Catching up with my Train of Thoughts



An ulterior motive.. or not

Ever hear of the characters in  a story that manipulates others into doing their bidding? Ever hear of the characters in the stories that always say positive things, never negative? Ever hear of the expression “politeness is mistaken for flirtation”?

In a world where every possibility, every outcome has become a novel/movie/song, every action is taken into question, wondering if the person has an ulterior motive. Maybe it’s different elsewhere, but it seems as though any action, whether good or bad, has a cost and that nothing is free for either parties (those giving and those receiving).

As one of the many volunteers in the MBA ICC, I was given many compliments for doing a good job. I was more than happy to hear that, but I couldn’t help but wonder of the reason for all of those compliments. As a social science student, I know a few things about behaviours and reasons behind them, but I couldn’t find any reasons that would be an ulterior motive.

Then, I started to think of what I had done over the little time that I had been there. To me, they seemed insignificant, minor, but is it all too impossible that they might be viewed differently by others? Could it be that I’m too critical on my actions?

More questions than answers – why not neither? While today is a world where the media shows every possibility, sometimes the result is a simple one. Maybe someone gives a compliment just for the sake of making someone smile; maybe someone adopts a pet from a shelter for companionship; maybe someone gives a compliment to show another’s value from another angle. Maybe… they just do that act of kindness because they want to – no other reason.


The Unusual Weather & Influence of Media

Ever watch a movie where the setting consists almost entirely of rainy environments? Ever see such a movie where bad things happen? 

  There’s something about a rainy morning in autumn that gives me a bad feeling. Maybe it’s because I watch too many shows that take place on or around Halloween. 
I’m usually the kind to feel calmer when watching rain, but hearing almost nothing and seeing almost no one… Flags are raised in my mind. 

Times like this make me think about the influences that the media has on the audience. With so many movies taking place around Halloween and the autumn season, many might have grown somewhat cautious when it becomes rainy, cold and/or approaches October 31st. 

Any other time and I would like the change in scenery, but I can’t help but think of all the bad things that happened in movies…

But they’re movies. Sure TV shows have Halloween episodes as well, but they’re all stories that someone wrote. There’s no way that any of them will come true… Right? 


Minions – the species that live to serve (Review)(Spoilers)

Normally, I start the posts with questions, to peak the readers’ curiosity, but with minions who are probably 3 feet tall, what questions would there be to pose?

The movie is about a species of small, yellow creatures of whom seem to have a lifelong goal to follow the most evil person around… all the while they have the purest of hearts. The movie takes place before they meet the “evil” villain Gru of whom is in Despicable Me.

Among the many minions, three rose to the challenge to find a boss worth following – Kevin, Bob, and Stuart. They looked far and wide, finally finding themselves hitching a ride to the Villain-Con and becoming underlings for Scarlet Overkill, named to being the first female super-villain.

Ignoring the fact that there aren’t any females among the minions and that they never seem to age, the minions can be reminder of certain human aspects.

I’ve heard some stories where some people almost always have a soft spot for bad boys, which is explained by the thought that that person could turn good given time. While the movie explains that minions live to serve, maybe they are just looking for someone in need of help. If anyone’s seen Despicable Me, the minions are assigned simple tasks, like cleaning or building, and Gru seem to have grown a soft spot for them. Minions seem to be social creatures, working together to get the job done and having fun while doing it (which Scarlet really doesn’t like).

I’ve also heard, since childhood, that we all need someone to look to, which the minions do by following and serving one villain after the other. Something I’ve noticed is that villains tend to be not only very resourceful, but that they’re also very creative in the development of plans (who else would think of creating a shrink ray to steal the moon? or to camouflage a pyramid to hide it in plain sight?). Minions, as silly as they might be, can learn – like children – and work hard to follow their idols and to maybe impress them with what the kids/minion had learned.

Despite the cuteness and the odd, gibberish-like language of theirs, they are learning from their idols and they have the potential to help others thrive as well. Thinking about it this way, kids having an idol, whoever it may be, learn quickly and try to copy what it is that they do in the hopes of getting a sense of accomplishment. Those idols would inspire them to investigate some aspect of the large world of which we all live. Being looked at by a child, being idolized by them, means that they are hoping that they can be like that idol sometime in the future, no matter how far that future is and no matter how hard it takes to get there. (Just remember, they need to be encouraged by the telling of stories like these)

(Child = 孩子)

Kingsman- “If you’re prepared to adapt, you can transform.” (Review) (Spoilers)

Who doesn’t love spy movies? Know anyone with an unusual talent? Ever notice that some street performers can pull the largest of crowds and earn a loud round of applause? Every see someone spray paint a beautiful piece on a sheet within minutes, on the spot? 

There’s something about spy movies that is addicting. Maybe it’s the continuous danger that they find themselves in. Maybe it’s the lengths they go to protecting what they value the most against their oponents. 

In Kingsman, a young man is recruited into a super secret agency to train to be part of the team. Regardless of having a criminal/reckless record, he was recognized for his potential and intelligence in the unusual things. 

In real life, while not every unusual individual is recruited to a top secret agency, unusual people might be recognized for those same values by others who might be in a better position to help out. 

There are plenty of real life examples of individuals being recognized and getting a hand. One of the best examples is school, where some teachers work on team building and finding a way to get everyone involved and for everyone to have fun. Another example are the many programs that work on trying to help the homeless get back on their feet. 

Of course, there’s the simple right-in-your-face example, which are friends. Spending so much time with them, they might be the people who can help with tough times. 

No single life is perfect and no single person is either. There are good days and there are bad, some more than others. That’s not to say that life is completely bad, but that there are obstacles that can be taken down – it’s just a matter of how and with what or who. 


Movies – an escape from reality, yet an eye-opener

How many movies are watched on a weekly basis? How many seemed to go by so quickly? How many had the audience at the edge of their seats? How many resulted in the reflection in some part of the world?

Movies – around 150 years old – are an escape from the world, lasting anywhere between an hour to three hours. They are in every genre, from Romance to Sci-Fi, from Sci-Fi to Horror, and Horror back to Romance. They cover our past, present and potential future in an attempt to show what our imagination can conjure up in a second.

With the advancement of technology, the effects become evermore realistic, making our sense of reality questionable. There are some movies that seem so unlikely that we wouldn’t worry about it happening in reality while others border on being a real possibility that some would be looking over their shoulder for a while.

Of course, there are also some that are simple in nature, with no advanced effects and tell the story of certain individuals who have lived on this land or maybe who only lived within the pages of a book. While simple, they provide a different angle on life and in a different environment.

Over the past two months, I’ve watched a wide variety of movies, including Mr. Holmes, Terminator: Genisys, Home,The Lorax, Inside Out, Minions – the list goes on! Many were animated, and a few were situated in the most surreal environments while others featured the story of an extraordinary person living an ordinary life.

Some made me laugh, jump out of my skin, and feel sad, but one thing that they did have in common was that they made me think about the world. For Terminator, it reminded me that the world can easy get thrown into chaos very suddenly and that we would be forced to adjust to the sudden and drastic changes. For the Lorax, I was reminded that while we are resourceful, those resources aren’t unlimited. And for Mr. Holmes? I was reminded that, even among the best of us, there comes a time when we should reflect on who are our friends and take a moment to really appreciate them and the times we’ve shared.

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.

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?

“Ever wonder what was going on in someone’s head?” (Review) (Spoilers)

Ever wonder how someone is almost always smiling, even when everything might seem at its worst? Or wonder how someone could have the shortest temper, getting angry at the smallest thing? How someone could come up with lots of worst-case scenarios and is prone to high levels of stress? Or maybe there’s someone of whom thinks of only the negative, insistent that nothing will go as they would like it to go?

Inside Out is a movie that demonstrates what goes on in someone’s head, specifically with their emotions. I remember hearing that, while there are many emotions, most can be derived from a few main ones: Happiness, Anger, Sadness, Fear (Personally, I’m not sure where Disgust comes from).

Seeing it, the difficulties of the teenage life come to mind. First of all, there’s the physical growth spurt. Second of all is the fluctuating hormones. Thirdly, we tend to try to be more mature than we actually are. Fourthly (maybe most important of all), we’re in a new environment with different teachers, different kids, and a different school altogether. Fifth and maybe the final, with the new environment, we might be forced to find new friends and might be left alone to make our own decisions, which might be something new to us.

Becoming a teen is no easy feat. There were stories that stated that reaching 16 meant adulthood in the past. Neuroscience and Biology might say otherwise, with studies that suggests that teens wouldn’t be fully matured until 21 on average. Nowadays, some places say that 18 is the legal age while others say that 21 is the legal age.

So, is that what all teens are aiming for? To become an adult as soon as possible? Or maybe they’re like Riley, who wants desperately to go back to a time and place where everything was happy, where everything stayed the same and she didn’t have to worry about anything changing.

Even as we become adults, not everyone has a…. harmonious balance of their emotions (that’s putting it lightly). Some might still have their Anger being actively engaged in daily activity. Some might have the other emotions struggling to pull Sadness off of the console. And some might let Joy lead the other emotions everyday.

Either way, Joy, Sadness, Anger and Fear are crucial to an individual’s understanding of the world. And you know what – maybe Disgust represents our instincts that are deeply ingrained. Our memories are the foundations of different parts of our personality. We’ll have our down moments, but we’ll also have our up moments. I said that the five are crucial – that means that they’re crucial as a team because one or three can’t manage the console alone.

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