I Love My Brother (For My Brother)

My brother is smart and nice

Someone I go to for advice

I learn something new from him all the time

And through all these years I realize he’s so determined and kind

I love my brother and he loves me

And that’s the way it should be

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10 Things I No Longer Worry About

Oh well, whatever happens, happens.

Note: This is a rewrite.

 

“Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.” – Mary Hemingway

 

We all worry. This wonderful brain we all possess which has the capacity to engender innovative ideas and solve complex problems can also have the tendency to dwell on troublesome situations, even if one may not exist. Midterms, bills, public speaking, relationships… worry can appear into every aspect of our lives. Even I’m not immune to it, sometimes my life can seem a little more hectic than I want it to be. It’s during these times in my life that I stop, sit down, close my eyes, and relax my brain for 10 to 15 minutes. In doing this, I expunge the so-called “problems” from my mind and awaken feeling fresh and energized. Worrying is the worst. Here are some problems I found myself worrying about far too often before I discovered how to meditate, refocus and spent my time and energy doing better things.

 

1. Death

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” – Mark Twain

It’s strange because I’ve almost died on three occasions (fall, choking, suicide attempt) so I’m starting to think the Grim Reaper has a thing for me but doesn’t want to fully commit yet. I remember a Carl Sagan quote where he says we are all star stuff. So in other words, we are all an expression of the cosmos. When I think about death, I think that the atoms that comprise my body are going to take on a new form in the universe (the first law of thermodynamics: energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just takes on a different form). Even though my conciseness will be gone my atoms will still be here, becoming new life here on Earth or part of new worlds not yet created.

Sooner or later in my life, I’m going to have to face the inevitability of my own death. The Grim Reaper is going to be serious one day, and hiding is only going to impede me from living life to the fullest. People die every day, but the fact I’m still one of the people breathing is a miracle in itself. I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up to see tomorrow. Even if I do wake up, there is still a chance the place I live could be nuked or a meteor could fall to Earth killing us all. Sure, the chances might be slim, but they’re still there. Without the outlook on my vulnerability and the magnificent opportunity that life provides, there would be no motivation to do something great and beautiful with my life.

 

2. Money

First off, catchy song. Yes, I need money, we all do. There’s no denying that, I just don’t need to allow it to be the source of undue stress. I don’t allow the dinero to be a force of solving any of my distress. I remember writing in my journal for my College Success class “money provides opportunities”. Think about it, you need money for almost everything. You need money to buy groceries, you need money to go to Disney World, you need money to attend university, you need money to travel, etc. People do some strange things for paper and I’ll never understand why. Now, you won’t catch me saying “money doesn’t buy happiness” because people who say that have obviously never bought a puppy.

I like to live my life so that I can reflect on the great times I had, and I don’t worry about spending those extra few dollars on the eggnog, I just enjoy it. That said, it may not be all sunshine all the time, so I make sure to have money stashed away for a rainy day.

 

3. What people think about me

When I was younger, I always said I didn’t care what people thought of me, but the reality was very different. I was constantly seeking the approval of others and didn’t want to offend or make anyone angry. It took me my sophomore year in high school to finally accomplish not caring what people thought of me. By my senior year I jumped out of the Tornado and started flying on my own ever since. I started being me, regardless of what my friends, family, or the pretty women at the gym thought about it. People’s opinions on me aren’t going to pay for my tuition or put food on the table.

Fitting in/conformance is required in certain situations, but it’s not the end-all, be-all for every situation in life. There are times when I need to keep a low profile, but for the most part, unless I’m James Bond, I let loose and have fun, regardless of what people think. It’s my life. I live it, I love it, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of it.

 

4. The small stuff

Little things go wrong every day in our lives. I failed my quiz, a dollar short for my purchase, tripped and fell on the floor, laughed during a presentation. If I were to consider this a bad day, I’d be archiving my life the wrong way. Instead of getting frustrated by the little things, I focus on the positives because no situation is hopeless. I can still pass the class, the cashier didn’t mind, I’m still able to walk, nobody is going to remember me laughing in six weeks… there are too many great things happening on a day to day basis to worry about the little annoyances.

 

5. The past

This was hard for me. Sooner or later I had to let go of my past. Instead of dwelling on it, it’s an important facet to learn from, but I shouldn’t let it get in my way and become a burden. Instead, I look ahead and get, that, dirt off my shoulders. *Jay-Z voice*

I made errors in my past. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve been wrong, I’ve made mistakes, nobody’s perfect. There’s no need to run from or be ashamed of who I am now or where I came from. I can’t let what happened distract me from my goals and vision. As long as I learn from my mistakes and stand up every time I’m knocked down I can still win. The only way I can continue being harmed by something that already happened is if I let it. That which doesn’t kill me only gives me an opportunity to prove I’m better and can do better.

 

6. Negative people

People aren’t always going to like what I do. And that’s fine, I’m still going to continue doing what I’m doing. If I stopped and stressed out every time someone said something distasteful, I’d never have accomplished anything in life. Like I said before, the fox doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. I’m friends with people who are the nicest, most compassionate, loyal, thoughtful, and overall better human beings than me, and they still have negative people say and do some deplorable crap to them. You can’t please everyone and some people seem to live their lives with a chip on their shoulder 24/7. Don’t sweat the negative people.

 

7. What can go wrong

Along with people’s thoughts about me, this was a concept that tortured me for years. When my brother said his album’s title, I finally found a satisfying answer to this conundrum. If I didn’t start something because I was scared of all the things that could go wrong, then I would deserve to be unsuccessful, because I can’t be successful if I don’t know how to react when faced with adverse circumstances. All the choices I make in life, the worst thing that can happen to me is I die. This has yet to happen though so I will probably find that I will survive whatever calamity I was imagining with my sanity still intact. No matter how well I make my plans, something can go wrong. Somethings are out of my control which actually brings me to my next point.

 

8. Things out of my control

One of my friend’s motto when life becomes stressful is “This is only temporary”. The idea is to stop from getting annoyed about stuff that are outside of your stratosphere of influence. I detest Trump and his supporters, but there’s nothing I can do about it currently. The best way to stop thinking about all the dumb crap I can’t control is to focus on what I can. I recognize that sometimes, all I can control is my effort and my reaction. When I put energy into the things I can control, I’ll be much more effective and productive.

 

9. Celebrities

I am one of those rare people who couldn’t care less about celebrities. In my case, I care about those I respect, especially those who provide teaching and feed my mind. Okay, there are certainly a few I do like such as Chris Tucker and I’m aware of eminent scientists, politicians and professional wrestlers, but I’m not constantly worried about what they’re doing. Celebrities isn’t a recent phenomenon, I’m sure there were people in Egypt who discussed wanting to have sex with Cleopatra. Nowadays though you have E News, Access Hollywood and TMZ breaking the biggest stories in celebrity and entertainment news. They wouldn’t be in existence if there weren’t hordes of people yearning to learn the latest celebrity gossip. I don’t know why it matters though. How is knowing where Jennifer Lopez is vacationing at or whom Chris Brown is dating going to help me in life? There’s a lot going on in the world outside the lives of celebrities.

 

10. Worrying

It seems weird to worry about worrying, but it happens. It’s normal to worry even though I’m better off not doing it, but when I’m worrying about worrying it’s time to take a step back and breathe. Inhale. Exhale. If life is too short to worry about all of the above it’s certainly too short to beat myself up over thinking and having a natural reaction.

How to Be Nice(r) on the Internet

old person
What did this faceless stranger call me!!?

I’ll admit, I’ve typed out stuff on the internet that wasn’t very nice. Especially in the early days of my internet browsing. When I contributed to Yahoo Answers (holy macaroni that was over a decade ago now), I was a troll before trolling was cool and would write things that were so off the wall that I never would today. Actually, Yahoo Answers is a bad example because while I was a troll, I never really said anything with the intent to hurt someone’s feelings (unless they were racist or homophobic for some reason). MyAnimeList is a better and recent one, now there’s a website where I got downright nasty and typed things I can’t imagine myself saying on any of the sites I use today. For the record, I was usually verbally defending myself, users on MyAnimeList tend to be crabbed and disagreeable and will say crap to try to make you feel bad because they’re so gotdamned insecure. Still, even if I feel my vitriol is justified, I still don’t like being negative y’know?

I’m someone who carries myself the same way online as I do offline. There is virtually no difference between how I behave online and offline (well, I like being more ratchet online, but that’s about it). Unfortunately, this is not the case for most people as a computer screen, keyboard and the chances of physical repercussions being almost nil makes them feel more emboldened to act a certain way. In their offline lives they are more civil and refrain from telling their boss how they really feel about them, yelling at the religious person attempting to proselytize and getting out of the car so they can punch the reckless driver in front of them. The anger from their day-to-day events boils inside of them, and online, freed from any real consequences, they unleash their bottled-up venom. The internet has made this world we live in a bigger AND smaller place. A lot of us spend a good chunk of our day online. Shoot, for me the internet has become a major source of my entertainment, education and communication, and I’m not the only one this applies to. So isn’t it time to let go of the facade between our online selves and our “real” ones and act with the same kind of decency on the internet that we do in our daily interactions?

As I said before, I’m not saying I’m innocent, so I’m not encouraging you to only type Pollyannaish comments while you’re using the internet. One of the beauties of the internet is that we get to disagree, voice our thoughts and maybe see someone else’s point of view, or you see something someone typed which makes you wish for a hostile alien takeover.

What’s the point of being a kind person on the internet? Well, a decent human being treats others with dignity and respect. You should’ve heard the aphorism “Treat others how you want to be treated”. It’s called “The Golden Rule” for a reason, but I can tell a number of people either were asleep when their teacher taught them this lesson or were absent from class. Anyway, a decent human being treats life’s fellow travelers as they themself would like to be treated. And in doing so, they add more positivity to the universe and make the world a better place for everyone. Everyone has the power to brighten someone else’s day, whether it’s at their workplace, their home or online. Here are some ideas on how to be a good person while still freely expressing yourself on the internet. These are the rules I try to abide by every time I’m online.

 

There are people on the other side of the screen

Well, unless they’re bots, but you get the idea. This is pretty easy to forget. We see only our screen and our surroundings. The thought of people reading what we type might seem surreal. However, unless you’re the only registered user on a site, they will be out there. I should also note you shouldn’t take everything people say on the internet so personal. It’s something I go by, if someone comes at me with some negative energy it is usually a problem with them and not me. Like a friend of mine once said “Okay, words hurt”. So when typing something, keep this rule in mind ’cause your words can carry weight.

 

Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say to someone’s face

Seriously. This is arguably the most important rule for online interactions. If you are moody and sarcastic in real life, or opinionated and confrontational then feel free to be so online too. But let’s be honest, very few of us are unfriendly in real life compared to people being mean online. There’s a disconnect between offline behavior and online behavior. So, just as you wouldn’t run up to someone on the street and get all in their face saying something caustic, there’s no need to do so online. I have more respect for people who are boring offline and are also boring online, at least they’re consistent. You can disagree with a person without being condescending or derogatory.

 

Think about your goals

So you saw something that got you all huffy on the internet? What’s a fella to do? Now before you go all typey typey, what are you trying to do with your comment? Start a conversation? Meet someone new? Learn something? Answer a question? Or are you trying to hurt someone because what they said offended you? Or maybe you are trying to make someone else feel bad so you can get a temporary ego boost? Think about it. If your goal is to actually further engage, does your comment have the ability to do exactly that? If your goal is to actually hurt someone’s feelings, then I’m assuming you’re a grown-up, meaning you’re not in 5th grade anymore (like I was when I was on Yahoo Answers). Instead of hitting that “submit” button why not do something better with your time?

 

Mind your business 

Bob

My brother and I are two fellas who pride ourselves in minding our business. Before getting on anyone’s case, I always ask myself “Is it any of my business?”. I’ve seen a bunch of posts and comments on the internet I detested, but I rarely ever went out of my way to tell them how they’re wrong and an idiot. I go on the internet to have fun, and arguing and/or debating with random people I will most likely never meet is not my idea of a good time. Most of the time when I come across a topic where I add in my perspective, I will simply civilly state my case instead of responding directly to a specific person. I just let people be people and let them do their thing. I generally abstain from internet debates because they get people all worked up, waste time, and nobody learns anything.

Another reason I don’t debate or argue is because the impression I’ve got from being on a number of online forums is a lot of people try to debate to prove to themselves their choices are the correct ones, and a lot of the time on things that matter very little. These type of people need validation on their choices so they take it upon themselves to prove that everybody who disagrees with their tastes is wrong. You like a different anime than me? Well, then you are WRONG, because otherwise it means I am wrong and I can’t have that. Different taste in video games? WRONG! Different tastes in music? ALSO WRONG! My word, your tastes really suck because they don’t correlate with mine. That’s the sort of “debates” I often find online, and in that case what’s the point? These type of discussions go absolutely nowhere.

 

Remember that actions have reactions

Like Guru from Gang Starr said “Actions have reactions, don’t be quick to judge. You may not know the hardships people don’t speak of”. Amen to that. The thing about the internet is you aren’t always going to see the consequences of your actions. You can use your imagination and think about what the likely outcomes are of what you are about to type. Would you like it if someone said to you what you are about to say, and said it in front of a large group of people? Would you say the same thing you have just typed if the person was standing in front of you?

 

Say something positive

Just because people are more likely to make negative comments in online forums than positive ones doesn’t mean you need to join. When I have something positive to say, I never hesitate to say it. I take the time to type my thoughts out before surfing away to somewhere else on the internet. I have yet to have anyone respond to me in a negative manner for saying something nice to them. As a blog owner, writer, illustrator, and music producer I know how incredibly encouraging it is to see something positive.

 

Do you have any other advice about how to be kinder online?

200 Followers

200

I’m glad WordPress still notifies me of these type of things. So I just got word (tee hee) that I now have 200 followers on this blog, that’s more than the number of people in my contacts list on my phone! It’s a wonderful feeling to know there are people who are reading what I write. I mean, I’d still be writing whether I had 0 followers or 4,448 followers, but I’m someone who likes socializing and making connections with others.

I think I need to say that first and foremost, this blog is a personal journal. Meaning, this is a record of my significant experiences which include my feelings, emotions, events, problems, and self-assurances which can be used to evaluate my life. It’s also a place where I can express myself honestly and truthfully. I know most of the stuff I write about relates to anime, but I don’t want any one to get the wrong idea and think this is purely an anime blog. There are a number of topics I talk about, and it’s nice WordPress has given me a platform to do exactly that.

Anyway, I want to take the time to say thank you to all of my readers. Thank you for following my blog, thank you for the likes, thank you for the comments and thank you for messing with me. I hope you will continue to do so as I continue to write.

 

 

New Theme &++ 4 Year Anniversary

Hello, readers. How are you doing today? Great, I hope.

I’m typing this blog post whilst eating a big bowl of Lucky Charms cereal. “Gross!” you say? Yeah, probably, but attending university has given me an appreciation for it. Anyway, I installed a new theme today. *In Soulja Boy voice* Yasss bish, yasss! It does look cleaner and I can do cool things with it like provide links to my other social media profiles. Speaking of social media, I’m hoping to get a camera by the time the year ends so I can get started on my YouTube and Flickr accounts. There’s a number of stuff I’d like to share with you all regarding myself and my thoughts. I really do need to be more active on here. I see my favorite music artist Charles Hamilton blogs on a daily basis (he has a Blogspot and not a WordPress so boo, I can’t follow him!) and he was one of my inspirations for starting my blog in the first place. I don’t know if I want to blog that often because when I deleted a good chunk of my posts I didn’t think they were all that well-written after reviewing them. I wanted to write better content while giving quick updates like this from time to time. Hm, it’s going to be pretty funny, weird and interesting to see what will happen when I start vlogging since there will be some overlap between my blog and vlog.

On another note, I got a notification from WordPress saying I’ve been on here for 4 years now! Goodness, time sure flies by! I remember I started this blog when I was at my community college and now I’m a senior at my university. I wish I could fly all my followers/readers somewhere so we can have a big ass party. Speaking of my followers, I hope you’re all doing great. Yeah, I know I said it in the first sentence of this post, but I’ll say it again. You guys can comment on my posts y’know. Some of you already do and I appreciate it! I’m not lonely or anything, but since WordPress doesn’t have a message function or anything like that, commenting is one of the ways we can communicate with each other. I like meeting new people so it’d be nice if I could have some idea on who some of the people are who read my stuff.

I don’t have much else to say so here’s a gif of Famke Janssen ❤ looking seductive for no reason.

 

My Blog vs. My Vlog

Howdy, followers and anyone else who might be reading this. How are you guys doing today? Good I hope, ’cause I am and I want you to be too.

Ever since I’ve made this blog, I’ve talked about my interest in vlogging. I can’t say exactly when I’ll start, but I promise “vlogger” is going to be something I will add to my repertoire. While I will be treating my vlog like my blog in the sense that I will post whatever I like, and while there will be an overlap between the two, I’d like there to be a few key differences so they can both have their own charm. I do believe if you like my blog, you should like my vlog (unless you just hate seeing someone smile constantly on camera) and vice versa.

 

When I will blog 

As long as I have a meaningful topic and worthwhile content, anytime is a good time to blog. Blogging is also great for me since I have an affinity for the written word. Posts would be easier to set up since they don’t require a vast array of equipment. The only things I require are a laptop or a desktop and a working internet connection. Since I can write well, and convey my thoughts through written words, blogging has really worked for me.

 

When I will vlog 

Vlogging involves the same process of sharing information, and experiences, but it is done in a video format as opposed to a written one. Setting up a good vlog is not very difficult if I have the right kind of equipment. If I started a vlog back in middle or high school, I’d probably be forgiven for having videos that aren’t in HD. Nowadays, having videos in 720p or higher is not only an option, it’s probably expected. Unlike blogging, vlogging does not require lucid writing skills, as vlogging is more inclined towards giving the audience a more conversational approach. It’s a good thing I have love for the spoken word too. As long as the topic or issue being discussed is interesting and engaging (and I’d like to think I lived a wonderful life so I feel I have a lot to say), I have something to talk about.

 

Blog and Vlog content

Before I decided to delete a good chunk of my posts, I wrote a lot of stuff on video games, anime, reviews, anecdotes, stuff from my personal life, etc. Now that I think about it, I believe there are some topics that are better presented in a blog post and others in a video. I will say the topics of anime and video games will be present on both my blog and vlog. Unlike my blog, which is exclusively Starchaser, I wouldn’t mind my vlog having other people’s presence involved (mostly my brother).

 

Topics for my blog 

  • Reviews (anime, visual novels and video games)
  • Personal stuff
  • Poems
  • Short updates
  • Top # Lists
  • Fictional stories I’m writing
  • Self-improvement
  • Asexuality
  • Charity and activism
  • Life advice

 

Topics for my vlog

  • You should be watching (anime)
  • Video game play
  • My music (any song I won’t have on my music page will be on my vlog) and my brother’s music and music videos
  • Respond to viewers (e.g. Ask me anything)
  • Anecdotes
  • Skits
  • Rants
  • Daily life
  • Speed drawings
  • Asexuality

 

The cons of blogging

Anyone with a blog who is looking to gain a readership should know it’s imperative to have a good knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO for short). Knowing the right keywords, appropriate tagging, and adding a correct description is necessary to ensure a blog shows up among the search engines.

Besides having good SEO knowledge, keeping my blog updated on a consistent and regular basis is a must. Everyone has their own schedule, but for me I try to have at least one post a week. Once readers start to enjoy reading a blog, they will want to come back for well-written posts. It was one of the reasons I decided to delete a lot of my previous posts, I only wanted to make well-written ones. Anyway, readers might start to lose interest if my posts are spread far apart from each other. The good news is I’m able to write in a captivating manner. This means the themes and topics I write about can be presented in an appealing and substantial manner to get people’s attention.

 

 

The downsides of vlogging

To put it bluntly, vlogging needs a good amount of equipment. I want to produce a high quality vlog and in order to do that, I need an advanced video camera that records in high-definition, and editing software (Windows Movie Maker doesn’t count). All the equipment required for vlogging costs money.

Another drawback of a vlog is that it does not provide me a chance to quickly edit videos after uploading them online. Unlike blog posts which can be edited easily and in a few seconds, videos would have to be DELETED *Broken Matt Hardy voice* or re-made to correct any errors. Vlogs are also more time-consuming to make. It can take hours to edit and publish a vlog.

 

Of course, there are going to be more topics I will touch on for both outlets, but I want to give you and myself an idea on what I am interested in discussing. Will the topics, techniques, and tactics I listed guarantee I will become the world’s most popular b/vlogger of all time? Eh, who knows. Like I said before, I didn’t start this blog to become popular, and I won’t make a vlog for that reason either. I do them because I enjoy them. And the people who like what I do and say will naturally gravitate toward me. Even when I get the audience I want and the traffic I need, I shouldn’t become complacent. There’s always room for improvement.