Last Spring Break

Kind of feels surreal to say that. Of course, seeing my niece is always the highlight of my breaks. It’s great that my cousin Romeo’s birthday is also coming up so I’m going to see him on that day even if he doesn’t celebrate birthdays! I definitely ate too much today, but Krispy Kreme donuts does that to a fella. One of my professors gave the class a quiz before the break started, talk about lame! I was able to finish it today and got a 100, but still, lame is lame!

I’m just going to enjoy my time off, I really do want this semester to be over and done with. Hope everyone has a great week ahead!


It’s (Almost) Never Too Late to Say “Thank You”

There have been a multitude of people who have helped me throughout this life I lead. They have. Because in my book, they are some of the greatest people to have ever lived. They possess big hearts, and I feel they all had something to do with making me the person I am today.

I think it took me until I was a senior in high school to start being aware of just how much the people around me have done. Like my math teacher from Orange Park High School who never gave up on me, not once. Or my best friend that listened to me, when I really needed to be heard, and offered me the wisdom/advice I was looking for.

Naturally, it’s best to thank them for what they’ve done for me. I’m glad I was able to write a thank you letter to my math teacher before I graduated. I’m glad I’m still in contact with my best friend and that we talk every day. Whenever someone has ever been kind to me, it’s a good idea to say those two words as soon as I realize, for none of us will be here forever.

Saying thank you is acknowledgement and gratitude towards someone, ’cause while I have worked hard to get where I am now, I couldn’t have done it alone. I often feel that my life is like catching and being caught. I fall in to the hands of others who help me, and in return, I can catch people in my hands and help them. And there are times when we’re simultaneously holding each other.

I guess what I’m trying to say with this blog post is that if you have someone you want to thank, do it! Send that thank you letter, e-mail, text today… or call them. You won’t regret it. Even if it feels like it’s too late, I’m sure it isn’t!

How to Apologize

I felt a need to write something about this topic because I did so recently to my tattoo artist and this was something my father never taught me (even though it’s highly important and I’m guessing it’s also because he never does even when he is in the wrong). Seriously, that man still owes my siblings multiple apologies. Anyway, this also brings up another interesting aspect because my father isn’t the only person in the world who finds saying “I’m sorry” to be an insurmountable task for some reason. Here’s an article from Psychology Today which elucidates some of the reasons better than I can.

So what is an apology? An apology is an expression of remorse for something that was done or said that hurt another person. We’re all human, so it’s inevitable we’ll make mistakes, screw up, and hurt others (willingly or unwillingly) just as we are hurt by them. A sincere apology can be deeply healing and requires humility, courage, self-reflection, and rigorous self-examination in order to realize your own words and/or actions may have hurt someone else. It also requires a level of maturity. I’ll admit, I wasn’t always willing to apologize when I was younger, but as I’ve grown older and gained more life experience, I’ve become more aware of how my words and actions can have an effect on others. The inability to apologize can greatly wound all of my relationships. Being a man of my word isn’t the only aspect of myself I take pride in, knowing how to properly apologize is also necessary in order to be a real man.


Write it if you can’t say it

This is what I had to do. While I am someone who prefers apologizing in person, the thought of “You could be dead this Friday” popped in my head. While a face to face apology is always ideal, if you absolutely can’t do it, then it’s better to put it out in the universe then not doing it at all.


Admit you were wrong

A vague apology will get you nowhere. You have to explain exactly what you did, that you know it’s wrong and you value the other person’s feelings. Imagine if you were the person you hurt, what would you want to hear? Describe what you did in plain English (or whatever language the other person understands) even if it is embarrassing.


Take complete responsibility 

For the love of Obelisk the Tormentor, never, ever make any excuses while you’re apologizing. They instantly muddy up the sincerity of your confession. Don’t use any “buts” too. As in “I’m really sorry but….” Take full responsibility for your mistakes.


Offer to right your wrong

This isn’t always going to be possible. Sometimes it’s tangible: you break your friend’s Nintendo Switch so you complete your apology by replacing it. You should offer to try in any way you can to make up for you what you did. If a situation can be fixed and rectified then do whatever it takes to make it happen.


Move on and walk the walk

Your future actions are either going to validate or bring into question the sincerity of your apology. You should intend to work hard on fixing whatever fault led to your offense. There’s a famous Latin dictum you might have heard, “Acta non verba” which translates into English as “Deeds, not words”. At the end of the day, words will matter very little if your actions don’t match them. After you’ve apologized, stop dwelling on it. Start behaving in a way that demonstrates the sincerity of your apology.



How NOT to apologize 

On the flip side, anyone’s who has ever been on the receiving end of an insincere apology knows how a fake apology can actually exacerbate an already stressful situation. Try not to do any of the following below…


“I’m sorry you felt that way”

Let’s just get this out of the way. The reason your actions made someone else feel bad is probably because of something you did. So just own it. Saying the above or anything similar is a highly unsatisfying way to make amends. It admits no wrongdoing and shifts responsibility to the other person for having feelings and emotions.


Don’t blame outside factors 

I will never say something like “My father never taught me how to apologize and the fact I’m a man makes it even harder to do so”. If you read that sentence and thought it was an excuse, that’s because it completely is. When you make these type of crappy excuses, you’re suggesting you don’t take full responsibility for what you’ve done. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Never ruin an apology with an excuse“.


Don’t demand forgiveness and don’t expect it

It’s the other person’s right to forgive you or not, and you need to be aware of that. By assuming they’ll forgive you after you apologize, you undermine the sincerity of your apology.


Don’t keep apologizing

What I mean by this is by over-apologizing, it will only make your apology lose meaning the longer you dwell on the wrong you did to them.  If you repeatedly apologize for the same offense over and over again, you may keep wounds open and prevent the process of healing and moving on, for everyone involved.


Don’t wait

Offer your apology in a timely manner, and don’t leave the injured party to stew over what you’ve done. I will admit though, if it’s been months or years since the offense took place, I believe it’s better to offer your sincere apology late, than never.



And that’s my do’s and don’ts for apologizing. I hope that these guidelines help you understand what to do and not to do and how to make an effective apology. Did I leave out some points you’re aware of? Or do you have any stories about times you gave or received an apology? Let me know in the comment section. Until next time, I hope you all have a wonderful day!

I Loathe Group Work/Projects

Note: This blog post is inspired by the fact I have a group project due this upcoming Tuesday.


Y’know, I rarely complain on this blog and I rarely complain offline as well, but if there’s ONE thing that I love to bitch about, it’s group work! You know what I’m talking about. Group Work: one of the worst concepts of anything in history. Now, I understand the reason why teachers and professors assign them to students. In the professional world, some careers require group work in order to get the job done. However, in all my 12+ years of being a student (and the fact the job I want does NOT require group work), I have come to wince at hearing and seeing those two words together. The four most dreaded words a professor can say nowadays is “Everyone get into groups”. I don’t see the point in forcing a bunch of strangers to collaborate on an assignment. The “group” facet of the “work” is completely unnecessary. In fact, I can do all the group projects by myself, get a better grade and with less hassle.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not antisocial at all. In fact, I’m a sociable and extroverted person so I like meeting new people and socializing in general, but I know for a fact I will not find my soulmate or a new friend through group work! Excluding the ones I had with my friends, they have always had a high potential to end in disaster.

I’ve had quite a few awful experiences working on group projects. I’ve had to work with the procrastinators, the people who left a certain person to do a majority of the work. And you know who that certain person was? Me! Though, I did make sure to let my teacher know I did all of the work so I was the only one to get an A grade. Then there was the dark magician, the person that vanished the day of the project, never to be seen again and pretty much left me and my other partner to present by ourselves. I get it, you’ll shit your pants if you have to talk in front of people, but c’mon!

I also realize I end up being the leader by default since I’m telling others what to do, setting up the presentations in a coherent manner, e-mailing the other members to give them updates and turning in the actual assignment to the professor. I do this for two reasons: I think it’s best at the start to set the groundwork and roles so everyone knows what they need to do, and I’m not going to lie, I do like being a leader lol. It’s better to be a leader than a procrastinator.

I think the worst thing of it all are the members who try to make meetings OUTSIDE of class. Oh great, are you serious? Now why should I take the time out of my day to do that? I pride myself in my time management skills. There is just enough time in the week for me to work, go to class, do homework, study, watch anime, draw, and maintain relationships with my family and friends. Add someone else’s schedule into the mix and then things become complicated. Then add another, and another, and another, and… well you get the idea. How in the blue cheese are we going to make this work?


Anyway, thanks for reading my short rant. I think what I’m trying to say is, no matter whom you get paired up with, what your grade ends up being, or what you gained from the experience, you will invariably end up looking like you went through the last level in Super Mario 3D World. So when it comes to group work and projects, choose your partners wisely and try to keep your sanity intact.


萌え: What’s Moe?


Besides “waifu”, “moe” is a term you will most likely hear in any anime community, forum, chat, etc. However, unlike waifu, the word is a bit more ambiguous and complicated. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even using the word right. Moe is a source of much debate in the anime community. There are those who can’t stand it, and there are those of us who need it on a daily basis like it’s food or water. I hope this blog post will help in demystifying the concept for anyone who wants to know what it is.



To make things more bemusing, the origin of the word is unknown. One popular theory of the etymology of moe revolves around Hotaru Tomoe bka Sailor Saturn (Her last name would be written like this in Japanese: 土萌. As you can see, part of the kanji for “moe” is the same). Apparently, she was the most ideal girl in anime at the time. The term has been associated with characters that give off an aura that they need to be protected (think of the Lil B and the Task Force if you need a real life example). It makes sense considering Sailor Saturn’s backstory and meek personality makes you want to take her away from all the evil in the Sailor Moon world.

Another theory is that the word comes from the Japanese verb 萌える which can mean “to burn/get fired up” or “to burst/bud/sprout”. I can see this one also holding weight since there are people who get excited over seeing young fictional girls having a good time. Generally, moe centers around the idea of cuteness. It can be quite vague and mean a strong affection towards anything specific in the anime industry. Moe characters are usually young since they are mostly of middle school to high school age, but adult characters are not exempt. Cute characters represent purity and innocence, which is very alluring to many people. I should note moe does not necessarily mean cute. Any anime character can be defined as “cute”, depending on whom you’re asking. A moe character is more specifically a type of character that’s endearing to the beholder.

While I’m at it, here’s an in-depth article about the concept of moe. It is pretty long so if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like reading something with no pictures, then I’m just giving you a heads up right now. I believe it’s a good read though, it covers a number of things such as Japanese critical discourse, Otaku discussions of moe,  Moe desire and sexuality, etc.

From the conclusion it reads…

“The moe character is a ‘body without organs’ and it engenders virtual possibilities without limits or control. Stated another way, moe describes affect, or an unstructured intensity in response to the virtual possibilities of fantasy characters. Whether it is the girl-child popular among men or the homosexual boys popular among womenthese young characters are not part of the ‘real’ world and do not demand their partners be socially mature and responsible adults; with moe characters, men can experience love outside the confines of manhood (defined by work) and women love outside the confines of womanhood (defined by childbirth). As the media and material culture that emerged in the 1980s continues to evolve, and the ongoing recession alienates youth from work and home, accessing and exploring moe becomes increasingly important to a growing demographic of Japanese”.


Any romantic or sexual aspect to this?

Moe is not exactly romantic or sexual, but it isn’t always platonic either. A female character who is pretty or beautiful isn’t typically defined as moe, but it’s possible she can elicit those indescribable feelings. This isn’t to say a moe character can’t be sexually attractive, indeed, some characters deliberately blur the line. Moe characters don’t always have to be younger girls, but it makes things easier to understand! In fact, moe characters don’t even have to be female! As long as they instill an intense desire to adore them, hug them, protect them, comfort them, etc. that’s your moe!  If it makes your heart go ドキドキ and you want to protect them, it’s probably moe.


Related terms

  • Kawaii – “Kawaii” is a word that isn’t synonymous with moe. かわいい simply means “cute” in Japanese. It also can be applied to more things. For example, SEGA’s jumbo nesoberis are kawaii, but they’re not moe.
  • Moe blob – A character who is moe and has no other visible personality traits. Cuteness has been taken to an unappealing level.
  • Moe anthropomorphism – Moe anthropomorphism is the moefication of an originally non-moe character, object, concept or idea. It is very popular on the internet. An example would be Clorox-chan.
  • Chibi – a Japanese slang word meaning “short person”. In anime, it refers to a smaller form of an existing character. When an anime character is draw in chibi form, they tend to be short, have big heads and short limbs to look more moe.



My personal thoughts

I happen to be a big supporter/lover of moe. Considering I really enjoy anime with moe characters such as K-On, Lucky Star, Ichigo Mashimaro, Haruhi and Non Non Biyori to name a few. Moe is mistakenly thought to be an anime genre because many studios are catering to moe interests, but as aforementioned, moe is a term used to emphasize one’s love for fictional characters. There are a number of anime characters that I think are moe, but I’d like to save that list for another day.  There are those out there who believe moe was a mistake, that catering to fans’ love for specific traits such as girls with glasses, ditzyness, big breasts, youth, etc. has become more important than the actual plot/story.

While I am someone who enjoys a well-written story, I do not think moe is irredeemable trash. In fact, since K-On is one of my favorite anime, I feel it is quite the opposite. Moe is there to cater to someone’s love for certain characters, and that is all that should matter. Being able to resonate with and become emotionally invested in a fictional character is important too.  Anime should be a medium where anyone can have fun watching. It’s entertainment. Maybe it’s true that moe is just a trend, something only temporary. There was a time when moe wasn’t as prominent as it is now and maybe it won’t be in the future. Entertainment will change with the times and trends.

To be honest, it’s not often I use the word myself because I’m not entirely certain of all of the concepts of moe. Although I feel I understand the basic gist of the word, I don’t know if I will ever be able to keep up with the new types of “moe” which appear in the anime community. If you still can’t understand what moe is after this, then I can completely understand. Maybe I’m wrong about it all, perhaps what I just wrote above is all a misconception and I’ve only written what I think moe is. Still, I hope this post was at least able to give you an inkling of an idea on what it is.

New Phone Wallpaper

Talk about sexy as eff. I really like this artist’s other Saber Alter x Jeanne Alter pics too. If I were to make another fan art post, all the pieces would just be from them honestly, lol. Saber Alter and Jeanne Alter are already hot anime women, and they’re even hotter together. Ahem, I don’t care anymore what the ship is, if it’s cute (in this case, hot) I’ll take it!  

Anyway, I’d like to give a quick update since I’m now 2 weeks into school. I’ve finally got to my target wake up time (5:45 am), and I’ve been able to get 8+ hours of sleep so that’s good. Of course this means I’m out around the same hour as an elementary schooler. I sometimes joke about it being past my bed time. I’m only taking 3 classes and thankfully they’re just minor inconveniences regarding the things I actually want to do. For this semester, I’m able to study without it taking up too much of my time and still focus on everything else. The one thing I dislike about two of my classes is that they’re trying to entice the students to come to class. What I mean by this is for my trigonometry class we need passwords in order to do our homework assignments, and according to the teacher, sharing them is academic dishonesty. For my pathophysiology class, we have to sign an attendance sheet and this counts as participation which is for a grade. Why do classes do this???

The classes don’t seem hard though so I’ll stop complaining about it now. I think spring semester has always been my least favorite because I have to do this until… April? It sure seem like it’s longer than the other semesters.

On another note, I made a drawing schedule I can stick to for the rest of the year. Even though I started drawing last year, I didn’t get to the level I thought I would by the end. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy I was able to make progress, and as long as I keep at it, I will continue to do so. For this year, I’m going to put most of my effort into the fundamentals (form, figure drawing, values/light, perspective, composition) so I can continue with my artistic growth and have a better understanding of how stuff works. I also decided to increase my drawing time (depending on the day). It’s a bit tough to draw for 4+ hours on the days I have classes. But it’s something truly important to me so I have to learn to make the time. As long as I stick with it and get into the habit of drawing every single day then I’m certain I’ll see improvements.

That’s all I need to say for right now. Today should be fun since it’s the first anime group meeting for the semester and they’re showing all the classic anime (Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad, Dragon Ball Z).

Hope everyone has a great weekend!