March 2018/2019 & April 2017/2018/2019 RECAPS #MonthlyRecap

Last April was A to Z Challenge season once again! So happy for those who were able to participate. Meanwhile, I’m sad that I was not one of them. I wanted to join very badly, in fact, I already had a theme in mind. Thinking things through, I realized that with stuff that were (and are) going on in my life, I might not be able to participate much at all. Rather than disappoint myself further, I decided to skip it. I’m sad and relieved at the same time!

That said, on to business.

I have prepared a two-in-one monthly recap, the reason being that I should have done the March 2018 and 2019 recap last month. The draft stayed as draft for weeks. I’ve been having technical problems, honestly. Don’t get me started on how unfair I felt life was so let’s just do this!

RECAP!!!

Here’s the recap of my March 2018/2019 andApril 2017/2018/2019:

Blog-wise:

March 2018

Hash potatoes!!!

I just checked my list and I am honestly now annoyed…I only posted once last year!

All Hash-days — NONE!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If there’s a ghost town, consider this a ghost blog. Pffft…

#AnythingDay (see Woe is Me )

I really should not be annoyed at myself, considering my circumstances. But it’s that initial emotional reaction, you know? I really am BUMMED big time. That’s not anymore initial, but you understand.

March 2019

#WhatsupWednesday (see For Real, This is a Test) – It’s really a more personal post that I maybe should not count, but it’s posted so…

#AnythingDay (see “Pagpapatawad” (Forgiveness) )

I was cooking up a #FeatureFriday idea, but the “research” required more time from me. It’s still coming, though.

April 2017

I did not care much about hash potatoes in April. My focus was on something else. I participated in the A to Z Challenge back in 2017. It was actually a very productive month. However, it is always the Holy Week days that throw me off. So 2017 was no exception. I was unable to finish on time. In fact, I still have not finished the whole alphabet! I did try in some other months.

First,…

#AnythingDay (see A show of support for blogging’s annual marathon and How to Apply as a Graphic Designer)

 

Now, below are my posts from back in April 2017. My theme: “Writing”. They are listed in descending order, from latest to oldest.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE…?

“TREACHERY”

SONGS AND SHORT STORIES

THE TRUTH IN YOUR MAKE-BELIEVE

LIFE AS THEY SAID IT

BEAST-MODE POETRY

ODE THINGS

WHAT’S IN A NOM?

AS LOVELY AS A TREE

I NOT STUPID (A REVIEW)

THE HAIKU

GRRRR-RAMMAR!!!

“WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER THAT YOU CREATED IS YOUR FAVORITE, AND WHY?”

MARK YOUR WORDS!

WHY DIALOGUE IS IMPORTANT

CONTENTS WITH ALL THE FEELS

“HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY DEAL WITH WRITER’S BLOCK?”

HOW TO SPELL THE ANCIENT FILIPINO WAY

I was almost proud except I was not able to finish 😦

April 2018

It wasn’t hard searching for last year’s post. They weren’t a lot.

(post-)#MondayMemoirs (see “I miss Perspective”)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Let Us All Rise! )

April 2019

This wasn’t hard either.

#ThursdayTips (see How to Make a (Boxed) Ninja Turtle Costume and 6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular)

 

I will have to end this recap here. I will not promise anything except that I will try to be more active. That said, I just want to enjoy life, basically. Who doesn’t?

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“FLOWERS OF MAY” / “FLORES DE MAYO”

Unfortunately, this never gets old. It’s election season once again and they are everywhere!

The End Justifies the Journey

NOTE:I wrote this in May 2004 (the Filipino version is the original), when the elections were coming up. It still is relevant because every elections, we get duped…

FLOWERS OF MAY (May 2004)

‘Tis the season once more for the Flowers of May.
A joyous parade for fools and so-called wise.
The Kings and the Queens of masked jesters all,
the cunning monkeys and the chameleons.

Let and behold the Flowers of May.
Each to its own charm, each to its own scent.                                                                                   All to be considered saints,                                        …

View original post 258 more words

6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular #ThursdayTips

So you’ve decided to join the club and vlog. But it’s been months–years even!–and you’re nowhere near the famous vloggers that inspired you. You’ve been posting daily and religiously ’cause that should make people remember you, right? Yet you’re not popular. What gives?

Let’s just take me, for example. Why is it that I might never be a popular vlogger? Well, I’ve watched enough YouTube vlogs to have observed certain truths. If these are your truths, well, sticks and stones, and no offense meant.

Why I’m not Popular

1.  I am not gorgeous.

2.  I’m not famous or going around with the “in” crowd.

3.  I don’t have the right or more proper equipment.

4.  I don’t have enough resources (physical and/or financial).

5.  I am not the gimmicky type of person.

6.  I’m too shy when I need to be bold.

I only emphasized my observations. It doesn’t mean that if one is this or not that, he/she should stay that way. It depends on what he/she wants to be or accomplish, what that person decides to do and thinks he/she can do.

I have suggested alternatives or simple solutions below.

How to Be a Popular Vlogger

  1. Just be presentable.
  2. Actively engage with your audience. Interact with people. Go out sometimes.
  3. Make an effort to acquire better equipment for your purpose.
  4. Be resourceful. Find ways!
  5. Be creative. Make the effort.
  6. Believe in yourself and be confident.

I have actually shared these whys and hows in my most current vlogpost.  There, I further explained a little bit more my bases and insights, own experiences, and conclusions. Excuse some of the mildly rough edited parts.

Perseverance pays off only when you do things right. It doesn’t matter how many times you post. If you ignore the importance of relevant content to people, then people will ignore you back.

How to Make a (Boxed) Ninja Turtle Costume #ThursdayTips

I’ve actually been putting off showing this. The reason was simple: I wanted to show it on my vlog then share here. But since I still have many backlogs there on YouTube, I thought, why the heck not share it now, right? So, a bit of a background…

Our cosplay theme for Christmas 2018 was ‘boxed anime/cartoon character’. I did some digging to make sure I understood what to do. Apparently, the box or cardboard idea has its own history and it has to do with this guy –>

This was Paul M. Palgen wearing his “epic fail” costume, now known as the Cardboard Box Gundam, back in 2003 at the Anime Central (ACEN) convention. As explained in KnowYourMeme.com (because indeed, it became a popular meme after):

“Paul’s costume of Zack from Final Fantasy VII had become unusable only days before the Rosemont convention…Not wanting to attend the convention without a costume, he asked his sister what he should do. She said, ‘Nobody’s going to care. Just wear a cardboard box and say you’re a Gundam.’

And the rest is meme-worthy history! Yes, it became a thing, spawning parodies and tributes. Who would’ve thought?

Okay, history lesson done. On to my real topic.

The instruction/requirement was to make sure to use a square box to cover the trunk of the wearer’s body. Then we were free to do whatever with the whole look. For some reason, the first thing that came to my mind was to make a ninja turtle costume for myself. It must have been because of the turtle shell that gave me an idea. Besides, it was a long-time coming. I had always wanted to make one. If you don’t know or haven’t read about it yet, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hold a special place in my heart.

See my favorite Michelangelo? That’s me.

Michelangelo is my fave TMNT and I really wanted to create  nunchuks 😉

I know, I know, the colors were not all in the same shade (I had to make do with my resources), but I did my best. In fact, I think I did a good enough job, at least.

Now, how did I make my costume? My Internet search wasn’t such a big help — some were too simple that I didn’t like them; others were too elaborate and costly for me. I don’t think I saw a boxed ninja turtle even. Therefore, I thought of 95% of this costume myself.

Below is HOW TO MAKE A (BOXED) NINJA TURTLE COSTUME…Well, my way. I am sharing this “infographic” that I shared to my friends. If the words are too small, just do a right-click, click on “View Image”, and voila! Still too small? Press CTRL then the plus (+) sign several times until the desired size.

So how did you find it? Of course, again, these are just my own ideas. There are various ways to make a TMNT costume. But if you want to use my ideas, feel free to do so. Meanwhile, I will share the how-to video once I’m actually done with it.

COWABUNGA!!!

“PAGPAPATAWAD” (FORGIVENESS)

Since I posted my entry for a local writing competition (poems category) more than two years ago, “Tula ng Puso: Pananampalataya, Pag-ibig, Pag-asa” (Poems of the Heart: Faith, Love, Hope) has been one of my most-read posts. I know it has nothing to do with any writing talent I have. They’re most probably just either Googling for samples to get writing ideas, or looking for love poems for Valentine’s.

What most people don’t know is that two of those poems were very personal. Non-Filipinos didn’t even understand, for sure. The most personal was the third and this month, especially today, it holds a very special meaning in my heart. Every time March comes, I grieve twice.

It’s not the best poem out there, but it is my most heart-felt. I wasn’t just writing to win a contest (winning at that point seemed like wishful-thinking). I was trying to convey my grief and ask forgiveness, maybe even for understanding.

This is it below, with translations. I hope nothing is lost in translation (I tried my best, but don’t consider it the official English version).

PAGPAPATAWAD (FORGIVENESS)

 

Hindi ko alam. (I do not know.)

 

Paano nga ba? (Please tell me, how?)

paano magpatawad? (how to forgive?)

paano magpatawad sa sarili (how to forgive oneself)

sa pagkabigo bilang isang ina? (for failing as a mother?)

 

Paano mawawaglit ang sakit na narito (How can I lose this pain)

kung sa bawa’t araw, ang bawa’t araw (if each and every day)

ay naglalaman ng iyong alaala, mahal ko? (has memories of you, my love?)

kung ang bawa’t tibok ng puso ko (if every beat of my heart)

ay nagsasabing sa iyo’y tuluyang naglaho? (reminds that yours beat no more?)

 

Paano? (How?)

kung sa bawa’t “Kumusta?” ay “Mabuti” ang tugon ko (if for each How-are-you, I say “I’m fine”)

gayong ang bawa’t tugon ay may halong kirot? (yet each reply carries the hurt with it?)

Sinungaling… (Liar…)

 

Paano? (How?)

 

…Siguro, may mga bagay na sadyang di natin masasagot.

(…Perhaps, there really are questions that will remain unanswered.)

 

Hindi ko alam. (I do not know.)

Hindi lamang sa ngayon. (Not for now)

 

Darating din ang araw na masasagot ko kung paano.

(Time will come that I will finally learn “How?”)

 

Umaasa pa rin ako. (Yet I keep hoping.)

Isang araw ay babalik ka sa piling ko. (Someday, you’ll come back to me.)

Hindi man ngayon. Maghihintay ako. (Perhaps not for now. But I patiently wait.)

 

Hanggang mayakap kita, mahalikan kita, at masabing

(Until I can hold you in my arms, give you kisses, and say)

 

“Pinapatawad ko na ako.” (“I now forgive Me.”)

FOR REAL, THIS IS A TEST #WhatsupWednesday

I am trying to figure out why Facebook wouldn’t and still won’t let me directly share my own WP post on my own Facebook page. It doesn’t even allow me to just post the link instead. I have a feeling it’s a glitch caused by the much-bigger glitch Facebook experienced recently. But that’s just a hunch. It’s worse if I’m wrong.

So forgive me, this isn’t really a legit blog post. I am doing a test. If this works, then the problem is that particular post alone. If the same happens, then Facebook will have to explain to me why it says they are not letting me because someone reported my abusive posting or whatever it says in the notification or warning. It doesn’t even explain what it is I am supposedly abusing exactly. For goodness’ sake, I normally just share my own WP blog posts, not others’! Also, as you know, I hadn’t even been posting for weeks/months.

That really ticks me off! Imagine, I reported an ad for a product that has been misleading readers with the titles of their posts. I’ve been encountering it on Facebook several times and got duped into clicking. So what does Facebook tell me? That the ad I reported does not violate FB’s ad policies. MEANWHILE, I can’t even share my own post because of something I’m not even sure about??? The least they can do is give me a clue and just a first warning.

Do you guys get the irony in this???

 

***UPDATE (03-21-19):

They still won’t let me share on my FB page! I’m really mad and sad that the main reason I created that page is gone….So I just sent them a message that they will hopefully (and immediately) address:

“Recently, Facebook has not been allowing me to automatically share my WordPress blog posts here. My sharing setting on WordPress says I am connected to my FB account. I actually get a message that I am not allowed because someone reported that I have been abusive, of which and how, I have no knowledge. The least Facebook could do was to inform me immediately if I was getting a penalty and explain that penalty. At least, if I’m in the wrong, I’d be aware of it and can correct things. Facebook does not even allow me to share the link to my posts instead. What gives? I normally just post my own blog posts from WordPress, and I haven’t even been posting much for months! At least, let me know the problem, please.”

February 2018/2019 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Welcome back, peeps! More importantly, welcome back to me! This is me trying to get back into the blogging jive. So since I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time, this is a good time as any to restart this thing.

I checked my posts history and — gasp! —  the last recap I posted was my March 2017 one! That’s two years ago! I never realized that it would take me that long! Why did I keep putting it off??? But since we’re now here, it’s time to get back into doing it.

RECAP!!!

This is going to be the norm for me every month: Since it’s now March, I am supposed to be posting a recap of February. And since I missed it last year, I’m doing both February 2018 and 2019 recaps. Next month, it’s going to be recaps of March 2018 and 2019. But wait, there’s more! Literally! Next will be the start of the “threesomes” — April 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Don’t worry. Considering how seldom I posted, my posts would probably be not too long (‘cept maybe April 2017 when I last joined the A to Z Challenge).

Here’s a recap of my February 2018:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayToons (see Write! Write!)

#TuesdayTunes (none)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (none)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Busy is the Word)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (none)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see Versatile Blogger ) –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was not exactly that active at all. However, I did get to post stuff so it’s not bad either.

(2) My Trending StoriesWhat trending stories??? I must admit, I lost a lot of interest after encountering problems with their site over and over. But it’s never out of my mind. I plan to come back. But I need to be active here first. As far as blogging is concerned, this is my priority.

Here’s a recap of my February 2019:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yup, that pretty much sums up what I did last month.

Social Media Reach-out:

I will repeat what I said the last time, because it is still true.

“I’m getting followers slowly but steadily, at least. I don’t really expect to get many, I’m just surprised there are those who decide to FOLLOW me on Facebook (even Twitter, which still confuses me at times) when they don’t really know me personally. It’s so nice to get followers who think that what I post are interesting enough.”

A great shout-out to all of you!

Meanwhile, I mentioned and even posted about my new “endeavor”, which is vlogging. I am currently trying to get back after more than two months of forced hiatus (laptop problems). The good news is I have acquired a new cellphone that should help me make things easier and be more creative. Hopefully. Don’t worry, though, folks. Blogging is still my main squeeze 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Nada. Honestly disappointed with myself.

Both of my wedding ninangs (godmothers — there really shouldn’t be any “s” there as the Filipino language does not add it to change a singular word to plural) actually PM’d me a poetry competition. I haven’t checked. I will try to check later.

As for stories, through work, I found Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor last year. I realized I could use them for my works. I am very much partial to the latter, though. Will edit those I’ve done and will use the editors for future pieces.

Literature:

bakokak-gerry-alanguilan

“Bakokak” written by Gerry Alanguilan, illustrated by Kevin Ray Valentino

No book-reading happened whatsoever last month (but not sure about February 2018). Well, okay, I think I did read comic books. That counts.

Personal:

  • I have mellowed down when it comes to Wish 107.5 FM. That’s because they have, too. I mean they have expanded in the US, which is a great idea, but as far as artists that shake me, so to speak, no one’s really gotten my attention. I do plan on giving those “new” artists they feature a chance one of these days.
  • Quora recently suffered hack attacks. My account was one of those that suffered. They did sort of give me back copies of my posts, but my old account is lost. I am getting lazy just thinking about trying to start over. I don’t even really know how to get them all posted again considering that a lot of what I did was to comment on others’ posts. They’re not my posts, know what I mean?
  • Because of the new cellphone, I finally…
    1. got to play Plants vs. Zombies
    2. got to play an updated/leveled-up Temple Run
    3. was able to play Fruit Ninja whenever I wanted to (the first and only time prior that I played it was on a big screen at the arcade)
    4. found Wordscapes that got me hooked for a while (I still play it regularly, just not in that addicted-mode…Happy to say that I’m already doing Level 1132 as of this writing), and
    5. found Empires & Puzzles, which is my main game at the moment.

So officially, I am now a (quite) amateur semi-online gamer. Meanwhile, Soda Crush and other word games have taken a backseat.

 

And that ends this February — er, these Februaries(???) — recap. Watch out for March! I mean, you know, just sayin’ 🙂

New Year’s Greetings, Earthlings!

HELLO, FELLOW HUMANS!!!

 

And since February’s near…

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!

Welcome to 2019! I can’t say much yet about the new year, but I can take it, so far. So how was your 2018?

If I were to sum up my 2018, it was a year of missed opportunities (job offers I turned down), personal losses (my uncle and hubby’s mother passed away), and failed attempts (tried earning new certificates, but something would always come up, I lost interest). It sounds really worse than it was, though. But since overall, it wasn’t enough to really depress me, I think it was just plain okay. As plain as “OK” can be. No great shakes. I was positively shaken several times, but nothing big ever happened.

Writing- or blogging-wise, I had a love-hate relationship with writing/blogging, to be honest. There was a sort of burn out. The fire would start only to dwindle into nothing. But I dare say I did better than in previous years. That’s ’cause my frame of mind was to not force myself because forcing myself would only stress me out until I get disappointed in the end. So I wrote when I could and whenever I was inspired. The funny thing was, even when I didn’t blog, I’d see some spikes in my stats — not that I’m crazy about my stats — and I usually don’t know why. I would look at what brought visitors in, yet there usually was no reason other than they were brought here by their searches. For me, that’s a form of success. After all, the main point of my blogging is to give something that even just a single person can appreciate and leave with.

Two things were new last year:

1. I created my online portfolio, The J. F. E. Portfolio, which you already are aware of, I suppose. It serves a purpose for me. Though I’ve not added anything to it again since October, I’m in no hurry. I have so many to share there if I choose to do so. I won’t run out.

2. I finally decided to go vlogging! Yes, on YouTube, where I am able to show my not-so-serious persona. Time and resources have been delaying my posts. I’m learning to edit the way I want my vids to be edited. I had been used to linear editing, so I’m just learning digital editing using my limited resources. I’ve been using the webcam I acquired last year (I mentioned that). It’s got clear visuals. HOWEVER, trying not to move too much can be a challenge. You’ll see later what I mean. I just recently started using phone camera. It takes great pics, but I think the quality changes once I start recording videos. I might still stick with the webcam for now. For outdoor stuff, though, the phone cam will do.

Again, I’m taking it slow. I want it to be fun for me, an outlet, not a chore. I’m not lacking videos to share at all. I’ve recorded several already, more than enough, that I don’t really need to record anything again for a while. It’s the editing that’s taking longer. I’ve recorded product reviews, informative and how-to vids, ideas, some challenges, and reaction videos (well, just one so far). My best plans that I’ve yet to make are to share the Philippine culture, create Filipino tutorials, and present old stuff that the younger generation don’t know about (like a typewriter, cassettes, and a tape player/recorder).

To be honest, I feel shy sharing myself (my face!), but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I claimed it! If something makes you happy, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, claim it! RIGHT???

I’m sharing to you this video, which is my favorite so far, and its “sequel”. Bear with me, please:

Alright, time to cut this for now. Hanggang sa muli! (Till then!)

Memories of The Big C #MondayMemoirs

There was a time that I worked for an actual print publication. It was a health-and-lifestyle magazine though it was far from the ordinary. Ours was centered on cancer, its survivors, and how to overcome, fight and win against it. They were, for me, very interesting times.

Almost two weeks ago, I shared on my folio blog my experiences working for the mag and some of the insights that I gathered along the way.

So for today, since I am guessing you missed them, I am sharing my stories to you guys as well. Just click on the image and you’ll be good to go 🙂

Red Dead Redemption 2 and AI #FeatureFriday

I am not a gamer. Just look around my blog. I have mentioned Plants vs. Zombies, where I shared photos and our fake-movie video, and Final Fantasy because I came as Rinoa Heartilly (I tried) in our office Christmas cosplay. Apart from those, I don’t think I ever mentioned any online/video game except in my fiction. I’ve played some, of course, but basically, I’m very much less than an amateur gamer. The longest I’ve played so far is Soda Crush…Yeah, I know.

red-dead-redemption-2

Brian Thomas, contributing author for Enlightened-Digital.com, reached out to me and introduced RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2. I had no idea about it, but finding out more made me interested. I actually asked a gamer-friend last night if she knows of Red Dead Redemption. She does know and did play RDR 1. I asked how it was playing the game and she said she liked it, wondering if the second’s going to be any good. Well, reading about Version 2, I think that she probably won’t be disappointed.

How about YOU decide? Brian writes…

“This Friday, Rockstar will launch its newest open world game: Red Dead Redemption 2. The game comes after eight years of development and much anticipation.

Red Dead Redemption 2 utilizes the hardware capabilities of the current generation to create a more visually stunning and technically impressive experience. The game’s incorporation of more advanced artificial intelligence powers the characters, animals, and dynamic physics system as they combine to generate organic events in an open world that aims to immerse players. As such, the title could ignite further discussion on the role of AI in video games and how games border on simulations.

Red Dead Redemption 2 follows the outlaw life of a character set twelve years in time before the original as he travels around a massive open world created by Rockstar. The game’s map is the biggest yet to be built by the company. Players will encounter interactable characters as they explore the various parts of the wild, villages, and even a city.

NPCs (non-playable characters) behave differently based on who they are as well as what the user’s character looks like, how he behaves, and his level of hygiene. The ability to engage with these characters through the game’s interaction system creates contextual back and forths that can result in many different ways, generating organic outcomes. The experiences generated by these NPCs are believed to be a step up from existing open world games and a force pushing the industry forward.

The relationship between video games, artificial intelligence, and simulations might still be young, but Red Dead Redemption 2 could represent a step towards progress as well as another spark (along with Westworld) to ignite interest in such subjects.”

Check out this infographic from Brian that emphasizes RDR 2’s major and newly improved game details! Click on the image to find out much more. Following it is the introduction to RDR 2’s gameplay. (WARNING: May contain content inappropriate for children.)

red-dead-redemption-2-game-details

Once you’ve actually tried this game out, let us know your feedback. Comment below, if you want to 🙂