Take Me Home Tonight: I Didn't Expect This Film To Be A Wake-Up Call

Thanks to Netflix, we are now able to choose what movie we really wanna watch. Although not all movies you’d like to see are available, it’s still a lot better than cable service where the same damn movie lineups run on loop for a whole goddamn week.

At least, Netflix allows you to search movies or shows that you find interesting, especially the old ones that you missed in the past and only discovered today.

Take Me Home Tonight was one of those movies that I didn’t know I needed to see. A comedy film that may not be too funny, but just a light-hearted film to entertain me on a weekend morning. It easily caught my attention after seeing the movie description which said that it’s set in the late ’80s. Just because of that, I’ve decided that it’s a must-watch.

The nostalgic video rental store at the beginning, as well as the familiar faces of the actors who I’m pretty sure I’ve already seen on other movies but couldn’t remember what, were enough to get me started. Then it was the old school soundtracks that got me turning away from my laptop and putting my phone down so I could focus on the movie.

At the beginning of the movie, you’d think it was gonna be about a young adult, Matt Franklin, having a problem with his parents, specifically his father because of pressuring him into doing something he doesn’t like. Aside from Matt chasing his high-school crush, Tori Frederking, who he saw again after a long time and tries to win her by lying about his job just to impress her.

Later on, I realized that the movie is actually about a guy who’s struggling to know his purpose, or is just waiting to find it, and refuses to face the life of maturity at a young (adult) age by not pursuing a career and chooses instead to work at a video store- another attention grabber for me. That’s probably what I could relate to the most with this film. He then finds out that even his high-school crush, who seemed to have it all together, wasn’t at all happy with her job. They were both on the same page after all.

Later on in the climax, Matt had a serious talk with his father. At this point, I realized that the dad wasn’t actually like any of those toxic parents who’d force their kids into being someone they never wanted to, but he just wanted his son to never grow old without a plan until he loses his chance to have one, let alone execute it.

To me, this was the best part of the movie, how Matt realized that he doesn’t need to wait and find out what he wants to be, what his purpose is, but just to take a leap of faith and take any opportunity that would come his way. That’s the only way to know what you want in life. Taking action even without a plan instead waiting for the “right moment” and letting time pass.

I’ve never seen this movie ever since it was released (2011). Never even heard about it until I’ve seen it on Netflix, and I’m thankful that I had a chance to. It’s such a great wake up call for me. For years, I’ve been asking myself, “What the hell do I wanna be?”

Maybe we don’t always know what we want in life. Some do, some don’t. Maybe it’s out there waiting for us to discover it, like a treasure, and the only way to find it is by taking action since it’s not gonna move by itself and come to us. Maybe it’s something that many other people already discovered and are already using, but that doesn’t matter because every person has his/her unique way of using their own treasure. And you’ll have it your way, too, once you find it.

How do you know if the treasure you found is the one you really want? I don’t know. I think it’s just like what this movie is trying to tell us- Just keep looking, keep discovering, instead of just sitting on your ass and not even trying. If you really want something, there’s no way you would’t know you want it. There’s always gonna be a connection, a gut feeling, that will tell you it’s what you’ve been looking for all along.

“You haven’t really failed, son, because you haven’t really tried to succeed. So don’t credit yourself as a failure. You’re worse than that.”

-Bill Franklin, Take Me Home Tonight Movie

Damn, that line really hits you hard, doesn’t it?

I tried my best to leave out most of the details since I didn’t want to spoil the movie, even though it’s an old one. Like I said, I just saw it, so maybe you’re just about to see it, too. Do I recommend it? Absolutely. There’s a lot of fun (and funny) scenes in the movie that are really entertaining. If you’re in doubt in case you saw Rotten Tomatoes’ rating for it, I’d say it’s worth an hour and a half of your whole weekend.

The Game Changers: This Documentary Will Make You Think Twice About Your Food Choices

Borrowed photo from Google that leads to this article.

Wow, I think I can try the vegetarian diet and then go vegan all the way. This was immediately my thought after watching The Game Changers, a new documentary on Netflix that, according to Google, was released on September 16, 2019. I just found out about it when I saw a post I think on Facebook where it said to check it out because it shares some good information about diets. Since I’m claiming 2020 to be my year by achieving my fitness goals, I thought I’d give it a look. And I didn’t expect to see it all the way in one go.

Once you start to watch the documentary, it will easily get you hooked from start to end (the kind of power I wish my blog had). It’s probably just because of my interest in lifestyle change starting this year of 2020, but I’ve seen a lot of videos and articles about health and wellness, and I think not many of them caught my attention as much as TGC did, considering it’s a film about being pro-vegan. It’s the first time something got me thinking if I should try going vegan.

But I know that it’s just my mind being hyped while I was watching. I really don’t see myself going vegan, at least not in the near future, or anytime, ever. You can say I’m being totally skeptical about myself, and that’s true. It’s not that I don’t believe the benefits of it, which was the highlight of the documentary, but just the thought of not having meat for a long period of time, say, the remainder my lifetime, feels unbearable. Whenever I’d eat Shawarma (just like yesterday), I always feel like it’s the best decision I’ve ever made the whole day.

It seems that I’m also not the only one who got hyped by TGC documentary. After watching it, I started searching about it and found out that it’s been creating a lot of buzz on the internet since it was released, and a lot of people were having the same reaction as mine. It’s definitely a job well done by all the people involved in it. I believe what made it so inspiring is the fact that athletes were the subjects of the tests that they made to show how our body reacts to plant-based diets. And it’s more convincing if you see it happening to the people who you thought were supposed to be the ones eating more meat because of their lifestyle. Like, Arnold Schwarzenegger. (What?)

Of course, the carnivores/omnivores won’t just back down like that. After seeing the documentary, I’ve also watched different videos on Youtube of people sharing their reactions about the documentary, including this debate between James Wilks (the guy narrating the film) and Chris Kresser (a guy I didn’t know who, but apparently promotes the Paleo Diet) on the Joe Roegan Experience podcast, and even Joe seemed like he was starting to get convinced by James (or maybe not) as he was bombarding Chris with information about plant-based diet.

I don’t think this diet war between vegans and carnivores/omnivores is gonna end soon but, needless to say, this documentary did affect a lot of people after many of them expressed their interest in plant-based diets, and some of them even saying they’re gonna start reducing their intake of animal products, which is nice. You don’t need to go vegan all the way but you can add more vegetables in your diet, then maybe slowly reduce the amount of meat that you put on your plate and see how far you can go.

I feel that if more and more people would see this impressive documentary, it could highly change the views of the majority about food, especially animal products, and I’m starting to wonder how the meat industry would take it, seeing how genius they’ve always been when it comes to promoting animal products as if there’s no brutal tortures and murders going on behind the scenes, as was also shown in the film.

Anyhow, The Game Changers did a great job in raising awareness about what the meat industry is doing to the animal welfare and the environment, as well as how these products are affecting our well-being. I feel like I, too, might wanna consider cutting down on meat and adding more vegetables on my plate. But then again, going vegan, I really don’t know about that. Just my honest statement.

The Third Wheel

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

On the way home one evening, I came across three joggers- A guy and two ladies. The guy and one of the ladies were running side by side, and the other lady was trailing behind them. A couple and a third wheel, if that wasn’t too obvious. It’s been a while since I’ve seen joggers in our subdivision, jogging at night. These guys must be really motivated. What can I say? It’s the first week of January.

Nah, I’m kidding. C’mon, we all have that joke about January, don’t we? At least they’re trying. How long would they last? Would this become their lifestyle? Or just another January hype? Judgmental? Oh, shut up. You’re laughing. I wonder who’d be the first to show signs of laziness and giving up in the upcoming days, weeks, or months, considering they’d last that long. Is it the guy? His girlfriend? Or the ever so loyal third wheel, who’s with them all the way?

Probably the third wheel, huh? I mean, why would I tire myself out just for a pretending-to-be active couple just because they needed extra company, yet they just keep me behind them while they go all coochy-coochy-coo with each other? If I was her, I’d give this couple a slap in their butts, run past them and go, “Stay fat, you ugly couple! 2020 is my year!” and then just sprint away. See if they could catch up. Nobody does it like me!

Or maybe it’s gonna be either one of the couple who’d give up. “Honey, I already have you and I know you adore me as much as a baby adores ice cream. We don’t need to do this, do we?” Have you ever stumbled upon this article shared on Facebook that says a couple gets fat when they’re happy? Yeah, it’s because of that lame-ass excuse they give each other when they finally realized what a fool they are for even attempting to become better.

But there’s a bigger reason the third wheel won’t ever give up- she’s running after her dream. Not a fit and healthy body, but the man of her dreams, the guy that’s been in front of her all along. The one she’d always been running after ever since they’d met but had to do it in the shadows, the one who couldn’t get beside him and tell him how she really feels because she knows he’s already taken, and he’s happy. So she always lags behind him and his lover on purpose because she knows that that’s the closest she’s ever gonna get. Now she has to literally run after him because he asked her to run with them, and she would never refuse a request from her dream guy.

Call it a selfish and foolish thing to do, but this third wheel chooses to stay behind her dream, the guy, and would continue to trail behind him, run after him. Even when she starts to run out of breath, she won’t ever try to stop and let him go, or run closer to him and reach for him. She’d just stay behind them both. Even if she knows that she’s much stronger and could run much faster than the couple, this third wheel chooses to stay behind them and be their shadow.

His lover suddenly sprints away, not looking back and never comes back, leaving him with a clueless look on his face. The third wheel, being only two steps behind him, easily runs to his side and paced with him, even if he tries to run after his lover who ran away and left him behind. He never knew this would happen. He thought he was all she ever wanted, and now she’s gone just like that. “Was I too slow? Was it something I said?” He stops, almost standing in the middle of the road, and cries to himself, “Fuck! I only did this because it’s January! She left me. I don’t want this anymore!”

But the third wheel isn’t gonna let that happen. She knew they’ve ran too far already just to stop right here. She won’t just let all of their efforts to end like that, clueless and hopeless. With the little skills she learned from her karate class in college, she strikes a strong leg kick as strong as a black coffee would give your chest a scary palpitation in the morning, and hits the guy on his butt. He almost shits his jersey shorts but was able to hold it in after using every bit of strength his ass muscles had left.

Then, despite trying to catch her breath from all the running, the third wheel shouts at the guy, “Get it together, ya pussy! I only agreed to run with you because you promised you’d treat us to McDonald’s afterwards. I better have my double cheeseburger or that shit you held in is gonna go up your throat!” They arrived at McDonald’s and found his girlfriend, who probably dropped at least a couple calories after a five-minute fast-walk and ten seconds sprint, eating her quarter-pounder with large fries and coke like she’s never had a serious meal in ages.

-Fiction-

The Shadow of Negativity

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Don’t you just hate how bad vibes are so contagious? It’s like a viral disease that can infect you, especially if you’re sensitive. Unfortunately, I have a poor immunity system when it comes to bad vibes. I mean, I don’t mind people being pissed off. We’re humans and we all have things that we go through. But throw your anger at me just because someone or something pissed you off? Man, I’d be happy to give you a “Fuck this world, including you” mood as thanks.

But don’t worry ’cause I’m not the type who’d show off my bad vibes like other people do, as if it’s their greatest talent. The fact that I’d hate to pass on the negative atmosphere further to other people is one thing, another is that I’d hate the attention. A huge reason why I don’t talk often, and I try to be as audibly discreet as possible when talking around strangers. What’s the point of showing your anger when you already know people wouldn’t care how you feel?

How do I release the bad vibes I unwillingly acquired, then? Nothing. I just keep it. As if it was given to me as a gift by whoever attacked me with it, even if not directly, as if it’s me and the other infected people around who are to blame for whatever misery these contagious negative fucks are going through.

If I had to, I’d die with the negativity just so no one would have to see me getting pissed off and be ruined by it, too. Once I get overshadowed with bad vibes, there’s no getting away from it. Maybe some people get over it easily, but not me. I’d let it consume my wholeness and I’d just savor all the feeling of hate inside me. Not that I want to.

I can be a good listener if you’d ask me to, but if you’re just gonna use me as a punching bag that you can divert your anger to just because I’m the only one around, I can’t promise to take it lightly. Because the more anger I unwillingly absorb, the more my head gets clogged with dark clouds that, even though I can hear and see things around me, I am no longer paying enough attention since I’m already in the I-don’t-even-give-a-fuck-what-you-want-just-get-done-with-it state of mind.

I feel like there’s a shadow that awakens whenever I feel these bad vibrations fired at me. A shadow that blocks everything around me, and even orders me to keep feeling this way. It grins as it tells me that. Even though the negative vibes of other people have already stopped, mine won’t, because this shadow already felt it all. And when it does, it laughs hysterically in my head while I pretend that it’s not there, that it’s not happening.

I kinda feel strong for being able to keep it because despite the hysteria that this shadow portrays, I’m usually able to keep a straight face. Either I’m brave or I’m too afraid to show it. Who am I to? I have nothing to prove and while I’m under control of that shadow, my only right is to shut my mouth- The same right given to a criminal to give him a chance to save himself, if he can.

There’s no other way to do it but that. I’d just let it blow off slowly until it’s totally gone. I’d blow off steam by finding something to do that won’t involve anybody else but me. I prefer to be by myself for that reason. And I have to always keep it this way because I know that I’m not in the right position to express my own negativity, no matter how hard it is to keep it inside. That’s just how it is. It’s something I always deal with and it destroys me, but I can’t show it.

I can only let this shadow laugh at me, say everything it wants to say and only I would hear it. A laughter made of hysteria, not happiness. If it was happiness, I’d be happy to let it take over. What reason would I have to hide it? But it’s not. Once it’s done expressing its own definition of fun, I’d let it go, still quietly, until it gets back to sleep. Nobody else is supposed to see it because no one would, anyway.

If I let people see this shadow making an escape from my head, there would be chaos. Because it’s not the kind of shadow that comes up behind me when there’s sunlight, but one that comes down like rain from the dark cloud above my head. The dark cloud that is formed by all the negative energy that are being thrown at me for no reason, and tempting me to do the same.

Guess Who's Back? The Legendary Nostradamus

Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

Oh, boy. Here we go again. The West against the East. It’s exciting when you’re talking about the NBA, but this is America against Iran we’re talking about here. Okay, I’m gonna admit that I don’t know much about the history and story about why these two camps just won’t stop fighting, but it’s enough for me to know that they’re mortal enemies because of the differences in their beliefs. Simple as that. No need to make it too complicated.

After the killing of the Iranian General, ordered by the American President himself, the people are quick to ignite the idea of World War 3. But who could blame them? It’s not like that’s what they wish would happen, but dropping an airstrike to a man who was just going about his day when he was least expecting it- How would you expect the other side to react? Just cry and say “Hey, that’s not fair”?

Again, I won’t say much about the impending war and anything in between because it would be easy for you to tell that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. But from all these tensions that are arising, there’s always something, or someone, who’s name gets on top of the discussions even though he’s been long gone. The man who’s stories and prophecies I’m more interested in knowing more about, the legendary Nostra-muthafucking-damus!

The first time I’ve heard this name was when the 9/11 attack happened, when I was only in sixth grade. I think it was a day or two after the attack, the news broke out about this man with a long white beard and looking all wizard-y. They were talking about his prophecies, and that he never missed a prediction of what happens in the future. I remember when he was a hot topic in school. Not in class, of course, but just between me and my classmates who were so intrigued by all these talks about his sorcery just like I was.

Not too long after, a documentary of his life, his bulls-eye predictions, and future predictions (including the end of the world) was aired on TV. I became more interested in knowing about Nostradamus a lot more than whatever I’m learning in school that I totally lost focus in class for days. Well, it’s not like I’ve ever been so focused in class on normal days, so…

Anyway, Nostradamus will probably keep getting brought back into the limelight whenever issues such as the tension between the East and the West would arise. And then, there’s also this prediction about the global economy, about how China will win over America in the near future, the rise and fall of empires, and all that shit. (Oh, man, is this why our Philippine President is being so nice to China right now? Damn, please stop giving me more crazy ideas!)

I don’t mean to look forward to the fruition of Nostradamus’ predictions. I mean, damn, who would wanna witness World War 3 if it really becomes (or is already) inevitable? But if it does happen, it would only give more truth to the prophecies, and more people, old and new generations alike, would be convinced that Nostradamus really saw the future, which means we already have a clue all along that we’re all gonna be doomed in the end, hence, we should stop acting scared and surprised and just accept our fate.

If that is ever true, then I won’t just sit by and wait for destiny to take its course like most religious people would do, who would pray “Oh, Lord, I leave everything in your hands and won’t bother taking any actions to help change myself or the world, but please give us this, give us that, before you blow us all up!” I’m not saying that I totally believe all this to be true, but it makes an even bigger reason to get up on my ass and start working for my goals and dreams if I know the end is not too far away. Isn’t that the best motivation ever!?

Thanks for the heads up, OG prophet!

The Misunderstood Lad

Nick has been the talk of the family recently. Whenever my mom would talk to her siblings- my aunts and uncles- over the phone, they’d talk about the latest things about him, most of which are bad news. It all started with his gambling issues. I thought he was working in a casino. He did, but that was long ago. Apparently, he’s now a client of the casino. And he’s one of those clients who play honestly. How do I know? Because he keeps losing.

I’m not saying that all those who win tons of chips in casinos are cheaters, but how much can you trust a person who gambles? I’d hate to break it to Nick, but it would also be hard to trust him, not after their scooter and their AUV had disappeared, not because it was just gone or stolen but because he had pawned them. For more gambling money, or for paying his debts for the money he lost gambling, I don’t know. Probably the latter.

But it’s not like he wanted it to happen. He just lost so much and drowned himself in debt for his desire to win, however he kept losing. Nick’s mother, Aunt Lucy, is very also upset with him after hearing about what he’s been doing. She’s been working overseas almost her whole life and hasn’t been there to look after her sons, Nick and Olin. She doesn’t come home very often, not even every year. She works hard overseas to give the siblings a good life. Not luxurious, but just enough for them to buy themselves good stuff.

Now, Nick and Olin are the ones taking care of our bedridden grandmother, Grandma Stella, who’s recently been rushed to the hospital after coughing up blood due to infection. It’s been like this for a while now. Grandma Stella had gotten old and could no longer move. Nick and Olin would take turns to look after and take care of her. They would change her clothes and diapers, wash her, feed her with liquid food with a process called tube-feeding. The siblings do a good job at taking care of our grandma. Our Aunt Faye is also with them looking after her.

Aunt Faye tells all of this to our Uncle Neal, who also works overseas. She says that Olin does a nice job of taking care of grandma. All the washing, changing of diapers and clothes, and feeding her. But Nick is different. He does all of it better. And he not only does the job very well, he’s also much of a joker. He would tease grandma with little jokes even though grandma would not respond, or may respond simply by opening her one eye.

He told us of that one time, how Grandma suddenly opened her eyes wide after he joked that she’ll be receiving P100,000 (about $2000) as a cash incentive from the government for seniors who’ve reached 100 years of age, although she’s still a few years away from it. Nick is the sweet kind, and he’s got a good humor. Aunt Faye gets a little emotional while telling Uncle Neal- who’s also aware of Nick’s situation- about all this.

Nick never wanted things to turn out this way. All this gambling, he just wanted a sweet life where he could buy all the stuff that he wants, not only for himself but for the whole family. But he’s too much of a nice and honest person to win big in this kind of game where many other players hide some dirty tricks up their sleeves to steal your luck. Uncle Matt, Nick and Olin’s father who’s now in heaven, must feel very sad to see what Nick has been going through. If he’s watching, I’d pray that he’d guide him to a better path and start anew.

-Fiction-

Taking A Break From Jumping Rope

A couple months ago, I talked about how much I enjoyed jumping rope. And I still do today. In fact, I’ve been jumping rope every morning almost every single day that I now got shin splints. Dammit.

I started feeling the pain on my shin (right leg) just a couple of weeks after I started jumping rope, and that’s also when I learned that it’s called a shin. But I didn’t worry too much about it because I thought it was normal since I had started a new activity and that it should go away soon. Two months later, here I am, feeling sad because Google tells me to give it a rest until the pain goes away, which normally takes 2-4 weeks. (OMG, that’s too long!)

Well, a body that recovers from pain only gets stronger. So I’d just look forward to that and maybe then I’d be able to jump rope longer than I could today. It kinda sucks that I’d have to start the year by taking a break from reaching my goals, but I guess I have to respect what my body is telling me or things could get worse.

I only learned about shin splints when I started jumping rope after searching what the slight pain in my leg was and I didn’t think it would happen to me. After all, the only time I’m active is every morning when I workout (I lift weights three times a week but I jump rope everyday ’cause I love it). After that, I’d spend the rest of the day working (or not working) on my laptop, maybe only running a couple of errands if there’s any, so I thought I’d recover easily the next day.

If you start to feel any pain in your body after exercising, never ignore it. It’s telling you that you might be overworking yourself even if you’re just a couch potato for the rest of the day. At least take a break from the activity that caused the pain. When the pain is finally gone, come back strong!