The End to a Beginning

As I look to the 18 weeks that have gone by of my first semester and of this blog, it has been a unique journey with new experiences and new habits. This blog was mainly created because it was a class assignment that had to be updated frequently, but I gained a lot from it.

Writing these blog entries has given me a look into free thinking and free writing. The internet is a great way to transmit ideas as well as allow people to freely write what they want. This blog allowed me to write out my thoughts and share them with you, my readers. Even if these entries did not reach a large audience, it was still important for me to write my ideas out. It was not usual for me to express myself so easily, and now I feel it easier to communicate myself to others. I have gained the knowledge and practice of expressing myself so I am grateful for this opportunity. I can say that this blog has helped create a new me and better habits.

I also had to read my fellow classmates blogs to read into their interests and thoughts. It was fascinating to read into what others had to say. The blogging industry and internet transmits a mass amount of information just waiting to be discovered by people. It was truly an enchanting experience writing and reading blogs. (Read a blog about any of your interests here).

And so as I wrap up my short career as a blogger, I leave with a bit of sadness. It was fun while it lasted and I am glad my teacher assigned this, if not I would have never gained the benefits of expressing myself. Now that my class will end, I do not feel obligated to continue so I will leave this blog indefinitely. So goodbye to my readers and hello to my future self.

If you want to try out blogging for yourself, try out WordPress or Blogger to get started on your very own blog.

Word Count: 356

HULU leonard nimoy star trek the original series live long and prosper mr spock
So as the wise Spock once said, “Live Long and Prosper.” source

Winter Break Travels

So I live in Florida and right now its starting to feel a little colder. For winter break I want to go somewhere colder, preferably with snow. I have been to many other states for previous winter breaks and I would like to share one of the most special towns I have ever been to: Vail, Colorado.

 

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Look at this beautiful scene. It looks way better in person. Believe me. source

It is a small town in Colorado, but do not underestimate its small size. I stayed with my family in a log cabin. It was furnished with antiques and memorabilia objects that made it distinguishable in the area. The town was beautiful at night. The colors of Christmas lights and store marquees lit up the narrow streets as the light reflected off the white snow and clear icicles. It was truly a different sight that completely caught off guard. The streets at night were cold and mostly quiet. That was the one thing I loved; it looked like a small display seen in Christmas stores only I was able to walk amid the city.

My favorite part of going to a place with snow has to be snowboarding. Colorado is known for its amazing slopes and difficult terrains. The first time I ever went I had to take some classes to learn the basics, and man did waking up the next day hurt (If you seem interested in traveling, sporting, or just knowing, click here). The snow may seem soft, but it is actually hard and icy. I snow boarded trying to get the balance and maneuvering down pact. The feelings of the cold wind in my face and the bumps from the slopes under my feet were unreal to me. The next few times were much better as I learned quickly and even experimented in a couple of techniques. Now I am much more experienced and more capable of handling tougher terrains. There is nothing better than zooming down the steeper sides of a mountain or calmly taking the slopes all the way down (Wanna see what it feels like. See here.). And when I was tired or had my day of fun, I would sit at the top of the mountains and look down at the small town. Rural Colorado is a truly memorizing location that i was happy to visit. I am looking forward to going back there this winter, or discovering a new winter wonderland, who knows.

Word Count: 414

 

Romeo & Juliet: The Comic Book???

In reading of Gareth Hinds’s adapted and illustrated version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (don’t remember the story or never actually read it? Click here for a summary and more of the original), the author has successfully adapted the play into a comic book.

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What do you think this adaption will be like? Wanna find out for yourself? Click here.

I very much enjoyed Hind’s adaptation to the new medium. While some of the text from the original had to be left out to prevent jumbled and to over-complex story events, I can congratulate him for doing his research and maintaining the important details intact. The original story is still preserved with a few changes in the words or wording for the audiences convenience.

The visuals were also captivating. Seeing the interpretation of the old time period along with the culturally diverse characters adds a neat touch to the story. Being able to see a drawing of what is going on helps with following the story easier. The comic style allows to create a dynamically changing pace and mood whenever the story calls upon it. I liked all the drawings along with the the text.

The author has a note at the ending of the book to explain his thoughts and explanations for his decisions and ultimate product. This is a really neat thing for Hinds to include as I can understand his thought process for his adaptation. He has much to say about the representation of the city Verona that he drew. Many things had to be altered slightly to convenience the events in the story which I did agree on. Hinds mentions that he had to assume some locations and structures based on his research. His representation is quite accurate and understandable as he tries to draw it as close as possible to reality in that time period.

Hinds also mentions that he does take some deviations to the Shakespeare original to add his own touch to the story. This is seen especially in the portrayal of the characters in the story. First off, giving both the Capulet and Montague family different cultural identities gives a healthy spin to the original. Some characters are given altered clothing, personalities, or something else to make the characters more special and standing out.

I applaud Hinds for his overall final adaptation to keep the story represented with his own touches. It is a definite recommendation to people who are familiar to the story and want to see a visual representation or have never read the story. Hinds has many other adaptations of different stories that you might want to check out, you might find out that will really surprise you. Overall a great adaptation and a great work from Gareth Hinds.

Word Count: 460

Turn It Up

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The logo for the music label I listen to. source

I love music and feel like there is a song for every situation and mood. Most of my day is spent doing some fort of activity while listening to music, such as working out, wandering around, on the bus, between classes, studying and many more activities. Music to me is a very important form of entertainment that I hold very close to me. I listen to music through Spotify and Pandora.

As for which genre of music I listen to, my favorite right now is electronic/EDM/dubstep. While I do have many artists that I enjoy listening to, they all fall under an electronic dance music record label named Monstercat. Monstercat features a large list of deejaying artists that releases singles, artist EP’s, and large compilation albums. The artists compose from dubstep, to drum & bass, to electro, indie, trap, house, trance, electro; wow, that is a lot of genres. I really like electronic music because I like hearing the various sounds and combinations that a song can have. I also like upbeat and uplifting songs that make me feel powerful and awesome.

Even though electronic music is the dominating force in my music library, I do listen to many other genres of music. If it comes on the radio, or at a party, or if I gave my friend the aux cord to play any music, I will keenly listen with almost no opposition. Country, however, is my least favorite genre of music. I can listen to a little at a time, but after I get bored and don’t feel turnt up then I want to switch song. Sorry to any country songs.

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The view from a deejay’s standing point. source.

Since I am Latino and I have traveled to South America many times in recent years, I have come to listen to the music of certain cultures. In Colombia, each city or region had a different variation of style in the music, whether it be the accents of the singers, changing tempo, differing instruments, or other small alterations that made each song sound fascinating when the locals would play the music like they wanted. And when I traveled to Brazil, I heard samba everywhere. Listening to that music and seeing the people enjoy the music made me like it a lot. There are many other places that I haven’t visited in South America, and I hope to see what else is out there to hear.

So while my favorite genre of music is electronic, I still appreciate all other genres. Give Monstercat’s latest album a listen celebrating 5 years of being a music label.

Word Count: 424

Road to Russia: Showdown in South America

The best players in South America are competing to put their nation spot in FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018. source

So this post will be all about soccer. And just like that I feel like I’ve already lost many readers. Now to lose an even more readers I will talk about mainly the South American FIFA World Cup Qualifiers as they stand today. But readers, listen here if you want to learn about something different that I am interested in.

So I imagine a strong population of the world knows about the FIFA World Cup, and many actually watch it. So that leads to the question: How does the World Cup work when selecting teams to play? So here I am to explain a little about the preliminary cup that goes on when no one really knows they are going on.

In South America and every other continent there are qualifier matches between nations’ soccer teams, all the way until the year of the next world cup. After many matches, the top select teams in each continent are then allowed to compete in the World Cup in Russia 2018. In total, 32 teams compete in the actual official FIFA World Cup in Russia (Still a little confused?

Click here to see a longer, better explanation). And right now we are half way to the next world cup meaning also half way into the world cup qualifiers. This leads me into the South America region.

So these are the standings as of October 2016. These 10 teams are fighting for making the top 5 spots in this region. Two strong teams here are just outside the qualifying elite but don’t count them out yet, Paraguay and Chile. There are still plenty of matches to let this story unfold. Personally, I support Chile and Colombia, the place where I was born and the place where most of my family is from. Both teams did exceptionally well in the previous World Cup and I look forward to seeing both of them again in the next one. In this picture however, Chile isn’t even in contention to qualify, but I know they can pull through to make it.

So this happens all around the world throughout the years off of the World Cup. The teams and players do not rest, and instead must prepare for the 4 years in hope of competing again and hoisting up the cup in the finale.

Word Choice: 401

Shooting For The Stars

 

If you are not intrigued by this, I don’t know what will

Space, laser guns, light-speed, star fighters, light sabers, comedic astronautical droids, dark ties, forgotten pasts, unknown futures… all this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Can’t guess it by now? Well let me talk to you about a story that happened in a galaxy far, far away…

The 2015 block buster hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens features a continuation of the original Star Wars trilogy. This movie has a rising oppressive military force trying to put the entire universe in their control. With new information about a powerful ally that could shift the tides of the war, the rebellious forces must keep it away from the evil imperial forces or all hope is lost.

This movie series is my absolute favorite of all time. I nerd all the time about this series, and I am not shamed about it. I love the sci-fi, action that these movies provide. The mix of an amazingly though out story with J.J Abram’s iconic cinematic direction gave the entire film an overall beautiful masterpiece to look at. The setting of this story has a wide range from desolate dessert planets, to ancient ruins, to dismal winter lands. And with each land there is a crazy cast of insanely differing and unique creatures (if you want here is a mere 36 strange creatures to start) . The new persona introduced in the movie add filling personalities while the returning cast members bring in the good memories and classic one-liners (Han Solo’s delivery of his “I have a bad feeling about this” is my favorite).

The scientific portion of this movie is out-of-this-world (literally). The science fiction, to me, makes me think of the the possibilities that could happen in the future. Call me crazy, but this science fiction can later turn into science reality. Spaceships traveling at light speed, life beyond our solar system… this could be our future (without all the war and evil forces).

Overall, this movie and all the rest of the previous movies have had a huge impact to pop culture and me. Beyond the cinematic screens, Star Wars make me feel that I can express about a nerdy side of me freely. And with many other movies coming in the next few years, I will have a lot to be looking forward to and talk about.

A new Star Wars movie is coming out this December, and I know loyal fans will be checking it out. Even if you don’t like this genre of sci-fi or anything that I mentioned above, you can still check out the newest movie coming out. Its going to be a great story to pass the time, trust me.

Word Count: 459

Futuristic Cinderella??

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Something might seem odd in this picture?? Care to find out?

So I have recently finished reading “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer, a sci-fi turn on the original Disney story “Cinderella.” While the title includes the word “Cinder” and the cover shows a glass slipper, this is not the normal childhood story you’ve been accustomed to. So here are some of my personal favorites and downers for the book.

So the book does not follow the path of the childhood story we know, but there are strong similarities aside from plot (forgotten a little of the Disney version or somehow never read the story? Click here to read the original story). Throw away any expectation that you have that this will be another Cinderella story. That, to me, made it very enjoyable. I would not want to read a story that would have a predictable plot. This version slightly borrows from Cinderella, but it is even hard to tell. This book is an entertaining spin on the genre or fairy tales but not really. It’s hard to describe for me, I’m trying.

My favorite personal aspect of this book is the sci-fi spin on the Cinderella story. The world of Cinderella living in a magical world with magic is not present here. This story is set in a futuristic Earth where the human population has evolved and incorporated technology beyond our capabilities right now. This story even includes a race of people that live on the moon. Earth is also falling ill to a deadly disease. Sci-fi and strange futuristic worlds are my favorite genres right now so this was definitely a pleasant surprise. The overall setting is cool, so anyone sharing my interests should check this book out.

One last surprising characteristic that I did notice after reading the book was the empowerment of the weak. In every version of a Cinderella story there is a disrespected person that works to rise from oppression. There is a great focus on this upbringing of an individual, that people start as nothing yet become someone important. It can be inspiring for some readers, including myself, as I can picture myself emerging as a powerful individual ready to make change in the world.

So in the end, this book is worth the read. It has a cool spin and unpredictable plot that keeps you reading for more.

Word Count: 396