Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! Welcoming 2017!

 Happy New Year’s Eve!


Today is the last day of the year of 2016.

I recently posted a life update and now it’s the end of the year.

I guess I can do a summary of what 2016 has thrown at me:

a)      I did the SATs. Honestly, that was pretty uneventful but I’m glad I got the opportunity to do it. It allowed me to learn about the (IMO) unnecessarily complicated process of applying to colleges and universities in the USA. Almost 6 months later I still stand by that as I continued to look into many higher ED options and it’s all tedious and annoying. However, there are many resources out there to help navigate the process (on line and in person communities and groups). I had the assistance of the staff at GED Plus and Year Up which gave me some comfort and a sense of reassurance that I was not alone.

         
                               Source                                                              Source                            


b)     Leading off from that, my admission and acceptance into the Year Up program in Boston. I personally don’t believe in the concept of “coincidence” and this event has solidified that belief. Everything, from the day I found GED Plus to my current internship through the program, was like a laid out course/track that, if I took the right steps, I would end up at an unexpected destination but one that would be a necessity. That is how I continue to see it. In the end, it seems I made the right choices because I am here because of them. I was blessed by the Lord God through all these events, just happening one after the other. Like pieces to a puzzle, with each section being completed the closer you get to the completed piece. I have not reached the ‘completed piece’ yet but I believe that as long as I continue in my faith and walk with the God of the Bible, I will get there.



c)      K-Pop, a topic I have yet to truly talk about on this platform. I am a huge fan, since 2010 I believe, but my hyper-active fangirling has declined over the years. From stanning and obsessing over every group that was active, recently debuted and hot, I now have less than 10 male groups I actively stan and follow, and around the same or a little more for female groups I’ll list them sometime later). 2016 was not a good year for the K-Pop industry and that’s putting it nicely. What I want to touch on is the groups that disbanded and lost members that affected me. The groups are as follows:

      Disbanded groups:
4Minute, KARA, Rainbow and 2NE1
4Minute: 2009 - 2016

KARA: 2007 - 2016


Rainbow: 2009 - 2016

2NE1: 2009 - 2016



Group member(s) departure:
Secret, Miss A, 9Muses

Sunwha, formerly of Secret (now a rookie actress)
Jia, formerly of Miss A (now solo)
Euaerin, formerly of 9Muses

Minah, formerly of 9Muses

Hyuna, formerly of 9Muses (Bae!!)

Project group:
I.O.I. 

Will disband next January after a year of promotions.


All the groups listed are groups that I stan (if you haven’t noticed yet I’m a big girl group fan ;)). Most of these are a result of bad management (Rainbow, KARA), low album sales (4Minute), contract issues/ending (I.O.I, f(x)) or a combination of some/all of the above listed (9Muses, 2NE1, Miss A). However, there were some positives: Jessica Jung’s 2 solo album releases since her departure from SNSD, B.A.P has been killing it with album releases (i.e. Noir! GET IT!) and international rewards (MTV EMA Korean Act 2016), I.O.I debuting (even though its only for a year), TWICE continuing their rein as the trendiest group with awesome and catchy title tracks and continuing to steal my heart and so much more. Here’s to an improvement to the K-Pop industry in 2017. Cheers!

d)     Mobile Idol games – to sum it up: “I’M OBSESSED AND IN IDOL HELL! SAVE ME FROM THIS PERSECUTION!!” 
      I play: Love Live School Idol Festival (ID: 567399089)


                 Deresute a.k.a Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage (ID: 593535269)


                 Tokyo 7th Sisters (still getting used to it so I have no idea where the ID is XD)



      The first 2 are main hooks. Add me if you want. BASK IN IDOL HELL WITH ME!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!

e)     Job – through Year Up I obtained a job. Well, it’s the internship that’s part of the program but it’s still my first ever adult job! It’s been a challenge.  I’m an introverted person so having to interact with 50+ people on about 3 floors can make someone like that extremely paranoid (e.g. “am I annoying them? Did I do this correct? Should I ask them for help or will they think I’m stupid?”). I have left than a month left and I can say with confidence that it has changed my life for the better. I have gained many technical and interpersonal skills that’ll be coming along with me on my next job (whenever I get one) and my personal life.




f)   Finally, my faith. If you didn't know, I am a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ. The Son of God. I don’t adhere to a denomination anymore as I do not believe it is biblical. This year I attempted to read the Bible in one year. Well…..heh. it could've gone better. I was following The Bible Project’s yearlong guide and I was doing relatively fine for the first 2-4 months of 2016. After I started Year Up, that flew out of the window. With each month, the decline in the reading gap continued to widened. I tried to get back in the groove of things and even restarted it twice but I just couldn't. I lost the interest and passion which in turn became a burden. That was something I really didn't want to experience. I want to have an open and engaged heart and mind to read the Word that God left for mankind. During those times the Lord opened my understanding to the fact that I had hardened my heart to His voice in exchange for thinking logically. That was a hard pill to swallow. Nothing is wrong with logical thing (we need it to interpret many things in life) but not everything in the Scriptures will be comprehended in this finite and corrupt human mind. I’ll be trying to read the Bible in its entirety in 2017 but I might just go with the flow instead of following a daily guide. Maybe that might keep me engaged and I’ll have my Bible commentaries to help along the way.



So, that was long.

If you made it this far, thank you.

There were many other things that highly impacted my life in 2016 (e.g. the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States) but I don’t want this post to be an extreme downer.

As 2017 fast approaches me on the east coast of the USA, I want to leave you with some words of advice, encouragement and hope:

“Continue your fight in whatever the Lord has placed in your path. There will be challenging times, maybe even more than you have ever experienced before but you are not alone. Whether it be friends, family, significant others or someone outside your immediate environment, there is always someone there for you. Don’t block yourself off from others (unless its needed) but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of by others (yes, it is possible to be open and not be a pushover). Be open to change. Change allows us to grow but remember it’s not always a smooth journey.”



I also want to thank you all who read this blog and its infrequent updates for the past year. I can’t promise that I’ll be better at managing my time (a work in progress) but I’ll still be here by the grace of God with more content.

To all who have or have not experience it yet:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2017!




May God continue to bless you and carry you through this crazy ride called life.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Personal Life [update]

Today, as I sit in my living room with the TV on DayStar, I will tell you what has happened since May 2016.

On March 1st (orientation week)/13th (first day of class) 2016 I became a student of the nationwide program Year Up. Year Up is a year long program that prepares its students for the working world. The first 6 months are Learning and Development, where students are offered classes in the various tracks that are offered (initially just IT, Finance, Customer Service and Sales was in the testing phase; now Sales, a full time course, and Quality Assurance are now are part of the choices). The last 6 months of the program are for an internship that is chosen by the track you are on, grades from assignments done during the L&D period and personality.

I learned about Year Up in October 2015 when I had returned to the States after being on a break back home in SVG. I was still in the process of applying to the art school of my dreams (which i'll talk about another time) and I honestly thought I would've have a gotten in. Mind you, I didn't know how I was going to afford it nor the full extent to how tedious applying to colleges would be.

By the time I had already done my SATs (which I wasn't truly happy with) and was slowly beginning to think of applying to more places for part-time work (never worked before). However, the Lord had other plans in store. The place where i had taken GED classes contacted me first about my current situation and how I wanted to proceed from then on.

Before I continue, I want to describe and somewhat explain to you how this act of care and kindness surprised and baffled me. The culture I grew up in wasn't necessarily bad nor evil per say; it was just........basically businesses and organizations (government and private alike) didn't (to me) go out of their way to see how things were going with you as a person. Once you graduated from high school and/college you were on your own and if you didn't have connections.....Hah! Good luck to you.

With that mindset I was pretty skeptical, however that quickly disappeared as I started to rekindle the memories of my time with them (I took the classes for about 3 months at the end of 2014 after which I went straight into SAT classes). First, they helped me sort out my plans for the near future. I honestly hadn't truly sat down to explicitly state or jot down my plans. I had an idea and that was to go to school to get a degree in my dream career but nothing else. I'm truly grateful for that sit down because I normally got my advice from my mom but she wasn't there with me physically. So having someone be on the lookout for me was very heartwarming and touching.

Now once that was sorted and done they started the job search with me (part time was the most likely). I met with 2 people but wasn't hired. These 2 encounters allowed me to see how much I lacked in the experience department. That is when my life started to turn in the direction I least expected and what I can see now is that The Lord was guiding me to the 'right place at the right time'.

I was encouraged by a staff member, the one who took me on the 2 previous semi-job interview, to go to a job fair that was happening in a week or so. I went. I was extremely nervous but 'M' (staff member who contacted me when I came back) was there so that was a source of comfort. At the job fair, I applied for 2-3 job offers and that is where I met Year Up Boston representatives. Curious I went by their booth. I was given their recruitment speech and I was impressed. Skeptical but impressed none the less. I put my name now on the 'interest' form and I was given a business card with the reps info and I was done. 'M' told me that they were legit and I should give them a call. Honestly, after I had contacted the rep and gave more detailed info I completely moved on to finding a job because there was limited space and I didn't believe that I would get in.

But I did.

Like seriously, I was so shocked.
I cried.
I cried and thanked God.
He was giving me the chance to finally get a hold of my life.

Fast forwarding through the document stuff, a few group meetings and a couple interviews to orientation day. Like hell i was nervous. I knew no one there and that terrified me, but I knew that my mom and aunt were praying for my success and that they believed in my ability to be someone. So I decided to finally begin to believe in myself and the abilities that I was blessed with.

As described earlier, the first 6 months is for Learning and Development which were basically your classes and the course I chose to do was Information Technology. My time there was a literal and figurative roller coaster. It was scary. It was emotionally draining. It was uplifting. It was challenging. There are so many words that come to mind but in the end I don't regret it.

You might think this is annoying but I cannot NOT thank God. He knows my past, present and future. He knows what is to come my way and He has the paths He needs for me to walk on to prepare myself for whats to come all in place. Year Up is but one along the way. I have met many people who I never thought I would've gotten along with. Being so open and honest with said people, standing and presenting in front of my class and other classes as well. I can go on and on about the changes that have occurred and continue to learn but I'll stop here for now.

I am currently one month away from finishing my internship part and I have been even more out of my comfort zone than ever before as I have to work directly with people. I am a desktop support intern for the trading department of a prominent investment company. I'm having a blast and have come out of my shell with every new month here. I am constantly working to challenge myself and interact with others.

Phew!
That was a lot.
I'll definitely do 2 or 3 more updates on my internship progress, if you're interested that is.
If you have any similar stores and experiences share them with me. It'll be cool to read other people's stories.
If not, that's cool. This is just a journal for me and part of my growth to be an engaging and functioning adult.

[Originally drafted on 15th October,2016. Post is slightly updated to suit current situation]

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Anime Series Picks: First Impressions Overview

Today I will be talking about some series from the current season as well the previous season (in short: Summer 2016 and Fall 2016). I have not explicitly talked about anime on this blog before, other than the Fairy Tail merchandise review and a bit in the CDJapan review, and I am hoping to change that with this post.

The series that I want to do these first impressions (and possible reviews if I finished them) for are (but not limited to the 2 seasons listed):

                                                  [IN ORDER OF 'MY QUEUE' LIST ON CRUNCHYROLL, WHERE I'M WATCHING THEM]

Title                                                          Overall rating (5 points)                             1st Ep/Finished
Dream Festival                                                          3.5                                                       1st Ep


Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!                        3                                                         1st Ep


Amanchu!                                                                 4.5                                                       1st Ep

Nanbaka                                                                    4.5                                                       1st Ep

YURI!!! ON ICE                                                       5                                                         1st Ep

Magic-Kyun! Renaissance [Currently on episode 1. Video crashed a number of times before this post]

Bakuon!!                                                                   3.5                                                       1st Ep

Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless!                                 4                                                         1st Ep

Locodol                                                                      4                                                         1st Ep

Ojisan and Marshmallow                                          3.5                                                       1st Ep

Mr. Osomatsu                                                             5                                                         1st Ep

Haven't you heard? I'm Sakamoto                              4                                                         1st Ep

Tsukiuta. The Animation                                           3.5                                                       1st Ep
[watching on Daisuki.net]


                                            EVERYTHING FROM THIS POINT ON I HAVE FINISHED!

B-Project                                                                     4                                                    1st Ep+F (3.5)

Space Patrol Luluco                                                    5                                                    1st Ep+F(5)

Please tell me! Galko-chan                                         4                                                    1st Ep+F(5)

The Ancient Magus' Bride                                          5                                                    1st Ep+F(5)
[I read there's a 2nd part but it's not confirmed so it's on this part of the list]

School-Live!                                                               5                                                    1st Ep+F(4.5)

Yuki Yuna is a Hero!                                                   4                                                    1st Ep+F(4.5)

Komori-san can't decline                                           3.5                                                  1st Ep+F(4)

Tabimachi Lateshow                                                   5                                                    1st Ep+F(5)

            EVERYTHING FROM THIS POINT ON I HAVE FINISHED AND WATCHED ON DAISUKI.NET

One Punch Man                                                           5                                                      1st Ep+F(5)

Dance With Devils                                                     3.5                                                     1st Ep+F(4)

Starmyu                                                                       4                                                       1st Ep+F(4)

Love Live! Sunshine!!                                                3.5                                                     1st Ep+F(4)


Since it's quite a substance list I'll do another post (when it's time for anime stuff again) with the actual first impressions and possible review of the finished ones.

To end this post I'll talk about the types/genres of anime I enjoy and how I'll rate the listed series.

Types/Genres of anime I like/love/look for/have an obsession with:


         Top tier: Slice of life, Coming of age, Action, Romance, Fantasy, Music, Comedy, Magic
        
         Mid tier: Reverse-harem, Josei, Shoujo, Drama, Sports, Sci-Fi
       
         Lower tier: Adventure, Shounen, Supernatural, School, Parody

Note:
a) I don't limit my viewing to just those listed but they are the ones that I frequent the most

b) Genres I DO NOT watch are: Hentai, Yaoi, Yuri, Horror (if there is an element of it in a series then I'm fine but HELL NO to a series that it's the main element!), Ecchi (was a fan but as I got older it turned me off; but if it's interesting enough like a good story and characters then maybe), Shoujo-ai & Shounen-ai (I don't go out of my way to watch them but if it's interesting enough like a good story and characters, and more on the subtle side then I'll give it a shot).

c) I have guilty pleasure genres and series that may have ties into Shoujo-ai and Shounen-ai. These series are not explicitly in those genres. They are what you would call 'border line' series. The producers know what they are doing and it works.

How I'll be rating the series
[NB: I am no animation nor story writing expert. Everything is based on how I see things, my experience and my limited knowledge of Japan (its culture and animation industry)]

- Overall: 5 points
Basically how I felt after watching the first episode (entire series if I finished it) and if it was worth my time/if I continue the series.

Any series with a 3 and above, I'll be more likely to watch the 2nd episode but it's not definite.

- Animations: 5 points
I'm looking for decent flow and coordination of the characters and such, not perfection.

- Story: 5 points
If there's a story to tell I want to be able to follow it as each minute passes. If it's not supposed to be obvious then it need to make me intrigued enough to want to watch the 2nd episode. If there's no story, i.e it's supposed to be nonsensical, then be so and not something else.

- Characters: 5 points
Are the leads obvious and fulfilling their roles? Same with secondary characters: are they fulfilling their roles or unnecessary to the movement of the episode/series? Is there any hint of character development or shows potential to grow?

- Opening/Closing scenes: 5 points
Do they capture the attention of the viewer? Is it related to the series or just there to grab your attention? MUSIC!!!!

- World building/Progression: 5 points
Is there a sense that the series will build on its world/story?

Phew! That's a mouthful. But that's it for now.
See you next time! May the Lord Jesus continue to keep and carry you through your days.

Bye!!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Preparing a schedule for this blog and slight update

After much trial and error, with the way I post on this blog, I think I have found a solution:

A THOUGHT OUT SCHEDULE!!

Yes......a schedule........I think.........let's leave it at that.

Here's my idea:

Monthly schedule
Week 1 - personal life
Week 2 - kpop, jpop or any entertainment wise (idol phone games)
Week 3 - faith related
Week 4 - review of something

I actually really like how I laid it out.
Hopefully once I start I can keep up with.....hmmmm.

Well, here goes nothing.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Blog Update May 2016. Indefinite Hiatus......I'll be back.

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Hello to all who read this simple but random blog.

It will be three months in a few days since I posted something here and it'll be very rude of me to just leave you high and dry without an explanation (regardless of how small a number you represent).

My life has taken a drastic turn, in a positive direction mind you, and I am still trying to get accustomed to it.

I'll also be going through another drastic change in a couple of days and I'm definitely going to need time to adjust myself to that as well.

I have many posts that are already drafted and many more in the making, but I just don't have the time to complete them at this present moment.

That is why I'll be taking an indefinite hiatus till I can say for sure that my life is on the right track.

I apologize to you who look forward to my random pieces.


I can promise you, that by the grace of God, I'll be back (not sure when though).

I hope all is well with you and that you keep moving forward in whatever situation you may be in.

Take care and until next time.

May the Lord God continue to keep and guide you through this crazy ride called life.

Jasmine


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