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 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!

New Year Motivation

Just like that, half of the globe is now experiencing the first evening of 2020, and the other half would follow soon. Things have finally calmed down and gone back to normal- The parties, fireworks and all other loud noises, and the food. Since the morning of the last day of 2019, I’ve been eating like 2020 isn’t gonna happen. Are you the same? Don’t feel guilty. It’s not holiday every single day.

Now that we’ve enjoyed all the great food, it’s time to start focusing on our goals and take it more seriously than we did in the past. Ugh, here we go again. The January Syndrome. That month of the year when gyms are most crowded. That month when we all feel great about ourselves and believe that this is our year, like, for really, really, real. How many years have you claimed to be yours? What makes you feel that you deserve to own another year after failing the previous ones?

Look, I’m not trying to discourage you, alright? But let this sink in- It’s not just a new year, but also a new decade that arrived. I’m sure you also mutter to yourself occasionally, “Wow, time flies so fast,” when you suddenly realized that the day, month, or year is about to pass. But have you ever thought how many of those days, months, have actually passed until you realize you’ve already passed a whole decade? What a surprise, right?

We oftentimes ask or get asked, “How’s your day/month/year been?” But have you ever had the courage to ask someone, even yourself, “How’s your decade been?” Thinking back that far might probably feel like looking down from the top of a skyscraper. It’s scary that you might feel your legs shaking because when you look back as far as a decade, you don’t see much. You just see 2010 became 2020, just like that. And you? Still the same as you were before. You got older, end of story.

We’re not letting that happen again, are we? Let’s make this new year, this new decade, our decade. I’m serious! Stop saying “2020 is my year!” on social media. Nobody falls for that shit. Instead, list down your goals, keep it to yourself, and work on it. Action before words. Simple as that.

Come 2030, in case someone asks you how your decade has been, your knees will no longer be shaking. Because by then, you’ll no longer be looking down a skyscraper, but inside a museum, and your memories and the goals you achieved are your arts. With a smile on your face, you welcome all the people who are curious to know about you, and you’d happily share with them the stories behind your every painting and sculpture.

If that sounded weird to you, that’s because you’ve just witnessed a really bad attempt at making a motivational speech. You’re welcome. All I’m trying to say is to start getting your lazy ass to work and make your dreams a reality (or at least take a chance to) before this new decade passes in a breeze and you’ll be laying in the same shithole again.

I hope I could do the same.

Cheers to 2020. Happy New Year to you all!

Criticism Sucks, But It’s Part of Growing

You guys have been so nice not to bombard me with criticisms after reading my previous post. Nah, who am I kidding? Only three read it, that’s why. But they all liked it! Really? Was it really that good? Well, thanks! Three views and three likes. That’s like a hundred percent audience response. Much better compared to a hundred views with no reactions at all… I guess.

I thought that I wouldn’t be seeing any negative responses about my blogs soon, at least not directly on my blog posts, until someone sent me a message on Facebook, asking if I’m a food blogger. He was referring to my other blog, The Hobby Blogger. He probably saw one of my food reviews that I shared on Facebook. After explaining my blog, the guy said they’re looking for an influencer to promote their restaurant. “Wow, looks like somebody liked my work,” I thought.

However, my lack of confidence got the better of me after the guy said that they need a blogger with an “ample amount of followers.” I understand he means I must have thousands of followers, which I don’t have. And my blog, as I explained to him, is more of a personal journal, although I’d really love it to become a professional blog that will be my source of income. So instead of discussing my blog and my writing skills further, I instead offered him to use Facebook Ads, with the help of my partner.

Everything was going well at first, until the guy asked about my rates. And I thought my confidence couldn’t go down any further. I let my partner discuss that part, to which she quoted P20,000-P35,000 depending on the project. That’s about $400-700. In a third-world country, you’d probably curse at anyone who’d quote you a price like that just to help you promote your business online. We both know FB Ads, but it’s more my partner’s cup of tea and, unlike me, she does have the skills and confidence on her field so I’m sure she knows what she was talking about.

The guy pointed out that the price we quoted didn’t seem fair, judging the quality of my work. I explained to him that the project he was talking about was just my personal journal and the price we were discussing was for something else (FB ads). He refused to talk any further after that. Even though he didn’t say it directly, I know he wanted to say that my blog sucks so bad I don’t deserve getting paid any amount for it. I’d take that as my second criticism. The first one was from the employer who I sent my test article to.

How do you think I feel about that? “Dude, could you not tell me you live so I can’t find you and kill you?” Of course, I just kept that in my head. I already know that my writing skill is very amateur and that clients might say the same thing if I quote them the same price like my partner did, but I realized that any kinds of criticisms can really hurt no matter if it’s constructive criticism or straight up hate speech. It’s only easy to say, “It’s okay. That’s part of the journey,” if you haven’t been criticized yourself.

But as much as you hate it, you will be criticized for everything you do, especially if you’re just starting to learn how to do it. And that’s okay because it tells you that there’s work to be done and you have to do it in order to improve. I’m not gonna lie and say that I took those criticisms lightly and positively. Honestly, I’d like to slap those people for telling me that my writing skills don’t deserve to land a job and earn high amounts of money even though I know they’re speaking the truth. But I’d like to use them as a challenge to keep learning and improving.

It sucks, but it’s really better to see or hear what your readers think about your work, whether it’s positive or negative, instead of just seeing your views go up but not receive any reactions at all. I don’t expect to receive 100% reaction from my readers, not even if I become a pro writer. But to get zero reactions kinda feels like you’re a homeless guy on the street that people would give a glance to but just pass by and go about their own business afterwards.

Love of Family Can Be Toxic and Corrupt

Filipinos, they say, are known to value family the most. It’s the top priority of almost, if not every working person in the country. Instead of striving to reach their dreams, they’d instead find a secure job and join the rat race until they’re old and retired, not having any more opportunities to do what they really love.

That’s how important family is to us. Even if we are forced to do it, we do it anyway to pay back our parents’ hard work in raising us. And sending an aged relative to a nursing home sounds like a deadly sin. We just don’t do that. We take care of them no matter what, and stay with them until their last breath.

If we work abroad, we are obliged to buy pasalubong or gifts to our families and relatives- no matter how big the clan is- everytime we go home for a vacation. And every payday, we send most of the income to our family to spend it for both their needs and wants. It’s the reason why we couldn’t save money despite the huge income we earn from working abroad.

You may think that sounds kinda toxic. Yes, it is. It’s a toxic culture that is suffocating many Filipinos which many of us deny because it would be disrespectful to the families that we take care of. Even if we are deprived of our dreams in most cases, it’s still worth the hard work as long as we see the smiles from their faces. It doesn’t matter if we’re left with just an exact amount of allowance to get by for a month as long as our families at home can enjoy a life of luxury, while some kids won’t understand why we had to leave them and will rebel against us but will still demand for their luxurious needs anyway. And despite that, we will still work hard for them because that’s what love is.

That issue, though, is family related which is kind of a personal matter, so I’m gonna set that aside because that’s none of my business. The other reason I’m writing about this “Love of family” thing is because I think there’s something bigger about it. Something that is also family related, but is big enough for all of us to meddle with. This time I’m talking about the rich, or the more privileged class. The government.

Why is there so much corruption in the Philippines? Yeah, it happens all over the world, and some other countries may be worse, but I’m just letting my mind get creative here. What could possibly be running in these corrupt people’s minds- whoever these people are that are working in the government- that they’ve got a shitload of nerve to steal people’s money through tax and not have a drop of conscience in their blood when they do it? What’s motivating them to keep doing it?

Greed. The lust for money. Obviously, that is the answer, but what’s driving them to keep doing it as if they could never have enough? If I’d want to steal money, I’d steal an amount that would be enough for a retirement plan (I swear on my life that I’d never do it because it sucks), just the right amount to cover for my expenses so I can have my freedom and enjoy it at a young age. What about my family? Wouldn’t I want them to have the same freedom and happiness?

That must be it, then. It’s the same reason why the middle class are working hard. The same reason why they’d leave their families to find their “dream secure job” overseas. It’s the love for family. These corrupt people want their families and relatives (and maybe their bitches, too) to be happy. While there’s nothing wrong in wishing happiness for their loved ones (including their bitches), the problem is that they want it too much that they couldn’t stop stealing what’s supposed to be the contribution of the masses for government projects and for the betterment of the country.

We all dream of being financially free, and these people in the government are doing an amazing job of working smart. They don’t work hard. They just wait for the taxes from the people who work very hard and then they’d slip a little amount in their pockets. The next thing we know, they’re already enjoying a lavish lifestyle and living the real dream, thanks to these hardworking people who don’t even have a clue.

This is not based on research and all are based on my very own opinion, or rather my imagination. If you think what I’m saying is stupid, maybe it’s because it is. Like I said, I’m just playing with my thoughts. But really, too much love, if it may not kill you, may suffocate or corrupt you.