Catching up with my Train of Thoughts


July 2015

Creating Alternate Realities

Ever watch a TV show and invent a character that would be in the series? Ever watch a Movie and imagine a sequel or a side-story that fit well in that reality? Ever read a story and imagine “what if”?

Being a bit of an artist and a bit of a nerd in many aspects, I find myself creating an OC – an Original Character – in each series that I watch or read. As the characters are created, I realized that they resemble to each other in terms of their pasts and personality.

It’s almost like creating alternate realities because it’s the same character with little tweaks here and there – one was an amnesiac, one was a pirate, one was a mage, one was a detective and one was affected by a particle accelerator explosion. The best analogy is with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, where a group find themselves having to travel between worlds, sometimes dimensions to gather a friend’s scattered memories. The only difference is that, on most cases, these OCs would never meet the other and finding them fighting alongside each other.

With the most recent movie being Terminator: Genisys, I find myself writing a story that would take a place between the years of Skynet’s activation and John Connor being converted into a Terminator. A story in which yet another OC would be created in a different time and a different world. A story in which people stopped taking life for granted, making sure that they lived to see another day. A story in which humans no longer lived in a peace of overall peace.

The question now is, why? What’s the point of creating these mirror images of a character? Is there such a strong desire to live in a world so drastically different from here? Is there something so intriguing about living in a world where every day is different, all contributing to something big in the end? Is there something inside that wants to live everyday towards getting close to a certain goal and to have an official ending?

Sherlock once said that to create a disguise is to create a different version of ourselves. Would that imply that every character that is create reveals a different version of our personality? The Doctor often says that we humans are controlling, that we often to seek an understanding in everything  and that we often seek to be to accurately predict the outcome and, therefore, the future. The Doctor also said that we’re all stories in the end, that as time passes, we’ll be remembered by what we leave behind.

Writing the story is long and slow, that’s no surprise. For a few moments in time, the world is different and there’s something to work up to. For a few moments, time is slowed and the surrounding world would come to life. That is, until something or someone brings back me back down to Earth, like my phone that isn’t connected to Genisys.

Well, Genisys is supposedly going to come into existence in 2017. That’s two years from now (and counting). I wonder if the world will change that much by then.


“I am old, but not obsolete.” (Review) (spoilers)

Ever wonder what would happen if androids were to come into existence? Ever wonder what would happen if time travelling were to come into existence? Now, ever wonder what would happen if both come into existence?

Cue…. TERMINATOR: Genysis. With the classic Terminator theme, this film takes a different angle on the time-travelling dimension. Trying to explain it would cause lots of confusion, so I won’t go there (not now, anyways).

The bond between Terminator Shwarzenegger (labelled as “Guardian” or “Pops”) and Sarah Connor reminded me a lot of those same kind of connections that we look for on a daily basis. To have that kind of inseparable bond is like being part of a family or to be part of a tight knit group.

In a TED Radio Hour Episode called “Do we need humans?” There was one speaker who voices her concerns about humans being replaced by the machines, despite the good that it can do for us. In that podcast, a self-learning robotic seal was among several elderly in a retirement home, one of which poured her heart out to it. The speaker mentioned that while the seal nodded its head in response to the woman, it might not have understood anything she said.

Back in the movie, Sarah is really attached to him/it, as many of us would be if & when we shared a bond that lasted that long. What’s interesting is that, on a normal basis, it can be anyone or anything that we can grow attached to. As soon as we face the possibility of losing it/them, it becomes devastating because we’ve had it for so long.

As the plot moves ahead, and more time travelling is added to the already-confusing story, the “guardian” ages even more. It’s at this point when he looks like a parent to Sarah. He’s been with her for decades and makes protection a first priority. While it could be argued that it’s in his programming, maybe us humans can’t help but want to believe that it’s something more than simply his programming… Especially when he tells Reese “Protect my Sarah.”  (Feels!!! Why must you give us these feels?!?!?)

In the end, the bond between Pops and Sarah seemed to be a theme throughout the movie. While one was a robot designed to kill and the other an ordinary human to give birth to the significant figure in the future, it was much like a bond that we share with our family and friends. While some are old relationships -lasting years- it doesn’t mean that it’s ever time to simply throw it away. In cases like these, time makes things, people – yes, that might include the occasional terminator – more valuable than making a hundred of them.

Creativity strikes as the clock chimes once more in the dark room… (Slight Rant)

Why? Out of all of the times to be creative, why?? Out of all of the hours of the day, afternoon, and evening, why??? Why on earth am I getting all of these ideas now?!?!?!! (It’s near 1am… I usually asleep by now)

I remember hearing that reading could ease into sleeping mode, but I also remember hearing that light encourages the mind to be awake. Moreover, I remember hearing that everything should be done an hour before going to sleep

… *tick tick tick*

….. *throws clock away*

*(mumbled) tick tick tick* *groans*

Well, you learn something everyday… Even if it implies to ungodly hours.

(Should have taken out the batteries)

I’ve got nothing to hide… or do I? *Ominous music plays*

Ever hear someone say that they have nothing to hide? Ever discover something about someone that was unfamiliar? Ever see/hear anyone ask for the login information for a website? Ever see anyone write a diary out in the open? Ever see anyone talk to someone on a phone in a quiet place?

I think we’d all like to say that we have nothing to hide, but I also think that, if we were asked to tell everything to any one person – and I mean everything – that there would be… a long……… awkward…………. silence.



*Shoos crickets*

Anyways, after listening to TED Radio Hour Podcast episodes “Keeping Secrets” and “Why We Lie”, I was reminded that as much as we might say that we’re open and honest, we’re not. I think that there’s one part of ourselves that we hide from everyone, maybe because we’re afraid to be judged, because we all want to have connections.

In the episode “Keeping Secrets,” Frank Warren collects hundreds – if not thousands – of letters that arrive literally at his footsteps. The idea of writing something kept within, something that is never said aloud, and to send it to another part of the world and to a stranger’s house – it’s terrifying, even if it’s anonymous. Glen Greenwald asked anyone, who says that they have nothing to hide, to email him the password to their emails so that he could look at all of the emails… and he has yet to get a reply.

In the episode “Why We Lie,” Jeff Hancock had a study that suggested that people tend to lie more often over the phone while people tend to lie the least via emails. He and the radio host, Guy Raz, said that maybe it was because emails could be tracked, that if there was a lie, it could be proved in print.

In the show “Person of Interest”, a machine with artificial intelligence has any and all access to technology and the internet in order to be able to identify possible threats big and small. There are episodes in which people’s iPhone are used by the machine to track a target. When finding out about an individual, there is nothing of which cannot be found by the Machine (unless it’s only printed).

Sometimes, what remains hidden is smile and has reason to be joked about. There are some people who, when they’re alone, would dance to their favourite song, beating their pillows to the beat of the drum. There are some people who, when they’re alone, would sit in an odd position to study. There are also some people who could be found wearing two very different fashions, depending on who they’re with or where they are.

Other times, what remains hidden… well, I’ll leave that to your imagination (and to the TV & Movies) (*cough Cough*)

To be completely honest is hard, for many reasons. Sometimes, we’re afraid to be judged, to be laughed at, to be taken advantage of. Sometimes, we are fully aware of all the secrets that we have in our heads. Sometimes, our minds have found ways to keep it a secret from our consciousness.

Maybe, as an experiment, take out a bunch 4X6 papers (or just cut out a bunch of papers into 1/4 size). On each, write a secret, something that no one has heard or seen. After that, cut it up and put them together in random order. Be creative. You never know, maybe all those secrets could sum up to something worth showing to the world.

A Family Reunion left with regrets (FEELS)

Remember how I often say that, with technology, time tends to pass faster than it actually is?

Ever go on vacation to visit relatives? Ever spend hours in planes, in various airports, travelling from one destination to another, only to meet those relatives for a short time? Ever meet up with a lot of familiar relatives, but then find that there are a few that couldn’t make it, whatever the reason? Ever feel like that there’s something, but only realize that on the last day?

Two weeks to prepare packing for somewhere that never worries about the temperature going below 20C. Two alarms set to wake at Three O’clock in the morning. Twenty-four hours spent in planes and twelve hours spent in different airports. Two days to destination. Two weeks stay….and five years since the last visit.

A lot changed in five years. While the streets were mostly the same, the people changed. Some got older, some looked like they never aged a day. Kid cousins became tween/teen cousins with questions about America and where we’re from. Aunts and uncles became grandpas and grandmas, taking care of newborn nieces and nephews. Grandparents got quieter, being more of the subtle messenger across languages.

But two weeks to visit a place on the other side of the ocean was never enough, and it wasn’t realized until after. Hundreds of photos were taken with people smiling. Photos were taken of family members reconnecting after so long, sharing laughs, catching up…. but it still wasn’t enough.

Staying at a grandparent’s, there was a plan for everyday. Everyday was a different destination, different people. Everyday consisted of photos of people and places… but something was missing.

By the last day, reality fights back… by seeing the tears on grandma’s face as luggage is packed into the trunk.

Two weeks we had stayed. Two thousand photos on the camera. Ten thousand smiles and laughs. Two hundred places that we saw. Twenty-three relatives were all of whom we could see and have photos of…. but not one of grandma.

Fourteen days staying at her place, never once thanking her. Fourteen mornings of having breakfast at a local Coffee Shop with her. Four mornings of meeting her friends. Two hours of each day, seeing her smile and laugh.

Two seconds after her tears was the realization of what was forgotten. Two voices of urgency came as a distraction. Two minutes to pack everything into the trunk and everyone in the car. Twenty minutes to the airport…. thirty seconds is all that it would take to take a photo of her to remember her by.

When people ask me how the trip was, I’d lie and say that I would love to go back there soon and that it was a lot of fun. I can’t say that the next trip over there is going to be soon because it won’t be soon enough, especially when all I want to do is spend all the money I’ve saved to take my family onto the next flight back there. I can’t say it’s a lot of fun, when the last memory I have is tears falling on her cheek, knowing that she might not be around for the next visit.

Suddenly awake with tears, but no memory of what just happened

Ever wake up suddenly and then find yourself no longer able to go back to sleep? Or wake up in the middle of the night with tears in your eyes?

Dreams are fascinating things. I always thought that the ones remembered had some sort of message that I wanted to tell myself. I  always took two looks any book that said Dream Interpretation, fascinated to see what they think a dream would mean.

After watching Inside Out, remembering that Joy and Sadness were interrupting Riley’s dreams to wake her up, maybe emotions can be like that (not getting sucked out of headquarters, but rather wanting to wake up the individual because of a dream). Maybe fear or sadness woke me up because of a certain dream.

But.. to wake up and, for some reason, feel like crap, it makes me wonder – exactly what kind of dream did I have? It’s not the kind of feeling where you wake up and still want to go back to sleep, but rather the kind of feeling where you have a deeply-rooted regret of sorts that may have come up because of a dream.

Either way, dreams come from the imagination, which is based on experience. To dream up something and wake up suddenly, still feeling that emotion, but to also forget what that dream was… it can be sad, frustrating or downright terrifying. In the end, however, it’s just a dream, and dreams like those don’t come true… right?

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