existence is nothing but a joke. I don’t know, but my pessimism remains strong as ever, and it will take a lot of effort for anyone to talk me out of this negativity.

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Since graduating from college more than five years ago, I didn’t have a clear plan for what my future will look like. When I applied as a customer service representative for a call center company at a job fair four years ago, I was asked what my life would be like after five years. I told him that I’d still be working at the call center company, probably focusing on my stressful job and earning a lot of money, just to catch up with some of my friends and classmates who already started their jobs as soon as they graduated. Apparently, I had no idea what he was asking about, so I just answered the question, plain and simple. He asked me if I was really sure about my answer. Maybe he meant that by then, I should have done something meaningful, other than simply focusing on my job and earning money. Perhaps, he was asking about my future goals in life, which makes sense since we’re all expected to have our own goals in life aside from working and earning money.

Life can be pretty scary, to be honest. I don’t know how to deal with people, even though I already had a brief stint at a call center company a few years ago that requires me to talk to a lot of customers. Sometimes, I don’t feel like seeing people, but I need to go out every once in a while. I’m slowly turning into a recluse, probably a hikikomori. I don’t know. It’s kind of depressing to be sitting in front of a computer surfing the net and checking my social media accounts all the time. The feeling of insecurity upon seeing others succeed just makes my depressing life even worse.

So what’s my future like? For me, it’s just a plain and boring one, without a job and without support from my friends. I never get to experience a lot of things, and I’ll never will. I feel like I’m going to be a loner for the rest of my life. I don’t even have a love life. Heck, I don’t know if I can stand being with a crowd. And my communication skills are so poor that it’s impossible for me to interact with anyone.

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I just keep repeating myself over and over again, but I couldn’t help it. I have a lot of plans for my future, but these will remain on the drawing board unless I have the courage to work on it.

I’m planning to catch up with some of my friends once I have a new job, but I’m not keen on hanging out with them. I mean, I was rejected by my peers back in elementary, and I became a loner during high school and college.

I’m planning to have my own collection of anime figures, and I’ll keep expanding my manga collection. Of course, I’ll start attending otaku events and book fairs, and maybe a jazz festival, if there will be one.

I want to live in a nice house, minimalist style. I want to see shades of black and gray, as well as red and blue. And a lot of cabinets too. I fancy those tall upholstered chairs, these will look nice in a dining room area, but exclusively for the head of the house.

I’m ditching the idea of a marriage. Yup, I’m not planning to get married. Even if you try to convince me to find a suitable partner, I won’t do it. After witnessing the horrors of my parent’s marriage, I’m closing the doors on marriage due to the fear of becoming a violent parent and the thought of my children hating me for being a bad parent. It’s hard to be the son of a dysfunctional dad.

Being single for a long time and not having a family of my own, I might as well accept the fact that one day I’ll end up in a nursing home, all alone and wishing for death. I hope I wouldn’t end up like that, it’s not too late to reconsider.

I wanted to do all the things I want before I turn 30. There are a lot of things waiting for me to experience. Anyway, this is all about traveling to different places, writing stories, visiting various events (especially otaku events and book fairs), watching a lot of anime shows, wearing unusual but fashionable outfits, joining contests, and dining out with no one but myself. Of course, I won’t oblige myself to fulfill every one of those activities, since that may be too much for me, considering the struggles of a hectic work schedule.

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If I decided that I haven’t done something meaningful in my life, then it’s all over. I don’t know what to do next, but rest assured that I’m not ditching the possibility of living my life to the fullest… but there’s no guarantee if I can ever live a life without regrets.

Well, that’s how it is. But then again, it’s not a bad idea to shook your head and change plans, especially if it’s for the better. After all, we only live once so it’s best to make the most out of the remaining years of your life. Just make sure to try doing something meaningful to yourself and to others.