The Bucket List

Today I watched a movie I haven’t had the pleasure of watching in ages; you might have guessed it- The Bucket List. 

It’s one of those movies that seems like everyone saw it at least once and then never watched again. Well, I recommend watching it again. Especially if you’re anything like me and death is one of those things you try your best not to think about.

After watching it again I realized a few things really stood out to me.

The first was the scene when Carter (Morgan Freeman) is told his diagnosis and thinks: “There was a survey once. A thousand people were asked if they could know in advance would they want to know the exact day of their death. 96% of them said no. I always kind of leaned towards the other 4%. I thought it would be liberating, knowing how much time you had left to work with. It turns out, it’s not.”  – (cue the Morgan Freeman voice).

I’m definitely the kind of person who leans towards the 96% and that scene emulates exactly why. As someone who loves to plan there’s always that desire to know your time limits, but that’s a limit from which you just can’t escape. Knowing the day would be soul crushing and then there’s the pressure because the clock it now literally ticking down…

I know that’s a morbid take on it, but it’s a morbid topic guys!

Now if there’s one thing I’ll give this movie, it’s the way in which is handles death. In the past there was only one movie that tackled death in a way I could handle: Never Let Me Go. While that movie will always have a special place in my heart (and I highly recommend it to ANYONE)- The Bucket List definitely confronts it in a much more ‘heads on’ way. When I was younger I don’t think it really resonated because I didn’t think about death and by the time I saw Never Let Me Go I’d easily forgotten all about The Bucket List. Watching it now as an adult though, I definitely have an appreciation for it. Especially this quip.  


Edward Cole: I envy people who have faith, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Carter Chambers: Maybe because your head’s in the way.


I’m not someone who has a faith or follows a religion. I’m not even spiritual. By all accounts I’m definitely Edward in this scene- and probably most of the movie to be fair, but especially during this part. Why? Because I do envy those who have faith and it’s something I just can’t seem to manage myself. I’m just…here. If we were to break it down it’s probably because I over think things or as Carter said; “my head’s in the way”.

Another thing I enjoyed was how Carter brought other faiths into the mix. Like most people, I generally only ever really think of that sort of stuff in the frame of the current big religions since those are ones I hear about the most in my day to day. So, when Carter brought up the ancient Egyptian approach to death I was pleasantly surprised. I used to be really into ancient Egypt. In fact, I’m sure I have some books still lying around, but I didn’t remember that tidbit and I find it very…I guess beautiful.

You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven, the guards asked two questions. Their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not. ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’ – (cue the Morgan Freeman voice again).

Those are the questions that resurface at the end of the movie; ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ and ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’. In a way I think that’s all I can strive for really. I like to make others happy and I also want to be happy. What else is there to achieve, right? Well, specifically I think what I want the most is to have been able to make an impact on someone’s life the same way Carter did for Edward. Hopefully the other two will naturally follow…

This is one of those movies that manages to make me laugh and at the end has my eyes watering. In the past I’d never admit to a movie making me teary eyed, but as I’ve gotten older the whole “acting stone cold in order to appear strong” bit doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I’d rather openly be me because in a lot of cases I find not forcing yourself into a mold takes a lot more effort.

With all this being said I think I will create a bucket list and possibly post it that way I’ll have it in a specific place and can update it as I find more things I really want to do. Will the Himalayas be on this list? Hahaha- no. Have you guys seen the movie Everest? If not, I’d look up the story of what happened. SO, unless I can climb a different part…I’ll pass on that adventure for now. 

O.P. 16 January 2018

Holiday Matsuri 2019!

The holiday season is here and what’s a better way to kick it off than going to a convention!?

Now if there’s anyone who hasn’t heard of Holiday Matsuri; never fear- because I only heard about it a few weeks beforehand and can sum it up pretty cleanly. So as the name suggests it’s holiday themed convention held in Orlando every December. A lot of cosplayers go as “holiday” versions of characters and just as many more simply go as their character of choice.

I went as a Star Fleet cadet and a certain Disney princess that I’ve been wanting to cosplay for YEARS. I honestly didn’t think it would happen, but thanks to my partner and his cosplay savvy crew I had a costume AND a staff! All I had to figure out was where to get the wig (Etsy).

To be honest I didn’t think anyone would really pay me any mind at Holmat. After all, I arrived late the first night and threw on a Star Fleet cadet uniform to hang out in the lobby. The way I saw it: I was neither holiday themed or Anime, so I’d just fall into the background.

Turns out I was wrong. Within fifteen minutes of hanging out I was approached by a videographer asking if he could take a video of me. ME. As in someone who had never done a video for ANYONE EVER IN MY LIFE. Did I do the video? Of course! Did I ask a lot of questions about what they wanted? Most definitely. I was even complimented for walking ‘regally’ which is something I’d never heard before- it warmed my heart so much though.

Being back in an environment where so many people are wearing what they please and having fun without a care in the world really helped me start to come out of my shell for the first time in a while. I hadn’t been to a convention since Summer and had all but accepted it would probably be my last. None of my local friends were really interested in conventions and my remote friends were never in town when they happened (I’m not the type to go by myself). This is why I really owe a huge thanks to my partner for not only inviting me and bringing me into his amazing friend group, but also for reigniting the convention spark in me!

By the time we left I’d already confirmed I was going to Dragon Con 2020 as well as at least two other conventions. Not to mention I already have cosplay ideas in the works!

I guess all that’s left would be for me to share a picture, but not only did I not take any pictures of myself…I also didn’t take any pictures of anything else…Oops. Maybe next time though.

[the amazing picture above is not of me]

Why the Sexualization?

It’s an unfortunate thing to have simple actions sexualized: especially when it’s those close to you who are doing it.

Now I understand teasing among friends, but there comes a point when it’s a little…much. In my instance, it started when I made a comment how one of my bros wanted me to teach him to swim.

The fact that we agreed to this in December was just poor planning on both of our parts.

Well this somehow became ‘interesting’ since I was going to be in a bathing suit, it was going to be cold; and there was even comment on how he was probably looking for a way to stay warm.

At first I was thrown off, but then just said there was nothing ‘interesting’ going on. I met the guy this semester and we formed a study group to get through a challenging class. He’d asked if I’d teach him to swim earlier in the semester when he found out I had a pool and I’d said, “Sure”. He’d even planned for another member to join, but they had to take their grandparents to the airport, so they couldn’t come.

Now after the comment was made about ‘staying warm’, I said I was going to go since they were making it awkward and I really wasn’t going for that angle with this guy. They tried to keep the conversation going a bit, but after they said I’d ‘spoiled their fun’ I just changed the topic entirely. And things were fine.

It wasn’t until later that it really began to sink in for me. I’d been straightforward about nothing going on in the beginning and yet they’d kept at it. In the past I don’t think this would’ve bothered me as much, but after everything I’ve been through in the past two years…I think I’m just over it.

It’s like I can’t even have male friends without there being some sort of ‘angle’ where I’m either trying to get with them or they’re trying to get with me. And honestly, it’s mainly my girl friends who do it. My guy friends are pretty lax and get we’re just bros. What probably hit me the hardest was how she’s a victim of assault just like I am, so I guess I thought given the knowledge of my second attack over the summer…she wouldn’t have continued down that route after I’d made it clear the first time?

I used to have a complex when I was younger about how I was constantly praised for my body and therefore must not be the ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ type- just the ‘sexy’ type. After my first assault it seemed the prophecy was right and I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole. I thought I’d found my way back again and then had another incident- this time far worse than the first. It’s been about six months since and I’m happy to say I’ve made some pretty good headway. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t view myself as a sexual object anymore, I’m opening up to friendships, and I’ve put work into myself. This progress has led me to a point where I guess I’m just not about getting typecast into old tropes anymore.  

Learning to let go of old standards we hold for a person can be a hard thing to do; I know I’m guilty of it for sure, but I’m definitely going to reevaluate how I view people as opposed to the person they’re becoming. We all change as we age- no one stays the same forever and it’s something we have to accept just like we accept it in ourselves.  This is especially true for the people we care about because if we really care then we’d  try to help them become their best self.

This has gone beyond off topic, so I’m going to end it here. If you made it this far though, then congrats because you did it! You made it!

For follow up I’ll just add I did not end up teaching him to swim today because it’s DECEMBER and the water is unacceptable. So, we decided to reschedule for when it’s warm again.

And while the conversation I had may not of had anything to do with old standards…that’s what it ultimately reminded me of and where this cluster of a post went.

I’ll try to keep it more together next time, guys.

O.P 14 December 2017

When You Suck at Something You Love

Little known fact about me: I have NO artistic talent.

In fact, I took culinary arts in middle school just to avoid taking an actual art class! That’s how bad I was and still am to this very day.

As a true fan of web comics/anime/manga, I truly wish I’d put the time in to craft some sort of drawing skill…but it just wasn’t my thing which sucked because I had intricate stories building in my head by the time I was 11. It wasn’t until seventh grade that I thought about actually writing them down.

For the rest of seventh grade I did tons of research and prep work- filling at least one notebook full of information on this world I was creating. I didn’t think my writing was strong, so I’d just jot down the main points for my ‘older self’ to write out. In the mean time, I RP’d online to sharpen my writing (I’m actually very impressed with the forethought of 12 year old me).

It was a golden plan, but as time went on I never brought myself to finish even though I never forgot the story.

Now I’m roughly a half a year away from finishing university and still haven’t taken a pen to that damn paper. I still RP, but I don’t have much confidence in my writing and I can feel it fading more and more as time goes on. The friend I RP with is actually a very good writer and it definitely makes me aware of how terrible mine is in comparison. I’ll admit it definitely discouraged me from pursing my personal project for a while, but I think it took me losing practically all confidence before I gave myself a much needed kick in the ass.

From now on I’m going to really put effort into my replies, fine-tune my writing, and maybe even take a gander at the notes 12 year old me left behind…Maybe >_>

O.P 13 December 2017

‘Tis the Season to Quit Working

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

As pretty much everyone is aware by now (hopefully); it’s December which means the holiday season is in full swing! It’s the time of year when everyone starts stocking up on presents, holiday music starts blasting, the weather gets cool, and…people start dropping from work like flies.

At my job so far we’ve had three hosts, one to-go person, and a cook leave.

Two hosts tried to say they couldn’t say in the university dorms over winter break(a lie) and when management confronted them they chose to quit.

The third host actually had to quit because their ride didn’t want to cart around and then said they weren’t getting enough hours (even though the host had almost 40 hours >_>).

The To-go person is leaving because they graduated this semester and are going home (no hard feelings there, of course).

The cook, on the other hand; wanted something like two weeks off which wasn’t fair to anyone else working, so management said no. Can you guess how the cook reacted? By putting in their two weeks notice of course!I understand people want to be with family during the holidays, but we’re in the service industry people. We can’t all have off for the holidays and we can’t all just suddenly spring up wanting days off less than a month before the busiest time of year. ESPECIALLY when the managers made an announcement months ago about how requests during this time would be handled given expected high volume (plus our managers are pretty good at trying their best to please everyone and aren’t even assholes about it!).

The best part is when this many people leave it then befalls on the remaining staff. For instance: I worked a double Friday, closed Saturday, and had another double Sunday meanwhile I have two huge finals Tuesday. Of course the extra hours are much appreciated, but I found out about my schedule change on THURSDAY. This meant the time I’d allotted myself to study got cut down to Saturday morning and Monday

I WAS AIMING FOR A’S PEOPLE!

All I’m saying is that when you get interviewed; especially as a college student, they specifically ask about your plans during the holidays…The failure of people to plan in advance/blatantly choose to ignore the reality of the sector they work in amazes me (clearly I’m not talking about the people who have emergencies or requested off in advance here).

O.P 11 December 2017

Birthday Pick Up Lines

Two Fridays ago was the birthday of one of my best friends who shall remain nameless, but for this story we’ll call him…Will. Okay, so Will was turning 22 and wanted a bunch of us to go to a happening gay club about thirty minutes south. Of course we were all pumped to go- especially me since I’d always been working when they went like the workaholic I pretend not to be!

There was some drama that night, but I want to focus on one particular experience: Someone tried to pick me up and his opener was- and i’m not kidding here: “I’d lick your asshole. I’d lick your asshole all day, every day.”

That’s right ladies and gentlemen! That was the OPENER!

He also added in how he would do the same for one of my friends who we shall name Carolyn (I’m a whiz with these name changes if you can’t tell). Will immediately jumped in with how, “We take people on dates and get to know them”. The guy; who’s name I never got, said we were all young and just needed to, “Wrap it and have some fun”. Will was not convinced and bore into the guy about how we have manners and get to know people and properly court them until the guy eventually went away.

Then all was well and we went on with our night…or so I thought.

Maybe two hours later he reappeared when I was sitting at a booth and immediately went back into the, “Let’s wrap it and have some fun”. My response was: “No thank you”, but our man was completely undeterred and went into his life story. I’ll give you the highlights:

-He has a girlfriend of six years named…Dandelion

-They go to church together

– He normally gets off work really late at night, so she drives the car over and sleeps for the last hour waiting for him

-He’s cheated on her before in the bathroom of a club (not the one we were in)

-He feels bad that he cheated, but won’t tell her because it will break her heart

-He knows she will never leave him though


The amount of questions this situation leaves me with are…insurmountable. Who chooses that as their opener? Who’s that confident in themselves? Who’s that honest about their situation and totally fine with it? Where do you find the time to cheat in the bathroom of a club (because our man meant sex, not a make out session)?

Suffice it to say, it was wild and will forever be an ice breaker of mine to tell at future parties.

O.P. 9 December 2017

A Potential Chapter: Graduate School?

As I pass my first month of unemployment my mom has once again started ‘lightly’ hammering the notion of graduate school.

Now as someone who used to plan for the next “chapter” of their life; I had three potential tracks I was floating for after graduation: (a) work for two years then go to grad school (b) work for a year, teach in South Korea for a year, then go to grad school (c) work for a year or two then move to Chicago.

If you remember my posts from a few months back; I actually applied and got accepted to teach in South Korea, but ultimately rescinded my application. I know my mom didn’t agree with the decision because she felt it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I think since then she’s wary that I’ve maybe become complacent and won’t see things through anymore- i.e. applying to graduate school.

When it came to rescinding it really boiled down to me having to do some pesky introspection and accepting I just wasn’t in the right mind set for it. Does that mean I still feel the same way now? Yes and no. Ultimately, I won’t be able to reapply for two semesters anyway due to restrictions, but by then who knows? Spring of 2021 isn’t as far away as it may seem.

But back to graduate school. Because I have concerns.

In the year I’ve been working since graduation I’ve managed to save up enough for my full tuition (with discounts) and around a semester of housing. My initial worry with was that since I’ve been unemployed and haven’t been able to continue saving; I wasn’t sure I’d be able to save the rest. My mom’s response was to remind me she already said she’d help me with housing given how much I’ve managed on my own- I just don’t want to feel like I’m leaching off her. My second issue was deciding whether to choose a one or two year program where the difference is a twelve month internship at the end. Fortunately, tuition for the second year is extremely affordable, but unfortunately that means I’d need to cough up an extra year’s worth of housing funds…My mom’s response was whether I felt it’d be worth it or not.

In the end I came to the conclusion it would be so long as I was able to secure housing because just in case you didn’t know: the school is in “totally affordable” London, England. My mom agreed hands down since so there’d be no way for me to manage without university housing and that same day I started the application process.

Side Note: Applying to this university is so easy breezy and the best part is that it’s FREE. That’s right! No application fees! (sorry I just have a big hang up about application fees)

So, after putting the issue to rest with mom I knew the next step was bringing this up to my boyfriend. Being the great guy he is, he admitted he wouldn’t be happy with it, but would never try to hold me back from something. He explained that instead of using his PTO for cosplay conventions he would instead use it to see me which definitely made my heart warm.

As we continued to talk over dinner another concern surprisingly surfaced which had to do with work load. For the one year program you’re taking five classes both semesters with a thesis due at the end. For the two year program your thesis is due at the end of second year which you spend in an internship. I think if I was only doing school then the one year wouldn’t be an issue, but I know I’m going to have to work and make money to support myself and I don’t want to fuck up such a large investment.

I know. I know. It probably seems like a lot of overthinking on my part.

There’s this idea of “if you want it then you’ll try your best and go for it” with the undercurrent being “you only live once and if you don’t try then you’ll never know” and while I enjoy the sentiment I think there’s also that protectionist mindset in a lot of us where we need to weigh the options and then struggle with the question of “am I holding myself back? am I too scared to take a risk? will I have regrets?“.

A part of me does regret not going to South Korea (especially since I’m currently unemployed), but I’m still doing things I really wanted to do. I mean, I’m going to Chicago for New Years to see if I can hack the winter; I’m going to cosplay as Princess Kida; I’m visiting my family more. I even went to New York for the first time!

So maybe there’s something to be said in accepting the decisions we make and then making the most of it. I’ve made the decision to apply to graduate school. Are there concerns? Yes. Can I boil it down without stressing myself out? Yes: In the one year program my biggest fear would be burnout. In the two year program my biggest fear would be conjuring up the funds.

Now I just need to on that good old personal statement!

Photo by Jordan Encarnacao on Unsplash