Monday, December 19, 2011

What Does Christmas Mean?

As we hear the Christmas carols ring
And see families happily shopping
What does Christmas mean?

As we hear the news from everywhere
Of suffering, strife and people who don't care
What does Christmas mean?

As we meet people along the way
Where human beings on streetsides for a night stay
What does Christmas mean?

As we give and receive a gift
Do ours and what was ours make our hearts shift?
What does Christmas mean?

As we live through each passing moment
With each smile or tear or emotion spent
What does Christmas mean?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

I ReLOVE YOU 101: Part 1 - More Than Words

I just saw this video going viral on my friends' posts and I thought, "Hey, that's perfect for my blog!" And so I'm forced to start my series earlier than I planned.

So, do you remember the earliest time you discovered, learned and experienced (puppy) love?

Let's face it: The Purefoods Hotdog ad clinched it with "Kids can tell." Because it's true. It's so much to say what love is when we were children: enjoying a parent's hug, sharing toys with friends, being protected and spoiled by siblings, getting licked by a puppy... everything that has the awesome "aww" factor gets tagged with a heart medal for depicting what love is.

Then things changed when we finally gets introduced to society... or TV/internet. Whichever comes first.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I ReLOVE YOU 101: An Intro (or Reentry) to Love and ReLoving

Originally, I wanted to entitle this blog entry as "A Curious Critique on the Confusing Cacophony of Contemporary Culture of Cliché Commitments based on Choices of Convenience and its Catastrophic Consequence, and the Considerable Challenge of Changing the Companionship Criteria."

Yes. You don't need to reread it to understand why I changed my mind.

Ever since I've reentered the amusing world of the singles, it wasn't much of a surprise to encounter the question, "Eh bakit single ka pa rin ngayon?" Like it was the most abnormal state I could be in.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Challenge of Responsible Generosity for the Post-Modern Christian

We just left the building, blessed and joyful. The WIN QC evangelistic concert was finally over. The post-activity meetings were done. It was time for some carnal rewards: FOOD.

It was already late in the evening. We still had to walk a couple of blocks for the nearest practical dining place. But they could only accommodate us in the sidewalk tent area. Well, I thought it was gonna be fun.

As we sat down and set our plates, a young boy passed by and casually dropped an envelope on our table. I simply dismissed it. I mean, seriously: we’re tired, we’re hungry. And we just wanted to enjoy the company of our friends. After a while, the boy surly retrieved the ignored envelope.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 4 of 4


I remember well a line from Bleach, a popular Japanese manga/anime. In one scene, Kurosaki Ichigo, the hero of the story, criticized his opponent:

“You know why big brothers are born first? To protect the little ones that come after them.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 3 of 4


Speaking of kuyas, I do have an older (and only biological) brother. We don’t have many childhood memories together. In fact, most of them were not really nice. But as I reminisce the past, I realize that there were actually a lot of incidents where he made simple yet lasting influences in my life.

One in particular was when as a kid, my neighborhood playmates would hang out at out house to play. Our home then was quite wealthy – we had a lawn that I could truly boast of, and for some unknown reason, that day I was exceedingly arrogant because of it. As I bossed around my friends (using the fact that I lived in that house as my authority), my brother discreetly called me into the house. So I nonchalantly excused myself and went to him.

I don’t remember if my brother hit me. But I do remember how he scolded me: “Just because you own the house doesn’t give you the right to treat your friends arrogantly.” I couldn’t remember the rest, but ever since that day, my whole perspective about hospitality changed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 2 of 4


Realistically, I didn’t have any idea what it meant to be a kuya. I mean, I’m the youngest of four siblings. My relationship with my brother wasn’t that great when I was a kid. My elder sister was too busy with her teenage puppy loves and the 80’s pop music. As for the other sister? I was too busy competing with her.

It was when I discovered the youth ministry where the meaning of kuya and ate changed for me. While such honorifics were popular in school and the neighborhood, somehow the term felt different inside the church. It felt more real. More sincere. More powerful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 1 of 4


It was a few months back. I came across an online rant. This guy was a bit frustrated. He complained a lot. About them not listening to his advice. About them not heeding his warnings. About them not following his instructions. He used to be a youth leader. Now, he’s a young adult. And new leaders are already in place. But he’s not satisfied.

So I joined in the conversation. I had to point it out: we used to be the youth leaders. We are no longer the leaders. They are.

We miss being the leader.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stargazing at 4:30AM

I couldn't remember the first time I gazed up at the night skies. How young was I? How naive or innocent were my thoughts? How long did such a moment last?

I do clearly remember the day I first read about the Stargazer, a nickname for a fictional fairy tale hero. Amusingly, that title never bore any relevance to the actual story. I couldn't even remember the entire plot. But I can still clearly imagine the vague image picture of the scene: a young boy staring at the skies, his mind swirling and overflowing with ideas, yet which is devoid of coherent thought.

Just like a cloudless night sky brimming with stars.

And a cool breeze gently keeping me company.

And a kaleidoscope of memories from various timelines of my life converging on a single thought:

"God, how beautiful are these stars!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Original Social Network

In the past few months, social media giant Facebook has tremendously evolved. Or should I say, mutated. It used to be a mere lackluster social network, where throwing a sheep was the best fun I could remember (and still miss). Now, it's become the thriving online social community where everybody should be (Ha! Funny, most of my friends used to scoff me back in 2008 when I insisted them to sign up in Facebook, back when they were all still enamored with Friendster).

Finally, it has transitioned into the obvious next step: commerce (outrightly, not that it wasn't that obvious in the past months). Well, any sociologist could have predicted that happening. I mean, sure – trading started even when communities were relatively small (and simple). But tracking back history, we all know that as civilizations grew, so does the concept of business. Small peaceful societies get dragged into the quickening pace of exciting new ventures. Thy eventually leave behind what used to be the sedentary lifestyle of the rural lands. Major business districts bloated up, and those who lived outside those teeming marketplaces continued to exist in blissful ignorance (And of course, the over-expanding societies as well as the virtual ghost towns eventual collapsed, that's for someone else to write about).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Social Elusion and the Social Illusion

After reaching a personal high of having 1,071 social friends from being a member since 2007, I finally deactivated my Facebook account. Whether it will be permament or not remains to be seen. Not that anyone bothers. (Haha drama!) But kidding aside, I could say that my action was probably a by-product on my idea about calculated spontaneity.

Yet, why the rash decision?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Story about The Story

One day, a little boy had an idea. It wasn't brilliant, nor was it unique. Nonetheless, it was his idea.

"I want to write a story!"

And so with youthful passion and childish abandoned, he wrote with all his heart. There was no room for thoughts or even emotions – just a story impatiently bursting on paper.

It took him five minutes.

Frustration Is So Overrated

Have you ever had that time of your life where you feel like the whole world is against you? Pfft.

Meet Syobon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Another Radical Monday Morning

I woke up at 4:30AM with what I remember as a sound of breaking glass. Half-asleep and half-alert, I immediately searched around at what might have caused the sound. After around ten minutes of fumbling in the dark, I shrugged it as probably part of a dream I couldn't recall any longer.

Such incidents have been a weird part of my mornings lately (I recall one time where I was jolted awake at a sound of a man screaming horribly – but I was sure that one was purely imagination.)

And so this morning, I decided to jog.

One of the things I really appreciate about my current workplace and sleeping place (he he) is that they're both a walking distance from each other, and to a certain public park which joggers, walkers and simple time-passers love to frequent. It's a well-lit and well-kept place, and security personnel are around to dissuade any unruly behavior. Though I was quite familiar with the place, it was probably the first time again in many years since I jogged there in the early morning. The somber dawn wasn't spectacular; the lazy breeze wasn't even stirring a leaf; yet despite the lethargy-inducing environment, a silent atmosphere of determination-driven activities somehow permeated against the proverbial Monday clouds.

(And yeah, I saw a really cute girl – which somehow drove me to step up my pace a bit faster.... I wonder if I'll see her again... Scratch that, I need to get thinner again faster before that!!!)

Another thing that I appreciate is the used mobile phone that a kind friend lent to me the other week – since my previous unit finally went to electronic paradise. It didn't have a camera, or infrared or bluetooth; nor does it have a wifi feature or play videos. And I still need to purchase my own SD card. But I am thankful because it has one feature that I really needed for my jogging/walking – a music player/radio. That's because I easily get bored, and having something to listening to helps keep the boredom away (though sometimes, it probably does more damage especially when there's a funny joke or conversation, and I would smile or laugh alone. And yeah, I think there was one girl who really stared at me like I was the creepiest guy she ever met when I suddenly snickered while jogging. I hope I'll never meet that person again.)

But as I was scanning to for some appropriate FM station to tune into (personal experience tip: never ever try listening to emo/romantic/love songs while jogging), I accidentally stumbled across a news program (I forgot which station it was). I was about to dismiss it when a certain news bit caught my attention. And so for one straight hour, I was brisk walking on the early morning news.

For years, I'll have to admit that I kinda lost confidence with how journalism was in the real world. There was a time (specifically: high school) where I thought being a journalist was the coolest dream job I could ever have. But as the inconsistencies and compromises I notice on local TV networks and print media became too much for me, I just resigned myself with movies and comics section. You might be surprised how movies and comics present more truth about society than most headlines nowadays.

But this morning, as I listened to the commentator and laughed at his humorous co-hosts, I realized one thing: against the ever-changing tide of social change and technological advances, and no matter how the radio industry may seem like a bit from the past – there is one thing that hasn't changed with them which I appreciate: sincerity.

I couldn't imagine them faking a live interview as they ask on-the-spot, brazen questions that anyone can easily edit if it was done on TV or newspapers. I couldn't imagine them scripting their emotional outbursts of indignation, of soul searching and social reflections, of impromptu humor, or even the unmistakable hint of sincere condolence over real life stories of sadness and frustrations.

It was raw, full of grammatical nuances, incomplete thoughts, and other countless faults. But it was all real. It was all public service.

As I went home, I realized another truth that was more timeless than the radio: God's word. Sure, most people scoff at it nowadays as just another relic of some medieval time – that the moral principles and ideals it presented was no longer relevant to our generation. Yet, why is it that whenever the world goes wrong, when technologies and civilizations cringe helplessly as nature goes on a tantrum, or when we face storms in our families, friendships, relationships or even in our selves – there's that a unmistakable (but oft denied) longing for a spiritual purpose?

There are so many things that I've come to appreciate, things that I used to take for granted.

A good job.

A good church.

A good family.

Good friends.

(Sometimes, good food and movies!)

And how God uses imaginary sounds for me to get up and enjoy a good morning so I can realize how much there is about life that we can all appreciate.

Good morning! (And I'd appreciate a comment, too!) :3


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Everyone Falls in Love (A Stupid Story)

I couldn't remember how long I was lying on the ground. It felt reassuringly warm. The breeze, though cool and refreshing, chilled through my very soul – to which I reflexively embraced myself as if by sheer instinct I wished there was someone I could hold against the cold. And I realized that at that moment, I was all alone.

Where in the world am I? Am I still in the world?

"Thank God you're half-awake now. Your snoring was horrible." A voice blandly drawled.

I turned around, looking for the source of the adult voice. Instead, I saw a kid. Or at least that's what he looked like. Maybe he was a halfling or a hobbit, an albino smurf, a dwarf or...

The glint from the golden arrow points on his backpack stopped my speculations.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Knock on (A Plank of) Wood

Almost everyone in the internet community know that planking is old school. But because of recent shifts in social media (particularly the way posts are shared on Reddit, 9gag, Memebase, Tumblr, Facebook and most recently, Google+), we could say that the plank has just been recycled.

Mixed posts and arguments float around the topic: from die-hard plankers trying to outplank one another, to wannabe-creators of new fads like owling and extreme diving, and of course, some religious and racial critics denouncing the practice.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Threading the Trek of Trends

Despite being an avid Facebook user with a penchant for trying out various stuff on the web (like Google+ and other sites), I still haven't gotten the hang of Twitter.

"Trending" has become one of the most powerful words in recent years. Also referred to as domino or bandwagon effect, it is one of the most obvious and slightly unpredictable side effects of social media. From celebrities and idols to NyanCat and the meme culture, social media has epitomized the proverbial chicken-and-egg origin paradox.

Was it popular because it was trending? Or was it trending because it was popular?

Nowadays, it's quite tricky to differentiate between the two.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Timeless Friendships at OId Cafe

Took this photo at the Old Manila Café in Dela Rosa – a small, humble coffee shop that I have long wanted to try out. It's a lovely, rustic hangout that feels almost like home (well, at least for someone like me who... misses what a home really feels like).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Challenge for New Heroes

[Caution: Definitely contains LOTS of spoilers. Read anyway!]

Around two years ago, my friends and I were discussing about the possibility of an Avengers movie. I told them that it won't happen without first introducing Captain America. However, the challenge is how to make him relevant to our contemporary generation, and to all races.

I mean, he is Captain America. How more culturally narrow can you get?

Until I saw the movie trailer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good Morning!

I used to wake up with just one simple thought immediately filling my mind: what interesting posts did my friends have on Facebook while I was asleep?

Nowadays, it's

Friday, July 22, 2011

Waiting for the Big Wave

I never dreamt of surfing. As much as I might love frolicking in the beach or pool, I hate swimming – because I never learned how. It's a long story. Instead, let me tell you about Bethany Hamilton, the protagonist of Soul Surfer.

For starters, the actress who played her role was hot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A World Full of Wonderful Crap

Source: CNN
I feel guilty that for a long time, my daily morning routine mostly involved checking out Facebook, or new manga chapter releases –  even to the point where I often forget about my daily Bible devotions. So to cut myself some slack, I've been trying to revive my old habit of reading the news lately. And came across this article about reinventing the toilet bowl.

Talk about crap.

Seriously, I haven't given the thought of toilet innovations that much consideration before. I mean, it's literally crappy. Or is it? I found myself surprised as I read through the story - how a simple invention like the toilet bowl has saved lives and changed civilization! As Robin would exclaim, "Holy crap!"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finding the Write Company

I am not an otaku. But I admit that I am a fan of Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Mahou Sensei Negima, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Deeper Kyo, RAVE, Dai No Daiboken, Eyeshield21, Black Cat, Full Metal Alchemist, Psyren, Full Metal Panic, Yugi-Oh, The Breaker, Bloody Monday, Eden No Ori, Death Note, The World God Only Knows, Kekkaishi, Katekyou Hitman Reborn, Prince of Tennis, Soul Eater, D.Grayman, Noblesse, Shaman King, History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Busou Renkin, Code Breaker, Gamaran, Break Blade, Detective Conan, Hunter X Hunter, Yureka...

And of course, there's Bakuman.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Donuts!

Sometimes you just have to admit that your blog sucks. I mean, what have I been blogging about all these years? Unlike my friends Mights (who runs Transformational Leadership) or Stef (the infamous owner of God Spotting), my blog seems... pointless.
Looking at my own life, I get even more depressed: at the age of 30–
  • I don't have a savings account;
  • I wasn't able to finish college;
  • I'm just a bedspacer;
  • I'm overweight;
  • My earnings are... not what it used to be...
  • and I'm still single (well, that's not exactly negative... isn't it?)
I hate celebrating my birthday not just because it reminds me that I'm really getting older, but because it makes me reminisce of happier years... years when dreaming and achieving were like Siamese twins... until the painful realities of life tore it apart...

But then, thank God for the free donuts.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I just came across an article about Google +'s move to delete private accounts by July 31. Well, a social network made of private accounts is not a social network; it’s either an underground cult, or just a social den of anti-socials (which in itself is a paradox)… I think the whole point of social networks is to be public – if you preferred privacy, why bother signing up in the first place?

Now, controlling the information you reveal or place in the first place - that's a different topic.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Our mini-series on ChurchNOW (entitled 'Keep the Change!') just ended. Realizing this made me feel a bit relieved; yet, at the same I felt nostalgic and sad. There was so many ideas I wanted to talk about on the topic... but then, I guess that's why blogs were created.

What does it mean to keep the change? Is it about enjoying fringe benefits with no strings attached? Or is it about having a changed lifestyle? What if it means living a consistent lifestyle of change?

Change is constant - that's what people believe. But sadly, change isn't always progressive: some live such changes like a yoyo, a see-saw, or the proverbial cliché of the wheel of life. But change can be something more than just a cycle. Change can have velocity - not just a Brownian movement, but a sense of purpose and direction.

Intentional change. Are we ready for it? In a society that endlessly begs for it, why don't we spare them some real change?
It's just a few days away from our Single Adults retreat when I stumbled on this social network. Cool! Same title!

I kinda like the concept of this network - amplifying ideas, thoughts, passions, interests. Even friendships. More than just connectivity, it promotes intellectual intimacy (thank God, I won't be seeing any online romantic mush on my streams here!).

But more than brain connection and amplification, I dream of a socially relevant faith: where a simple hope can influence and change a generation, where a simple voice can rally a revolution, and where a simple step can lead a march towards a better future.

What's there to amplify in me?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How To Understand Graphic Designers/Artists & Other Creative People

Just another day. A fellow designer chatted and ranted again about her client. Not that I'm bored with her stories; negative emotions are as strong a fuel to the brain as a good laugh. 

But talking, chatting and listening (yeah, I just realized that one can actually talk and chat without listening to the other person) with friends from the creative profession made me wonder: why is it so hard for other people to get our point?

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Beginnings with Revelations

It's funny how, as a child, I always thought that the Pilgrim's Progress was part of the Holy Bible. It started one afternoon where I was watching television, and they were airing an animated film about it. Around the middle of the movie, the electricity went out.

By the time the power went back on, another show had already began. I was chagrined. I had to know the ending!

And so the next time we visited the local Christian bookstore, it was the first book I looked for. I particularly grabbed the illustrated copy - or should I say, comic version. For several days, I read it over and over again, enjoying the fantastic imagery drawn across the pages, my 5-year old mind vividly recreating the surreal sceneries inside my own world. As most books and literature do eventually, I grew tired of the drawings. I never knew what happened to the book afterwards, nor can I recall the exact story. That goes pretty well with almost all my other childhood memories.

It was not until a few years later that I remembered that book. I was staying at our old home, now dusty and desolate. There was nothing much to do, after all, as I spent my days in solitude in the literally empty living room. Amusingly, I was the only living being in it. And I needed something to entertain myself, or maybe just to remind myself that I exist at all.

I remembered the story. But I only had the Bible. Wasn't the Pilgrim's Progress about the Bible? This line of thought, drew my curiosity. I had to confirm. What progressed was a series of days of a childish quest for a story - and despite failing in my attempt to locate where the Pilgrim's Progress was to be found in the Holy Bible, I unearthed more interesting stories that preoccupied my loneliness. But none had grabbed me more than the Book of Revelations (and yeah, I got tired of reading it afterwards, so I turned to the history books later on and got enamored with 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, etc. Beats the Arthurian romances, hands down).

I felt shaken awake from a long dream when someone suddenly sent me a message about the end times. I don't consider myself a skeptic, nor do I think of myself as a fanatic. Let's just say that I got tired of all the information. I enjoyed the book of Revelations because it made my imagination soar, plain and simple. And yet, here I am confronting myself about it - or maybe I already did, subconsciously, when I came up with the Extreme Calamity Theory I whimsically wrote about after Ondoy...

Do I really believe the end times? Or am I just afraid to face it?

Last night, I forced myself to stay up late until I actually finished re-reading the ancient book.

And remembered the fear. Not of the end of the world, because the Book of Revelation never felt scary for me. It was a book of hope, a book of promise... a book of something wonderful that will happen after all these troubles have passed.

No, what scared me was eternity. Amusingly, what I felt was fear that I would get bored of living the rest of infinity doing the same thing, reading the same stuff, and living the same way.

It was a big lie.

The book of Revelation did not only reveal what will surely come to pass in the future, it also revealed what was hidden in my heart for so long. Sure, the terrible accounts of God's wrath described there are truly worrisome. But there was a peace that only those who has faith can feel, a peace that amidst all such earthly pains, God exists. God cares. And God has a bigger plan, a bigger idea, and a bigger story than I can ever imagine.

So now I've re-read the spoiler script. Now, Lord - I'm ready again for the role I need to play.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wise Foolishness of a Procrastinating Obsessive-Compulsive... is not the topic in this post.

I'm a guy of simple pleasures. Sure, I haven't won in the Philippine Lotto, or any raffles ever since. But I take pride in the fact that I do win some freebies from time to time - like the time Ayala had a slogan writing contest (I actually had 3 entries - two of which I used my friends' names. And both of the entries under their names won - free Ayala GCs. The entry in my name, unfortunately, did not). There was also a couple of free movie ticket I got for the premiere showing of Predators (which I also had to let go due to conflicts of priorities/commitments).

Until finally, I got something I can finally enjoy for myself. Yes. A free copy of Readers Digest! Weee! But why am I so excited over it? Simple - it's a big chunk of my childhood memories! I remember summers where I would just dig up copies from way back in the 1960s (or even earlier), and discover about forgotten stories and cultures. It's one of the most important influences in my enthusiasm towards literature - and even dreamt once to be a writer for it. But alas, I'll have to settle by being a contributor on the online discussion threads for now :p

Monday, February 07, 2011

TheRadical Origins: What's In A Name?

I just finished visiting/disturbing the ol' high school alma mater, University of Nueva Caceres. Though I still feel some resentment towards the administration/school system, there are two things about the institutions that warms up fond memories towards it.

Yes, memories of friendships - both among my peers and teachers.

But I'll save that for some other time. Along with reawakened flashbacks of various antics, escapades, and teenage bravado/passion/freakishness. Hopefully I'll have a camera on my next visit...

So anyway, where was I?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Snail Beat Me To Home

AFTER ALMOST A MONTH OF DELAY, I finally fulfilled a simple promise with myself: to visit my parents in Bicol.

For most people, it might not seem like a big deal. But for me, it is. The last time I got to visit them was almost exactly a year ago, right after the New Year of 2010. I was supposed to travel during the Christmas vacation of 2010, but due to some unforeseen events, I had to postpone it. Until now.

I was hesitant at first. I just started with my new workplace late in December 2010. And frankly, I had some difficulties with my personal finances. But I pushed through, not only because I wish to rebuild in myself some sense of palabra de honor. I had to realign my faith in God… a God whom I believe is in control of my family, my finances, and my life.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

February Fever

So it's February already. Yippee.

I've been enjoying my new work so far. I have a really cool boss who actually discourages me to do overtime work - and lets me stay at the office just to hang out and enjoy the free wifi. I even get to play around with the office DSLR - an Olympus E520, with an external flash that I'm still learning how to use. And best of all - the office is just a few blocks from where I currently live.

And still, I find myself with little or no social life.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ramblings of a Young Old-Timer

They say that reminiscence is a sign of old age. Now that I'm fast approaching the age of 30, I can't help but agree with it.

I still remember my childhood years - when the television set had knobs instead of buttons. Not that I watched it in monochrome; that was my older siblings' memories. Back then, the family computer is actually a game console. I fondly remember the day my dad brought home a Nintendo, and how we all got into it - except for my brother and mother.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2011: A Whole New Year, A Whole New Blog. Again?

Okay, I admit it: I've been procrastinating on writing. On purpose. Not that I didn't have any ideas lately. In fact, there were a lot of interesting topics I wanted to write about. Some I managed to jot down in my lil notebook, and others ruefully forgotten.

Fact is, I feel lazy. Or maybe, uninspired. Or specifically, unmotivated.

Why do I write? For my own satisfaction and self-gratification? For self-improvement or development? For self-discovery, introspection or mere self-expression?

In fact, I feel tempted to ask myself - is writing really my thing? I mean, I don't get to earn anything for it. The two novel ideas I started working on this year is currently on a hiatus, because I feel like I'm getting nowhere.

I even sometimes wonder if anybody really bothers to read my blogs.

Speaking of my blog, I thought of reviewing what I've been writing about for the past year and felt amused as I stumbled across one of the earliest blogs for 2010. It was a new year's resolution of some sort, intended to challenge myself. And so to evaluate myself: