STARCHASER

Note: These are all my personal thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions. If something were to happen to me, I don’t want there to be any questions on how I felt about anything. I want everyone to have the real story. I feel this blog post/open letter is a whole lot of nothing whilst being a whole lot of something.

 

Being a very happy, optimistic, idealistic person with a dash of sadness is a strange combination. Recently, I’ve been happy and sad at the same time all the time. When there is talk of someone being sad, most people assume there’s something weighing them down. Sadness, like other emotions, are a natural part of life.

On the one hand, this sadness is quite enveloping, it can be as potent of a force as my happiness. It can make me think irrationally, and there are times I start tearing up for no logical explanation. But it’s possible to be a happy person with sadness. I am a happy person. This didn’t happen by accident though, I had to work for mine. However, no matter how much fun I may be having or how happy I feel, there seems to be a tint of sadness lingering in the back of my mind. I’ve learned to live with it.

I know I’m alive since I can experience the most joyful and elated feelings while feeling the saddest and most messed up ones. I appreciate what is around me even more, and I can empathize more with others who are in pain. I’m happy, I’m positive, I’m optimistic, and I’m sad. But I live with it. The world is both beautiful and frightening. The world is both amazing and terrifying. It’s a world where my niece can be born surrounded by loved ones while another baby dies because someone threw them against a wall. This world is so broken, yet so beautiful. A broken beautiful world. And we have no choice but to accept that, right?

I’ve come to terms with the fact I will never have the same type of childlike and innocent bliss I once did when I was a kid. I’m older now and have a better understanding of the world. It’s only a tiny grasp in the grand scheme of things, but I feel I will always know too much, feel too much and hurt too much. I know I liken myself to Miles “Tails” Prower and Ayamine Kei, and it’s because like the latter, I usually have a stoic disposition. But just like Ayamine Kei, I still feel acute happiness and intense optimism. I am in a good mood a lot of the time like Tails. And just like him, even if I’m not, I’m able to get myself there eventually.

Speaking of being a child, my childhood dream is to make the world a better place. When Reiina was born, I added just a few more words to my dream. Now, my dream is to make the world a better place for my niece to live in. I feel I need to do everything I say I’m going to do, so that I can get to where I need to be to do such a thing, and that’s in every aspect of my life, whether it’s my career, relationships, responsibilities and all. It’s up to me to set an example or else I’m part of the problem. That’s one of the many reasons why I’m a StarCHaser.

I miss my grandma. I know it’s been 12 years since she died, but I still miss her terribly. She was the kind of woman who lived a simple life. It didn’t take much to make her happy – a phone call, a visit or a hug and kiss from her grandchildren. We were the most important people in the world to her. She lived to make our lives better and was proud of each of us. So seeing how she was always smiling to going to the reduced state she was in when she was in the hospital still feels so surreal to me. I was hoping she would be alright in the end. Then one day I heard my sister crying and telling us she died. “She was supposed to see us grow up!” she said. At the time, I never knew how strong those words would be to me now. And then when I saw my mom crying over her casket, it was then I realized the only thing promised in life is death. It’s not the same without her, it will never be, but I’m happy I had a chance to know her, love her, and spend time with her while she was here. After all, not too many people have had the privilege of knowing someone as remarkable as her.

Speaking of people who died, I miss my favorite teacher. He was someone who believed in me before I started believing in myself. So when my best friend told me he died, it really hurt. I still get sad when I think about it. On a somewhat related note, I remember during my senior year of high school I wrote a letter of appreciation for my US history teacher (with a Tails drawing) and one for my math teacher. Anyway, I know he knew I appreciated him, but I felt there were other students whose lives he could have changed for the better. Dammit, people dying and my own mortality are enough of a reminder to make sure I let the people who have made a positive impression on me know I love them.

My brother once thanked me for saving his life. He told me the blog post I wrote about him is what prevented him from committing suicide. It makes me all the more glad I posted it when I did. I just thought I was saying what was from my heart, but I now know the words I say to others can have such a profound effect on them. It’s amazing for me to think about. I never would have thought I, the same person who was close to taking his own life would end up saving the lives of others. Seriously, what the actual hell? When all of those thoughts hit me I started to cry tears of joy.

One thing I took from my depression is how important it is to love myself. Loving myself is the most important key to life. If I can’t love myself, and accept my flaws for what they are and grow from them, then I’ll be holding myself back. What I believe is everything and if I can’t believe in myself, I’m not going to go anywhere in life. It is the base of everything that I can do in life. It is my confidence, it is my belief, and my future is dependent on both of them. I feel like I can fly high. And I don’t care who or what tries to keep me down, I’m always going to fly high!

2Pac explains what I mean in the above video.

 

I strongly believe becoming a Christian Humanist was one of the best decisions of my life. I am alive, and I want to have a life that is marked by happiness, satisfaction, self-realization, improvement, accomplishment, etc. I am a creature with emotions, including love, and I want those whom I love — family, friends, etc. to likewise live lives that are marked by happiness, satisfaction, self-realization, improvement, accomplishment, etc. It is, in my opinion, the best moral/ethical/philosophical system for me. I feel that God endowed me with a brain, with reasoning powers, and that mankind therefore has both the right and the responsibility to determine questions of morality on our own. I have a strong conviction that humankind has a fundamental responsibility to determine morality based on rational reasoning and that morality should be founded on principles of equality, freedom, democracy, and critical thinking.

Why do I do good? I do things because they are the right thing to do. Stealing from someone is wrong, I don’t want my hard earned things stolen, so to me, it is reasonable to NOT steal from others. I have murdered and raped exactly as much as I wanted to be, which is ZERO. I try not to do evil or bad things because I don’t want to. I like having a wonderful life, full of people I care about. I act in a way that seeks to make the world the way I want it to be. I want people to be treated with respect. I don’t do it to be good. I do it because it’s the way I want to be and the way I want others to be.

Every day is a blessing and a new opportunity. I can choose what I do with my days. I always feel like a Sim with the Plumbob above my head. But that’s how it is for everyone. Like my brother said, “When you’re living your life, someone else is living theirs”. We’re all on this planet trying to survive. And just like in The Sims, I’m making choices every day. I know I have the ability to be kind, but on the flipside I have the ability to be evil. However, I know it takes less energy and effort to make someone’s day than it does to destroy it. I believe we all can do things to make this universe a better place for us all to live in. I should note with this all this writing I’ve been doing I’m not trying to come off as some wholesome kind of guy because I know I’ve done things I look back at with the utmost disgust. But there’s enough negativity in this world already, why would I want to add more to it?

“Have you supported your friends today?”. I’d give credit to the person who said it, but I don’t know who did. If the person is reading this, I want to thank you so much for giving me something I’m applying to my life on a daily basis. I’m grateful I live in a time where technology and science is at the stage it’s at. Even though my best friend lives in Germany, I am able to talk to him every day. I love and miss him, but I know it will be only a matter of time before we see each other again.

 

I discovered the above video when I started attending university. I’ve watched it daily ever since. I don’t know Dr. Thomas personally, but he is someone who has become a positive influence in my life. I’m going to meet that man one day! It’s pretty cool being in a different place in my life now, I’m glad I was patient and did what I had to do to get here, and I will keep pushing forward, and whenever I can, look back and see how far I’ve come. I have the tools, I am THAT person, just gotta put myself in that place. I’m only attending university for one reason, and it was because I have a promise I want and need to fulfill. I pride myself in being a man of my word. I don’t know if I’m ever going to utilize my degree and honestly, I don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, university has been a lot of fun, but these won’t be the best four years of my life. Why? Because I’m always trying to outdo myself with every passing year. I’m not getting older, I’m getting better. If everything goes well, I’ll be graduating in late 2018. And when I get my degree, I’ll be able to say “Grandma, this is what you wanted right? This is the promise I kept for you”.

Nothing is more important to me than being an uncle. I now have a unique and important role to play in life. I hope to bring varied influence into her life. If I know my niece is having trouble with something in her life, I want to be someone whom she can reach out to so I can dispense some friendly suggestions. I want my niece to think I’m one of the coolest guys alive (maybe not as cool as The Rock, but somewhere up there). I will do my best to provide a positive male role model for her. I’ll do this by showing her how a good man behaves and comports himself. I would despise myself if I did anything that would let her down. As an uncle, I have the power in the molding of my niece, so I should do it for the better. I’m hoping and praying I can watch her grow up into the accomplished, talented and beautiful young woman she’s destined to be.

I think I said it before, but I’ll say it again… things are changing. One day everything that I’m doing right now on this laptop is just going to be a memory, and one day I might not even remember it. This dorm room, by the end of 2018 I won’t be living in it. These anime clothes… naw, I’ll still be wearing them, lol. The most beautiful person I know, my mom, one day she’s going to be gone and I might get married one day or at the very least live with a dog in a house or condo. All of my family now, a lot of them won’t be here, my dogs will be gone one day too. I know I’ll be gone one day as well. I may have almost died on three different occasions, but there is going to be a day when the Grim Reaper stops being a tease and is serious. I probably shouldn’t be alive right now, but I am and I’m thankful for it. The thing is, I told my brother no one I love and care about has permission to die before I do. Honestly at this point, I just need to live long enough to see my niece grow up. I have to make sure to appreciate each moment while I can. My surroundings, my happiness, my sadness, my laughs, my pain, being young, and all the people around me. Because one day all of these things aren’t going to be here anymore and neither will I.

I have the best family, friends and teachers in the world, and I will fight anyone who says I don’t (no one would). I’m only where I am today because of everyone in my life up until this point. I am the product of a lot of beautiful people who had an impact on my life. The love, friendship, respect, time you all spent with me have made each of you important and irreplaceable supporting characters in this movie I call my life. To EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. YOU… I can never ever thank you enough, and I will remember all of you for the rest of my life. Once it’s my time to die, I will have known I spent the currency of life (time) with the best people this world had to offer. I will be able to die fulfilled and happy, and I blame you all for that! :’-)

While I’m on the subject of my death, I might as well take the time to talk about how I would want to die. I don’t really care how I die as long as it’s not in my sleep or instantaneous, I want to know when it’s the end. I want my life to flash before my eyes. With the following memories coming back to my mind: my mom changing my diaper, my grandma dying, meeting my best friend for the first time, going to Paris, my failed suicide attempt, high school graduation, getting accepted to my dream university, my niece’s birth, and the last thing I want to see is my grandma smiling. Then, I want my last words to be “That’s enough” not only as a reference to the ending of “Death of Wolverine“, but because those words would sum up my life. Of course, as I gain more life experience there are more events I want to remember. I want to have a space burial, I’ve told my brother this. The Voyager service to be precise, this is where the Celestis spacecraft carrying my cremated remains or DNA go on a permanent celestial journey, into deep space. Even in death I’ll be a StarCHaser!

 

I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. What I do know is I love this feeling I’ve been experiencing. When I go on my walk around campus I’m going to make sure to yell on the top of my lungs because of how overjoyed and melancholic I am. I’ll just leave you all with two songs that describe my feelings succinctly from good music artists.

 

 

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Sonic the Hamilton: 5 Essential Charles Hamilton Projects for a New StarCHaser

Note: This is not necessarily a list of his best work, but rather a collection of what I consider to be albums/mixtapes for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with who Charles Hamilton is as a musician.

 

With over 250+ albums and mixtapes (last time I checked), Charles Hamilton has been making good music for over a decade now and the funny thing is, he’s still at it! I heard there’s an album that’s supposed to be released this summer (fingers crossed) so I figured now was a nice time to revisit the days when Mr. Hamilton was putting out projects faster than Sonic could complete the Green Hill Zone. Fortunately, I was alive during the Hamiltonization Process and I’ve watched him grow over the years, but if you somehow missed him or you’re still in your teens, it’d behoove you to get familiar with one of the greatest music artists who ever lived before you get left behind like Tails.

 

The Pink Lavalamp

Considered by a number of fans (including myself) as his magnum opus. I remember I once said it was the best rap album since Illmatic. Seriously, if you haven’t listened to this, stop reading my blog post and do so right now ’cause it’s THAT GOOD! According to Mr. Hamilton, this album was recorded during the worst period of his life, he was “homeless, doped up, heartbroken, in love, poor, dirty, stinkin, angry, suicidal, happy, silly…but alive”. The Pink Lavalamp is him at his most focused, it’s his most concise, well-rounded and complete album to date. It mixes unapologetic nerd anthems (Loser) with poignant tributes to loved ones (I’ll Be Around) while finding perfect balance in between. The Pink Lavalamp is a showcase of the many tools at Mr. Hamilton’s disposal: pellucid writing, wonderful metaphors, rough experience, raw emotion and euphonious instrumentals.

 

Sonic the Hamilton

In hindsight, this was a pretty depressing project. Charles Hamilton has never shied away from being genuine, even if that means being ostracized and ridiculed for it. One of his many strengths as a music artist is his ability to be many things at once, and not all of them are pretty. Philosophical and heedless, compassionate and indifferent, emotional and cold. In Sonic the Hamilton he can be cocky on one track and vulnerable on the next. It makes for an interesting listen, and this whole album is the definition of “head phone music”. CH has always been an intricate writer and skilled producer and this amalgamates well to make something that’s as delicate as it is prickly like Sonic the Hedgehog’s quills (tee hee).

 

My Brain is Alive

“Hate it or hate it a lot, I’ll make my way to the top” Charles Hamilton asserts on a song called Freshman Orientation. He shows why he’s a consistent musician with this offering. Embarrassingly, I didn’t pay much attention to this when it was first released and it’s only recent I have appreciated its charm in its entirety. Charles Hamilton finds new ways to bring his talent to the listener’s ears. The listener can expect to be hit with hard-hitting beats on tracks like Freshman Orientation, experience positive vibes on a feel good song and a half with Every Now and Then and sing along to a catchy hook on Get on the Bandwagon. He really does find innovative ways to engage his fans without losing himself in the process.

 

At Most I’m Just… 

It may not be as ambitious as the previous three, but in my correct opinion, this project has some of his best lines and beats. Charles Hamilton is a big fan of the band Incubus and here you’ll only find Incubus samples (with two exceptions). Everything is grim, intense and brooding on At Most I’m Just… like when questions “Nothing wrong with writing about people/But since people live, am I writing about evil?” on Friendly Reminder/Mop-N-Glo. And since I said some of his best lines are on this project, I’ll give you an example from the first track, The Incubator. “I’m a raging inferno of pink, with the face of a skull/Razor blades for my teeth. Got a tongue made of water/A voice made of pure vibration/I guess my songs are like word libations”.

 

This Perfect Life 

I just want to say CH’s 2nd verse on Cable in the Classroom is the most perfect rap verse I’ve ever heard. This was originally supposed to be his debut album, but due to a lot of crap (some being his own mistakes and others out of his control), it didn’t happen. Anyway, This Perfect Life has a brilliant collection of songs and just like The Pink Lavalamp, strong features from the few music artists who do appear. Charles Hamilton deals with personal issues on this album as well, although not with the same devotion overall. I said “overall” because for certain tracks it can be argued he conveys stronger emotion. He briefly mentions his child molestation, is the “three pound bullet in the sky”, doesn’t let things that aren’t around bother him, cuts “niggas” (I don’t use this word so that’s why I have it in quotation marks lol) off, is all alone, expresses his love for music, and closes the album letting us know pink is the color of life. It’s been over eight years since this album was leaked and the only person who fully understands Charles Hamilton to this day is Charles Hamilton.