This Is Why You Should Hold On

This is why you should hold on.

You don’t have to get out of the dark. You have let it consume you, but sometimes.. sometimes we need to be in shadows. I just need you to light a little flame there, like the dark night with a lone star- lonely, oh so lonely, but hopeful. I want you to hope.

You don’t have to forget all the pain. You don’t have to forgive. But don’t ever remain hurt just to blame yourself. I just need you to accept the pain and embrace it- for scars are beautiful. I want you to fight.

You don’t have to pretend. You are not okay, and that’s fine. You don’t have to put on a mask, you don’t have to force yourself to feel something, or to be someone. I just need you to be you, no matter how everybody else sees you. I want you to help yourself.

You don’t have to move forward right now. This journey isn’t easy, and if you are stuck in this road, it’s okay. I just need you to never let go, no matter how much you want to give up. I want you to try.

This is why you should hold on.

And the fact that you are still holding on,

just shows that you are strong.

This is for you, who’s thinking of giving up today. // hrh

Photo: Basketball Diaries

3 Reasons to Check Out Redmond 

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Redmond, Washington is one of the most beautiful cities on the West Coast. Not only does Redmond boast a number of restaurants and shops, but the area is also a great place for families as well. People who live in Redmond will tell you that the sense of community in the city is one of the biggest things that makes the area such a great place to live. Whether you’re thinking about purchasing one of the Redmond houses for sale or are simply planning a trip there, here are three main reasons to check out Redmond. 

A Fun and Vibrant Downtown Scene 

One of the best things about Redmond is the exciting life the downtown area brings. With tons of restaurants, cafes and shops to choose from, Redmond makes a great place to go on a date or catch up with an old friend. Downtown Redmond is also known for being extremely walkable, and many of the city’s residents choose to walk to work or school rather than drive. The city also has a popular transit center, which provides easy access to nearby cities like Seattle. Downtown Redmond is especially popular among the millennial set, as living downtown provides a fun social scene and close access to bars and restaurants. 

Bicycling is Big 

Being that Redmond is so easy to get around in, many of the locals enjoy bicycling rather than driving each day. There are tons of bike lanes and trails that will take you just about anywhere you need to go in the city, and the city was even designated as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists! The city of Redmond recently added “green” bike lanes throughout the city, as a way to promote biking over other modes of transportation. If you’re looking for a city that puts personal health and the environment first, Redmond may be the place for you. 

A Rich Culture 

One of the main things Redmond is known for is being home to the Microsoft headquarters. Tech fanatics of all kinds have been flocking to Redmond for years because of this, as well as the other cultural experiences the city has to offer. Aside from Microsoft, Redmond also boasts a number of theaters and performing arts centers, perfect for catching a play or listening to live music. On any given day, there is always something going on in Redmond, whether it’s a live poetry reading, wine tasting, or other cultural event. The rich culture and diverse local scene is just one of the things that makes Redmond so great, and definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in the area.

Louvre, Abu Dhabi: Art Beyond

 “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” – Chuck Klosterman

There is much joy in finding yourself lost among works of expression. I have always loved art and consider myself an artist at heart, and my greatest dream is to visit Europe to see the great works of the masters for myself.

Paris is still a too far destination to consider, and I can say that I am lucky enough that the United Arab Emirates aim to bring in everything grand from all over the world to this side of the Gulf. I was excited that they have created their own Louvre here in Abu Dhabi.

The structure is an architectural piece itself, designed by Pritzer Price-winning architect Jean Nouvel, as inspired by the concept of a medina, the quarter of the Arab cities during the ancient times. The silvery dome is comprised of 7,850 stars of complex geometric pattern, and is a wonder to behold as the light hits it in a million ways.

I visited the museum during the first week of October, and the weather was just enough not to sweat all over. This is the first thing you’d have to consider when you live in the UAE. The museum is all fully air-conditioned, but you will best enjoy the dome around sunset when the beautiful golden rays hit the roof and the waters that surround the building, as it is placed by the sea.

There was not that much of a crowd yet, and it does add some allure to the museum. I do feel like there was so much space that needed to be filled with ancient wonders, and some of the displays were even closed, much to my disappointment. I was rather looking forward to seeing the painting of Vincent Van Gogh, but sadly that exhibition was closed and the nice attendant who comforted me said that they were bringing in new pieces by the end of the year. I made sad faces and begged them to show me the best ones they have so far.

The museum is divided into different sections per category. There was a mummy display for Egyptian artifacts, statues from ancient Greece and Rome, and pots and ceramics from Mid-Asia.  The main highlight, though, was the paintings.

Ancient Greece art on marble
Mother Scolding her Daughter (pun intended)
The Sarcophagus of Egyptian Princess Hanuttawy

I am, though, sorry to say that they do not have Salvator Mundi on display. The most expensive auctioned painting in the world (a whopping $450 million) was purchased at Christie’s for the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The rumored buyer was Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, an ally of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, gifted to the royal family of Abu Dhabi for the Louvre. It was in official talk to be displayed, but they have postponed it and no further announcement has been made.

It is never the Louvre without a work from Da Vinci, though, and like its counterpart in Paris, the star is a painting of a woman, entitled “La Belle Ferroniere,” with its alluring smile like Mona Lisa. I often wonder if Da Vinci has modeled them after one woman. I do hope they bring more of his art in.

“La Belle Ferroniere,” Leonardo da Vinci

There were also some prominent works on display:

“Madonna and Child,” Giovanni Bellini
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“Portrait of William Welby and His Wife Penelope playing Chess,” Francis Cotes
“Napoleon Crossing the Alps,” Jacques-Louis David
“Number 26 A, Black and White,” Jackson Pollock
“Portrait of a Woman,” Pablo Ruiz Picasso

It is quite an amazing experience to see things from the past, like somehow the pieces are a reminder of the beauty they once held, and of how they just increase their value over time. Louvre Abu Dhabi also has exciting events they host to encounter people to engage in the museum’s activities, like drawing week and multicultural performances.

I believe that over time, it will develop a culture of its own with the art in it finally at home. I am willing to visit it again next time and hope that they open the other galleries by then.

Tickets are priced at 60 AED per head for adults, while visitors between the ages of 13 and 22 can enter for 30 AED. It is located on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, open from 10am to 8pm from Saturdays to Wednesdays, and from 10am to 10pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and closed on Mondays. You may visit their website at https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/ for more details.

Book Review: Supernova by Marissa Meyer (Book 3 of the Renegades Series)

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Just as I’ve thought that I have ran out of new subjects to read about, Marissa Meyer came up with the Renegades. Superheroes are indeed everywhere in the cinematic world as well as the long standing comics, but not much on Young Adult fiction. I was excited when I read about Meyer’s books, because she already had me hooked with the Lunar Chronicles series.

Supernova is the conclusion to the trilogy The Renegades (Book 2 Archenemies), about the Villain (Anarchist) Nova, who pretends to be a Hero (Renegade) to revenge on her family. She previously lived with the rest of her Anarchists while hiding her uncle, Ace Anarchy, the original villain, who was also captured on the end of Book Two: Archenemies, before Nova was given a chance to hand him back his helmet (which amplified his powers, which she stole from the Renegades.) She is also torn as she already finds herself falling for her Renegade Captain and teammate Adrian Everhart, also the adoptive son of Captain Chromium and the Dread Warden, the original Renegades who defeated Ace.

Nova has had a lot of progress during the first two books where she struggles with her inner morals. I was really excited about how they would end the series, but I have been disappointed as I feel like a lot of things were rushed and a lot of questions were unanswered. Meyer has long said that it is only a trilogy, but I think, based on the ending, that there will be a spin-off of some sort and I would be really upset if there wouldn’t be.

Just thought that the plot needed some much more spinning. I think Marissa wanted to move on from Nova’s story to highlight a new character, but I think it should have been two more books. Also, we’ve already guessed some of the things unveiled in the story based on the plot of the two books so I think it downgraded the effect of the revelations and fight scenes in most of the climax. I like Marissa’s style, I just hope she left some mystery that isn’t really obvious and opened it with a bang in Supernova. Honestly, the Epilogue is the only thing you wouldn’t have guessed, and this is why it needs more books.

I love it- but I wasn’t awed by it like the first time. I, however, still recommend the books to anyone who wants the old YA drama with a somewhat refreshed slate.

One cannot be brave who has no fear.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars

Film Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, is the sequel to the acclaimed Disney’s Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie as the dark fae herself and Elle Fanning as Aurora, a retelling of the beloved children’s fairytale Sleeping Beauty, with a little twist as it paints a new light on the supposed villain.

REVIEW

There was once a time when the golden era of Disney would grace the cinemas, and I grew up in line with each film and they’ve made quite an impact to my life, as they did, I am sure, with everyone else’s. We cannot deny that the past few years have been disappointing in a sense, with Disney so focused on live remakes of the old cartoons that made us fall in love with it in the first place. I’ve watch the live action takes on Cinderella, Beauty and the Best, and Aladdin; alright, they weren’t bad at all, but I just want some new material to come on. Something that will sweep us off our feet.

The tale of Sleeping Beauty is one we are all familiar with- but of Maleficent? This is the reason why we have been entranced with the story when it first came out. It is a version, if I must say, freshly taken from an old tale; a different view. The appeal of villains having a good side is such a strong pull on the majority that we just cannot help but root for them.

Since this is a fresh uptake, we don’t have any idea of what might happen next, and it drove me to watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. I was not disappointed.

It has been on the cinemas for a while, but I shall spare you the juiciest details to get you to watch it yourself- it really is that intriguing. I must say that they’ve given new life to the story, and I am amazed on the many symbolism they had in the film.

Let’s not forget the graphics- it will literally blow you away. Everything is so beautiful in the Moors that it takes me back to being a kid all over again, wishing to be taken by the faeries. I love how they depicted the different kinds of faeries, and not just the perfectly made creatures we first picture them as.

I understand that Maleficent is the main focus of the story and Angelina is perfect for the role, I just wish that on this chapter that they’ve given a much deeper line for Aurora and Phillip. The queen, though, has done quite a great job on making me hate her all throughout the film. I need not say more.

Brace yourselves- that is just not it. Here, you will be introduced to more of Maleficent’s side. I will spoil you just this one- there’s more of them like her and they will play a vital role in the film. You must see their wings.

Just thought it ended when the climax was just happening- but I guess we can’t have too brutal deaths and solutions for a children’s film, yeah? (Though let me tell you, it was mostly adults in the cinema.. honestly, Disney.) I also love how it’s a mixture of everything- a bit of comedy, a bit of drama, a bit of action.

Once again, one is never too old for fairytales.

Rating: 10/10

A Judgment of Character

The amazing thing about people is that time doesn’t really measure how much you know them.

It’s confusing to see people you’ve known for years to become a stranger to you.

Or someone you are with to somebody you used to know.

It’s crazy to witness an unmasking of a fear you never really know was there, a pride that was always in its slumbers. A sadness that you have never noticed even through the mirrors of the soul.

Or a laughter that was always behind a poker face. A laughter behind all the anger. Beauty under the darkness.

We cannot blame people for changing, because in most times, they never did change. It’s only about how they have chosen to reveal themselves to you, and how you have managed to unveil them.

Sometimes, it’s about who you are to them and they to you.

// hrh

Sunshine Blogger Award #3

Response from Susi Bocks of iwriteher.com
Check out her blog of profound thoughts and poerty.

I Write Her

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I was nominated by Jeshea Lim – blogger at Critically Royal for this latest Sunshine Blogger Award! Please check out her website where she has learned to “immortalize her inner self into being.” Thank you, Jeshea! You do it very well. 🙂

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  2. List the Rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 Questions the Blogger has asked you.
  4. Nominate 11 New Blogs to receive the award and notify them by a comment on any of their posts.
  5. Ask the Nominees 11 New Questions.

Jeshea’s Questions for Me

  1. Why did you start blogging? After being inspired by a gentleman younger…

View original post 648 more words

TV Review: Raising Dion (Season 1)

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Raising Dion is a Netflix series adapted from the comics by Dennis Liu.

Raising Dion is a story that revolves about a struggling single mother raising her son Dion, whom she discovers has powers. As she gets on with everyday life, she finds out that Dion inherited his powers from his father, Mark, a scientist, who accidentally got it during one of his field expeditions to the Northern Lights. He disappeared during a storm and was thought to be dead. Alone, she tries to protect him from prying eyes in order to live a normal life.

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REVIEW

The trailer is what hooked me- I watched it a few months before the first season came out. I was not aware that it was based on the comics until I did a little bit of research about it.

I think the story is refreshing as a whole. Superheroes are the trend nowadays, but we haven’t had anything that closely looks into the situation of the gifted individual as a child. It also reflects a much more realistic part in answer to how one’s life will happen once they are discovered to have powers.

A part of me wonders, though, if the story is more interesting in the comics. There are so many sub plot holes that confuses me. I think the show needs to explain more of these events. I certainly will not tell you about the big plot twist towards the end of the season, but I have to be honest and admit that it wasn’t really enough to give an impact.

I hope they add on more characters to add more spice to the story. I must comment though on how young Dion (played by Ja’Siah Young) is doing a tremendous job on bringing the role to life. I also think that Dennis Liu really did a good job on general representation.

The writers need to work on bringing more exciting events to life in the show. As I have said, there are so many possible takes on the story, though I think they will mostly stick to the comics. I want to know how they will tie it to scientific evidence, and explain the nature of the storm.  I am excited to see how this will finally give Dion a purpose. Today, I might just say that it still lacks some of the creative value and is definitely much more interesting in the comics.

Rating: 7/10

Book Review: Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

Jane Fallon made me fall in love with her works when I first read Getting Rid of Matthew. She has a funny, witty, yet classy writing style. It’s a shame really how it took me weeks to finish this one.

Strictly Between Us routes on the usual retelling of adultery- just with a different scene. I honestly have yet to find a book of Fallon’s that diverts from this topic. This always seem to be the plot for literally all her books, so on the first chapter when it was described, I didn’t even want to continue with it.

All the characters are also pretty much the same. The protagonist is a woman, may be successful but lacking in the romantic department, or is a struggling middle aged woman who moans about her lack of adventure. The women in these books are starting to be depressing.

There is nothing much to be said about the main character, Tamsin. I found her to be very plain and quite boring. I also think that she is unfair to her best friend Michelle and should have just told her the truth. It’s all lies and we all know that never gets anywhere.

My dear Jane, this is the fifth book of yours I’ve read. Please give me some new material. It’s rather a pity- I really admire you as a writer, but the stories are redundant and there’s nothing fresh about them anymore. I’ve always thought you write rather well on Getting Rid of Matthew, even with the third person point of view. I loved Helen even though she was a cow in the story. Let us connect with your characters more.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for stars

Sunshine Blogger Award

I was nominated by Mr. James A. Best of JAMES A. BEST- AUTHOR for the Sunshine Blogger Award. You may check his website at https://myplace3187.wordpress.com for interesting insights about life in general. Thank you, Mr. James!

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  2. List the Rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  3. Answer the 11 Questions the Blogger has asked you.
  4. Nominate 11 New Blogs to receive the award and notify them by comment on any of their posts.
  5. Ask the Nominees 11 New Questions.

JAMES A. BEST- AUTHOR ‘s question for me:

  1. Who is your favorite writer and why ? For novels it would be Rick Riordan because his books changed my life. I am also a fan of Robert Frost and his poetry. I try to stay clear of a writer in general as I do not want to reflect their writing style on my works.
  2. What is your dream occupation ? I wanted to be an astronaut or scientist when I was young. I think if given the chance, I still want to pursue it today.
  3. Who inspires you the most ? Myself and my dreams.
  4. What does happiness mean to you ? Happiness would be finding contentment and being able to be an instrument to others’ happiness as well.
  5. What genre of movies do you watch the most and why ? I watch anything that is interesting, but I especially love Romantic Comedies, Fantasy, Action, and Animated movies.
  6. Do you keep up with climate change events ? I do. I was involved with a lot of environmental activities when I was still studying. 
  7. Do you know who Greta Thunberg is ? Of course, who wouldn’t? She’s all over the news these days.
  8. Who is your favorite blogger ? I do not have a favorite as of the moment, but I fully support everyone on this community. I think it is a great way to share our ideas to each other. 
  9. What is your favorite cartoon character and why ? I love anything animated, but growing up I have always loved Mickey Mouse. I think he is the face of our childhood and being the face of Disney, reminds us of our early carefree years. 
  10. What is your number one fun activity ? Definitely reading. I am always looking for new things to read.
  11. Who is your top choice for the best musical act ? I do not watch enough musicals, unfortunately, to answer this question. 

My Questions To My Nominees:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is your best experience in life so far?
  3. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
  4. What’s your comfort food and why?
  5. What is your greatest fear?
  6. What inspires you?
  7. Who is your role model?
  8. If you could choose an imaginary place to live, where would it be and why?
  9. What are you favorite books?
  10. If you could have dinner with someone who is dead, who would it be and why?
  11. How do you spend you past time?

I nominate the following people for the award:

YBP- It’s All About Love

Jo An- Midnight Harmony

Susi Bocks- I Write Her

Ailish Sinclair- Aislish Sinclair

I await your answers! This is a great way to connect with the community, so feel free to get on with the gig.