Let me share the best blogs I came across throughout my month-long Web-surfing here, on Bloghopping.
I laughed so much when I first came across San Francisco-based cartoonist Ted McCagg’s drawings. Though he doesn’t update as frequently as I’m sure most of his fans would like him to, he’s been consistently posting satirical sketches for almost a year.
The blog started out as his musings on the best word ever in the English dictionary, which he concluded with diphthong, which means, according to Dictionary.com: “an unsegmentable, gliding speech sound varying continuously in phonetic quality but held to be a single sound or phoneme and identified by its apparent beginning and ending sound,
as the oi- sound of toy or boil.”
Hmmm, I wonder how I can use the word in daily conversations. Diphthongal names include Leo, Jaimee, and also my own, Stacia?
Well, in any case, here are my favorite belly-ticklers from Questionable Skills:
Well, can’t say much about the last drawing, can I? Ted, who also authored Paper Doll Orgy, illustrated writers all too well in a modest little Venn Diagram, and I don’t deny his truth :p
Armed with a legion of fans on his Facebook page and elsewhere throughout the Web, Ted’s brutally honest cartoons have appeared on various media publications, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The Laughing Squid.
So tell me: Do you live to die or the other way around? Keeps you thinking, doesn’t he?
Note: During my run 13 weeks ago, I broke my iPod Nano … again (See weeks 13 through 16). I decided not to fix it or purchase the iTouch. Instead, I’ll wait till this September for the latest generation of Apple iPod to be released until I can run with music again and log my exact time, pace, and mileage.
The shirt that never got worn
I had all my preparations to kill the road this morning.
Yesterday, my throat started to hurt. I felt the light dizziness all day long, and it all grew worse this morning.
When my temps rose and all I could do was lying on my bed all day, my dad hit me up on my phone right at about 17:30 and texted me, saying, “Papa will arrive home soon.”
Usually when I plan my dinners with him or for the whole family, I am the one reminding him and everyone else.
I shed a teardrop when I received this simple message. Then I said I’m sorry to him that I can’t go out. I don’t feel well.
When he got home he immediately went to my room and checked my temp, and immediately went out again to buy some meds.
It’s been a while since I feel this kind of intimacy with my dad.
Thereafter, he went into my room again and asked, with a sincere smile, “So when are we going to have the dinner? Perhaps next week?”
And so I nodded with a smile back and replied, “Yes, hopefully.”
The rest of the evening we were just in his room, catching up on what he’s been missing lately in my working life. I showed him the published issues of the magazine I work for. He flipped through the pages as I prattle on, occasionally reminding me to take the pills every single day for the next 8 days.
He cares, I thought to myself. After all these years, I finally feel cared for.
Suddenly, the fact that I didn’t run this morning, that I didn’t feel I’ve fulfilled my own expectations, that I hate myself for not taking care of my health well enough and therefore missing the opportunity to finally hit the streets in 2013 … they don’t matter so much anymore.
I love my family.
I’m gonna make them proud for as long as I live.
And that’s all that really matters.
Of all kinds of disability in the world, the mind needs the most attention right now. By 2020, as the World Health Organization predicts, mental illnesses such anxiety and depression are going to be among the most prevalent causes of disability worldwide, which will come right after the present number one-killers cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Guard yourself –Flex your brain to adapt and develop resilience over time.A recent survey from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revealed that anxiety disorders are largely determined by how you choose to respond when faced with a challenge. As published on the journal Emotion, researchers presented questionnaires and interviewed 179 healthy men and women to study the ways they dealt with their emotions and how their answers relate to their anxiety levels in the workplace and social settings.
Reappraisal is a practical strategy of viewing tough situations as challenges rather than problems. The findings from the study revealed that those who tended to focus on positive ways of resolving difficult circumstances experienced less nervousness, tension, and negative emotions. These people control their emotions by reappraising challenges in a more positive way, agreeing to the statement, “I control my emotions by changing the way I think about the situation I am in,” reframing what was happening to them at that moment into viewing their situation in a better light. By putting their situations into perspective, they are able to plan ahead and consider how to respond positively to challenging situations. This thought-pattern allows them to be flexible enough and find new solutions to problems.
Subjects who leaned toward the suppressive approach, by internalizing all difficult thoughts and emotions and ignoring them, avoid challenging situations completely and experienced more negative feelings. This strategy may lead to symptoms of anxiety and stress more, which can have harmful effects on mental as well as overall health. Not a good strategy to handle frustration or fear, eh? Obviously, bottling up is not a productive outlet for negative emotions, and has the potential to make subjects even more vulnerable to anxiety by running away, hiding, or pretend that the problem isn’t there.
So what’s the best emotion-regulation practice for implementing the reappraisal theory (which translates to an enduring resilience against stress)?
GET THINGS DONE
MAKE GOOD THINGS HAPPEN
PREVENT BAD THINGS FROM HAPPENING
Though it often carries a negative connotation, anxiety isn’t an all-or-nothing state. With a little bit of anxiety, a worker may be motivated by worry, pushing him/her to direct his/her concentration and efficiency in the task at hand. Learning to be adaptive prevents you from work burnout and leads you to be more flexible when faced with challenging situations.
Prevention is always better than cure.
EXERCISE REGULARLY, AND
GET ENOUGH REST.
LET IT ALL IN – BUT GO ALL OUT.
Always be able to give an account of yourself. You are not here to merely survive; you are here, now, present, to thrive for a purpose that only you and God alone know.
Always be aware of the things you are responsible to care for, but make sure you develop a strategy for sustainable development and prevent all the hard work you’ve done in the past to fall in vain. Progression requires accountability, that’s why I made the Making Miles worksheet.
View my weekly mileage progress here and my all-time PB (personal best) record here.
Remind yourself everyday, every week, every month and every year how far you’ve come to where you are today:
Set high standards, but never forget how far you’ve come to be where you are today. Take responsibility for your own health, because that’s the only way you’re going to get ahead. Be awesome! :)
From the stash of chain messages I received, I usually keep the good ones and process it over at least a month before deciding to delete the ones that doesn’t move me.
This is one that I’ve kept for over a year.
Any normal person would find it difficult to see life through Jerry’s perspective, the main character of the story. What I know is that it takes persistence and practice.
From hereon I’ll let the anonymous storyteller, to whom I want to give thanks to, to show how Jerry chooses to live for good:
Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply: “If I were any better, I would be twins!”
Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. Why? Because Jerry was a natural motivator.
If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling him how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him: “I don’t get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”
Jerry replied: “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood.
Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life.”
“But it’s not always that easy,” I protested.
“Yes it is,” Jerry said, “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It’s your choice how you live your life.”
Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business. He left the back door of his restaurant open. And then in the morning, he was robbed by three armed men. While Jerry trying to open the safe box, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him.
Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Want to see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
“The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied, “Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or could choose to die. I chose to live.”
“Weren’t you scared?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expression on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “Sheasked if I was allergic to anything.” ‘Yes,’ to bullets, I replied. Over their laughter, I told them: “I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”
And Jerry lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours – that no one can control or take from you and is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.
TGIF! is my personal commitment to cultivate an attitude of gratitude this year.
THE WEEKLY TGIF! LIST IS WHERE I PRACTICE COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, NO MATTER HOW LITTLE OR BIG THEY ARE (LIKE THESE THINGS FROM LAST WEEK, OR THE COUNTLESS BLESSINGS NOT LISTED HERE). IN DOING SO, MY HOPE IS TO INSPIRE YOU TO DO THE SAME, BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS SOMETHING BE THANKFUL FOR :)
♡ So happy for the happy couple Couldn’t help but shed some tears …
5 minutes before the movie ends, the tuxedo-donning ‘Pinguin’ appeared out of nowhere to ask the ‘Cute Pinguin’ whether or not she’s willing to spend the rest of her life with him, taking her by surprise and couldn’t help but said yes :’)
The man, Jony, booked seats for the whole blitzmegaplex‘s Velvet Lounge to fit his close-knit circle, so that we could witness his proposal while the theatre’s screening Star Trek Into Darkness. At the closing of the movie, the big screen played a video he prepared months before that featured slides of his own drawings, starring himself as the Pinguin and the woman in his life as the Cute Pinguin. A whole lot of backstory to tell here, but I’ll stop and just want to say I’m so thankful to be a part of it. The night was my first time witnessing a proposal in real life.
♡ Looking forward to the dinner date I’ll be having this Sunday night. With my dad. I can count the number of dates I have in my lifetime with him. I treasure each moment we can take away from our lives to just be together.
Chillin’, waitin’, and spotted this beautiful stalk.
23 months together and counting~If flowers are forever, I can probably keep a garden by now.
Just when I thought the flowerfest has ended …
The very next day (yesterday), he gave me another bouquet …
Sometimes I wonder whether he’s ever going to get tired, because I’m exhausted of life, but he simply never gives up on me. I’m skeptical from the very first moment we started dating. Somehow he’s always managed to smile in good times and bad times, and being with him has forced me to summon the genuine smile I now have today.
At one point while we were going long, I ordered him to stop sending me in the flowers for fear that one day he’ll disappoint me when he stops sending me the flowers. C’mon, let’s be real – men who send flowers consistently to the woman of their lives only exists in romcoms and melodramas. I didn’t ask for the flowers in the first place.
23 months later, I’m moved by his persistence. The one reason why I ended up saying yes as his girlfriend is because of his daily persistence. (and I literally mean daily). How often do you find a man like that?
I’m thankful for having him. The last bouquet was his way of saying goodbye before he leaves for a European cruise, which was tonight, until June 4. His last words when we met face-to-face last night: “You already made an impact, baby. You create a reason for me to return home to. You,” petting me on my head, ”are my home.”
Most of the time, I think his greatness deserves much more coverage than the amount he’s already gracing on this blog.
So. Be prepared to get doubly bored of me raving about my love life.
♡ I’m thankful for living and working under conditions where I am constantly reminded that there are only three things that suffice to fulfill the needs of every human being (including you, myself, and every others) – you require nothing else other than these:
3. Love and connection
♡ I feel grateful for the aforementioned realization. Harsh conditions and difficult situations are character-building tests masked in ugly disguises.
Daily choosing to review that my only needs are already covered with, namely good health, a home with a roof on top, and all forms of love in my life, is an eye-opening experience that pushes my threshold of tolerance, just as the amplitude of obstacles just keeps fattening up. Which leads to …
♡ I’m thankful for the Truth. It gives me the ability to differ God’s standards from people’s standards.
♡ These new shoes are made for walking and running respectively.
A pair of feet will suffice to create a huge return of investment to a 24-hour’s value.
♡ I’m grateful for the immense curiosity lurking within me. I have a constant thirst for knowledge and understanding. It’s like juxtaposing things together to see the big picture, like putting together a complete jigsaw puzzle. It’s finding the reason behind the maxim ‘everything happens for a reason’.
Though I haven’t quite been able to quit demanding for explanation in every situation, curiosity never fails to guide me into my subjects way beyond the surface/appearance, which are merely the tip of the icebergs that most would usually base all their judgments from.
♡ I’m thankful for being brave enough to pour out my thoughts on my diaries ever since I was little. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be fulfilling the 10,000-word-a-day adage to become an awesome writer.
Now I can throw up on screen all day and select the important pieces of vomit information together for useful purposes, and, possibly, make some big impact for the group of audience who read them. Like what you’re reading now, an item of gratitude.
Being a journalist is awesome because you simply start appreciating each passing moment you’ve been given each day, month, and year. You can do whatever you want, go as far as you want, and be courageous enough to be whoever you want to be, as long as you put it all down into the planner, calendar, diary, journal, or blog, whatever form of viewer you choose. (But the challenges will never stop coming your way too you have to be able to swallow the unpleasant things the world freely offers you as you move ahead. Despite so, as long as you maintain your objective as a positive mission, you’ll be fine – you’ll be resilient).
♡ I am literate. The pen is really mightier than the sword, and there are some billion of people in the world who didn’t have the privilege to learn how to read or write – much less eat well and drink clean water.
It’s a pity that wealth distribution is under worldly power. But I trust God no matter what happens. I do my part, you do your part, He does His part. Each of us have a different scope of responsibilities, and my part is smithing words.
♡ This blog.
P.S. Guess where I was at :D
A platform for ranting and raving in front of you patient peeps.
What are the things you’re grateful for so far this week? I’m glad to have the TGIF! LIST TO count on every week. It’s like keeping a piggybank of blessings. Through self-reflection, I want to inspire you and let you know that there is always hope TO COPE WITH THE DIFFICULTIES IN LIFE, no matter how CHALLENGING life’s gonna get.
Never stop counting your blessings, people; it’s the least you can do to appreciate life for what it’s meant for. Enjoy the weekend!
There is but one question that ceases to leave Cassie’s mind. “Who am I?”
It’s a bias, really, part of the devil’s play to distort her self-esteem. The natural skeptic, who never stops questioning her existential self and her place in the moving world around her, tends to lose confidence in me many, many more times than I can count.
But that’s not the reason why I want to tell you her story.
You see, out of the seven billion people in this world, I chose to endow her with the power to read my mind. All-access connection, 24/7.
But it’s her will to put the power to good use, or otherwise.
So let me begin with revealing that the missing girl holds an ocean-deep of secrets. Out of the many, she never fails to enthrall people around her without her knowledge of it. Whether she’s aware of it or not, for as long as she’s curious and/or concerned about a person, place, or thing, she will be without any idea, or care, about what other people think of her image.
“Adulthood = Commitment unto death,” she once sentenced herself on her diary.
This is just the beginning, and there are plenty more things I‘d like to share both about this budding twentysomething journalist, as well as the brave, fast-paced new world she witnesses in her daily life. Mostly constrained by her tiger mother and largely pushed by her perceived responsibility as the figurehead of the family, she decided to tell others’ stories instead of lamenting on her own sorrows (though, as you will see, most of the time she still wastes chunks of her time doing so).
“But mom, dad, this is my responsibility. I feel fulfilled because I’ve made a commitment to make a social impact before I leave this world,” she went on, carefully picking her words on each breath.
“Don’t. Don’t you dare start your little pity party again.”
With that, Mrs. Cross stormed out of her door, followed by Mr. Cross who, for a brief moment before stepping out of the threshold, glanced back at his daughter’s face with a solemn sigh. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
And he slammed the door shut.
Cassie held still on her desk chair, then slowly summoned up the towering walls of her soul once more. There, she began her loud, serious typing.
On a lovely lunch date with Debonair, actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie talks truth, beauty, and love, writes Cassie Cross.
P.S. If there’s one thing she doesn’t know, is the fact that I am sharing this diary to the public. Don’t tell her I do.