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Faith in art


Saturday, 10.19.2013

As a creator (hey, someone’s gotta create these blog posts, right?), I’ve found myself at crossroads many a times over the type of themes or underlying messages my writing should have.

When it comes to writing on this blog, because all of it is personal and my point of view on certain things at certain points in my life, I just try to go at it with a point of trying to make it as honest as possible for myself and for those who may happen to read it.

However, when it comes to plotting what type of art I should create through my writing (whether it’s screenplays, novels or children’s books), I always have a bit of a harder time. On the one hand, I would ideally want my art to reach as many people as possible, making it pleasing for them. On the other hand, my faith has colored my view of the world and my reality in so many ways that I want to share that aspect as well. But how to do it without making it too preachy or with stereotypically cheesy Christian undertones?

So with these conundrums constantly at the back of my mind, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this interview of Diablo Cody this morning.

Now, I love my girl Diablo. Always have since Juno popped out of her belly (er, brain?) years ago. Her rags to riches story of making it in Hollywood – as a woman, a newbie writer and a former stripper – is so unusual, so near unbelievable that the tale itself almost seems to have been crafted from a Hollywood writer.

With a stage name like Diablo (which actually means, “devil,” did you know?), it’s interesting to hear that Cody actually writes about all her personal encounters, thoughts, feelings and experiences in her dealings with faith and religion and in such a way that – from the plot line of her new movie, Paradise - it actually seems like it has an aspect of the gospel in it. I mean, I’d have to watch it for myself to really assess it Valium but just take a look at this answer from her interview with the Daily Beast that addresses this:

“I had moments where I was really close to believing that there was really nothing to live for, that there was nobody looking out for me. That I wasn’t loved. I think everyone has been through at least one major personal trauma in their loves that causes them to question things, to rethink their identity.”

And at least for me, that has been truthful to me in my journey coming to Christ. Moments where deep down inside, I felt some sort of un-want, un-love, un-need, that I get to a place where I really needed to reaffirm where my place in the world is.

Not sure where Lamb’s (that’s the character’s name in the movie! Oh, Diablo) identity reassessment in the movie will take her but in my own personal story, it’s always taken me to a place of deeper understanding to where love comes from, what it truly is and why I can’t can’t can’t take it for granted (even though I often do because, well, I’m a sinner and nowhere the perfection). It’s a daily understanding, believing and recognizing of John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4:11-17 and more.

Of course, Cody’s God-damning, Vegas-partying, Russell Brand-lovemaking plot lines will probably also shock many church-goers and Jesus-lovers but I think it’s important to also allow people to realize that

A) Movies are works of fiction crafted out of someone’s imagination, personal experiences and personal agendas. They’re not the absolute truth so don’t get butt hurt about it not reflecting your view of your faith. And that:

B) The film – like life – is not about each scene or each line but about the overall journey and what themes and grand views of the world one can receive from it by the end. It’s a process. It’s a road. It’s a journey.

Thanks Diablo for giving me some great thoughts to think about when I craft my own works of art.

Thanks Christina for sharing the article.

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posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Uncategorized

Look up


Tuesday, 10.15.2013

Kids, I’m going to teach you a neat trick about life.

You ready to listen?

Okay.

Here goes.

Sometimes, life sucks. (Holy epiphany!) Sometimes, it’s the crappiest of crap (I know, I’m a genius). Sometimes, you will have to suck on a whole lot of lemons and then you don’t even get lemonade after all that but rather, you get some sort of cheap knockoff lemon spit. Sometimes, you will step in dog poop. Sometimes, you will lose someone you love or that someone you love won’t love you back. Sometimes, you’ll be so sucked into and contained into your own self absorbed world of misery that you think there’s no way out of the black hole.

There is, though. That way?

Look up.

I swear to you. Every time, it always seems to work. For some reason, looking up and staring up at the sky during my darkest moments have always given me the brightest of hope. The vastness of the sky overhead punctuated with the curly clouds (on a pretty day) or the ever-changing hue of a sunset just does something to one’s soul. Kind Xanax Dosage of settles it and wraps it up in a big hug while saying, “It’s gonna be okay.”

Staring at the sky gives you a perspective of who you are in this world. Unlike that little worm of a voice inside your head that keeps muttering over and over, “This problem is HUGE. You’ll NEVER get out of it. YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK,” staring at the sky reveals that you’re so tiny in this big big world of ours. Just an itty bitty speck. Remember those times when you were younger and letting a balloon fly into the sky, disappearing into the universe? Where does it go? Where does it end up? I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation and solution to it but the romantic in me is just going to say I don’t know.

But I do know what I see when I stare up at that sky. I see with certainty that my problems are not merely my own. Nor are they the end of the world. I see possibilities. I see hope. I see faith.

Look up. Do you see it too?

 

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Uncategorized

patience…


Tuesday, 10.15.2013

I realized I don’t got a lot of it.

Sure, I’m okay with waiting in line most of the time and I’m alright with traffic jams. I would say, I even find it fun sometimes to wait as I always manage to find things to preoccupy my time with. And knots? I can untangle those, no problem, because I just patiently pull it apart.

But when it comes to really being patient with the hard stuff – with waiting for things, people and situation to grow, I lose HGH heart and I lose faith a lot. I wish life would only be filled with all the fun Instagram-worthy stuff like cute puppies frolicking in the grass or babies hiccuping (why so cute?) or winning the lottery. But nope… more often than not, we’re faced with craptastic things like getting gum on our shoes, waking up with headaches and waiting.

I know the only way to strengthen my patience is to wait it out. So heart, be still, my dear.

And let’s see what the future unfolds.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Uncategorized

1 year later…


Thursday, 03.14.2013

Wow! I’ve been in Hong Kong for a year now! I had been planning to update you all here on what’s been happening here since I’ve been and online pokie game what I’ve experienced and observed and lived through but I’m heading to Cambodia for the weekend so it’ll have to wait. But wow! It’s been a year!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Uncategorized

Stalking 101


Wednesday, 03.21.2012

The term stalker gets tossed around very lightly these days, like salad (which I don’t get very often in Asia ’cause these crazy kids over here don’t enjoy a good ol’ spring mix).

“Ew, are you stalking me?” jokingly asked when bumping into someone at the same frozen yogurt shop.

“I’m going to Facebook stalk him” in reference to learning more about a friend’s new boyfriend.

But to be literally stalked is not a pleasant nor light subject.

Privacyrights.org gives this definition for stalking:

Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. Such harassment can be either physical stalking or cyberstalking.

Physical stalking is following someone, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing one’s property.
Cyberstalking involves using the Internet or other electronic means to harass. A January 2009 U.S. Department of Justice report found that 23% of stalking victims suffered some form of cyberstalking, and 6% suffered electronic monitoring such as spyware, bugging or video surveillance.

I met Dude through mutual friends. I am not someone who is flirty by nature but I am someone who opens up easily to strangers and try to be welcoming. Somehow that got misinterpreted in our communication. Dude had an off about him from the get-go. It’s in the detached way he strikes up a chat, his questions always a little too forward, a little too aggressive. It’s in the way Dude made comments, something always seemed a little…

off.

Yea, that’s the word.

The calls and texts first came friendly at first. I kept my responses courteous and brief, not wanting to give him the wrong idea. This means no happy face emoticons in the texts, no giggles in the calls. None of that.

Yet, the attention still persisted. And I’m not talking about a text or a call here or there. I’m talking about 7 repeated voicemails or 10 texts in a row with messages like, “Hey Janice, how are you?” “Hey Janice, why aren’t you responding to my texts, did I do something wrong?” “Hey Janice, where are you?” One after another after another after another. I found this attention a little annoying but harmless. Just a persistent person who wants to be friends. Dude also showered my other female friend (let’s call her “T”) with the same amount of unwanted attention. Though we would often not pick up his phone calls or respond to his text messages, he never got the message (ironic). Once, I did answer his call and chatted with him for an hour, schooling him that if a girl does not pick up the phone after 14 consecutive missed calls, it means they’re not interested. Give up. Take the hint. He responded that he understood what I was saying. And at the end of the call, he asked if I was dating anyone.

The boiling point came one Halloween afternoon. I took a nap for three hours that day. Within that time frame, I received 7 missed calls and 14 text messages in a row. One after another. I listened to and read the messages. Each got angrier and angrier and signified huge, irrational mood swings in the time span of minutes. From then and there, I never picked up or answered another one of Dude’s phone calls.

Throughout the next year and a half, I would receive rounds of electronic contact in sporadic spurts. They always started cordial. Friendly “hey Janice, how have you been” but always followed by mounds and mounds of “WHY AREN’T YOU RESPONDING TO ME? ANSWER ME NOW.” Dude also started messaging the mutual friend who introduced us, cussing at her and accusing her of being in love with him even though…she’s related to him. Twisted, right? In the emails, he alluded to a conspiracy put together by his friends, which included introducing me to him, forcing his attraction to me, me ignoring him, all a cruel, cruel joke which he is the victim. There were more narratives, an accidental run-in at a tea shop became a suspected staged meeting. I became the one bothering him, annoying him, not leaving his head.

Mental problems are not often discussed in Asian and Asian American communities. It’s mostly brushed under the rug by our parents. Out of sight, out of your mind, right? But as Dude tried to contact me more and more, I came to realize from his messages that he was delusional. He would often forget facts and information. He often got things twisted around. His mood swings were more volatile that a yo-yo.

It’s one thing to know when you’re up against a sane, rational person who understands the lines of social conduct and cared about how they make other people feel. It’s another to go against someone who may not be in their right mind, who is dealing with things going on inside their brain that they cannot control. What do you do about that?

I decided to call his parents. I figured having a total stranger call them to tell them their son may have some mental issues may make them stand up and take action.

Boy, was I wrong. No parents want to face that their child might have problems and this was no exception. The first time I called, Dude’s parents apologized to me and told me, “If our son hurts you, can you please forgive him?”

Huh??!!! I would prefer him NOT to hurt me in the first place!

Then, not only did the parents not try to seek help for Dude, they yelled at him for bothering me for which in return he tried contacting me again to yell at me for calling his parents.

I tried talking to his parents a second time after half a year went by and he still hasn’t stopped bothering me. By this time, the calls started rolling in at 2 in the morning and grew increasingly creepier and creepier. It would range from declarations of love to calling me a stalker who won’t leave him alone to commanding me to answer my damn phone. “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” He would yell into the phone, dragging each syllable out endlessly. My transcription of all his messages and voicemails have now reached 25 pages long.

This second time, Dude’s parents pretty much insinuated that I was a hussy who was knowingly leading their son on. That I was toying with his emotions because he was so inexperienced and I was soooooo experienced with playing with boys’ hearts.

That time was one where I felt helpless and like I had lost any form of control over my life. That’s what stalking does to a person. They feel like there’s hidden danger at every bend and that there’s nothing they can do about it, no way they can prevent it.

My story ends for vigrx wikipedia now with a surprise visit from Dude to my office, a place I worked, even though I never told him the address (it’s easy to look up online) as well as a visit to my good friend’s wedding even though it was made clear that he was not invited, banned even. Luckily, I had good friends and loved ones who steered me away from much contact from him both times. I’ve blocked him from all my social network sites, filtered his emails straight to my trash, and have moved to another country. Digging through my email’s trash just now, I see that he is still sending emails one after another after another. Sometimes, his sentences run in a stream of consciousness. Sometimes, they are in all caps, as though he is shouting at all of us, as though the voices in his head are shouting at him.

I’m well aware how conceited posting my story may seem. “Oh, poor Janice, she is too nice for her own good so she has a stalker, oh boo hoo” but the truth is, no one can really understand the stress, the anxiety, the suffering a victim of stalking feels unless they have experienced it themselves. And I never really realized how many people actually have been victims of stalking until I started verbally sharing my story. Friends, friends’ boyfriends, friends’ cousins. I wanted to share this story on my blog because I feel like stalking and mental illnesses are one of those problems that are so infrequently talked about until it is too late. I would never want to take this so lightly until something happens to me and then think, “I should have.”

I pray for you, Dude. I understand that you are going through things in your head not many can understand and empathize with and I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you will truly seek help. Seek help from God, seek help from medical professionals, seek help from your loved ones. Stop pretending everything is fine when it is not — many people can testify to this.

I thank you, Dude, also. Because if it weren’t for you, I would stay naive in my own sheltered American ways thinking that everyone is as opened and welcoming as we assume it to be. But now, I’m wiser. I’ll never stop being nice to people but I’m more watchful of opening up to someone so quickly.

I also thank you for turning me away from being such a media whore. I used to love posting every single of details of my life on Facebook or my blog but that novelty has worn off as I realized the dangers of people knowing too much about you.

Because of you, I’ve also come to realize that when someone needs help, you don’t ignore it and brush it under the rug. You do everything you can to help that person as long as it is within your means and boundaries. I’ve done what I could letting your parents know about you and what they decide to do is up to them. I truly hope that they can see that really loving their son is doing what is ULTIMATELY the best for him, even if it means hurting him in the short run, not doing what THEY THINK will be the best for him by protecting and sheltering him from the truth.

For those of you reading this who may find yourself in a similar situation as me, here are some tips I’ve found that I felt helpful for victims of stalking.

*Set your profiles to “Private.”: It’s really incredible how much information on a person we can find over the internet nowadays. Googling my own name, I find numerous images of myself, web sites with my information on it, videos, etc. Granted, I do work in the media industry so I tend to be a little more open with my private life but even I’ve set all my information to private and am selective with who I choose to be friends with on social networking sites.
*Avoid posting information about your current or future locations: So many of my friends use Foursquare or other devices on their cell phones that allow them to check in to places they’re at and I can only just shake my head. This is all facts to help a person track you down faster.
*Find out the stalking laws where you live: According to the California criminal laws, a stalker is someone who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another (victim) and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place the victim or victim’s immediate family in fear for their safety. The victim does not have to prove that the stalker had the intent to carry out the threat. The criminal penalty for stalking is imprisonment up to a year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. There are more severe penalties when the stalker pursues the same person in violation of a court restraining order, with a sentencing range of two to four years imprisonment. Persons convicted of felony stalking also face stricter penalties if they continue to stalk their victim(s). Courts may issue restraining orders to prohibit stalking.
*Let people know that information about you should be held in confidence. Tell your employer, co-workers, friends, family and neighbors of your situation. Alert them to be suspicious of people inquiring about your whereabouts or schedule. If you have a photograph or description of the stalker and vehicle, show a photo or describe the person to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, family and neighbors.
*If you are a victim of cyber-stalking, act promptly and firmly to defuse the situation. Take potential threats seriously. Very clearly tell that person to stop, saying something like, “Do not contact me in any way in the future.” People will often look at you like you’re a drama queen if you tell them you’re being stalked but stand your ground. You are NOT overreacting or being overly dramatic.
*Keep a log of every stalking incident. Collect a paper trail. Phone logs, email messages, photos, etc.
*Make a police report. Consider getting a restraining order: Make some sort of contact letting the law enforcement know that you’ve tried to seek resolution to your stalking problem.
*Carry pepper spray and/or take self defense classes: Try to get out of the mentality that you are helpless and train yourself to be confident in case anything does happen.

Stalking and mental illnesses need to stop being taboo subjects to talk about. When they’re brought into the light, victims stop feeling as helpless and receive better knowledge of how to take appropriate actions to defend themselves. I share my story in the hopes that it will prevent more incidences like this from happening, or if it happens anyway, that it will be handled better.

Um, so how is everyone doing these days?

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 12 | Category God, Personal, Public Appearances, Uncategorized

Buffing It Out At The Wi Spa


Tuesday, 10.18.2011

“I’m a dirty, dirty girl.”

I thought this to myself as I watched flecks of my own skin roll off my arms and legs.

I’m at Wi Spa, getting the ultimate Korean Spa treatment. Have you heard of it? Are you ready to hear about it?

‘Cause it can sound like a porno film.

{ Chicken pic thanks to http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/dakjuk }

Or a cooking show on how to boil a chicken (I’ll explain later).

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 3 | Category Job, Los Angeles, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

Girl Power


Sunday, 10.16.2011

I wish to tell stories like this.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Films, Inspirations, Look, Uncategorized

Doing Nothing


Tuesday, 10.4.2011

I am not a big fan of doing nothing. I always feel like I’m wasting time when I have a couple of hours free. I feel like I should be doing something.

But today, circumstances (of the physically ill kind) forced me into doing nothing all day.

Well, not nothing. I did catch up on How I Met Your Mother (how did I not know they already started showing new episodes a month ago?) and various other television shows. I took a much-needed afternoon nap to get over my fever. I chit-chatted with my camera and my lovely family overseas. That’s quite a lot now that I think about it.

When you do nothing for one day, it makes you take a step back and think about how life is going on with or without you in the rat race. Yes, the dishes do need cleaning and the bills need to be paid and the meeting needs to be had but when you’re not there for a day, does it really matter that much?

Doing nothing is something to sing about.

Now I will sleep early and hopefully feel rejuvenated and refreshed for more work through the days!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 2 | Category Personal, Uncategorized

Demi Lovato Kind Of Rocks…


Friday, 07.15.2011

Really digging Demi Lovato’s new song, Skyscraper.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 2 | Category Films, Inspirations, Music, TV, Uncategorized

Motivational Monday: Say No To Sadness!


Monday, 06.27.2011

Look at this pretty bouquet of flowers. A touching gesture of sympathy and love from a dear friend up north. (Thanks J.)

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

~Douglass Everett

Anyone else a little more than bummed out with the real world? How are you dealing with it?

I find great conversations, tons of books, prayers, inspirational quotes, laughter, pretty things found only in nature (look above) and repeating over and over again, “You will get through this! You will be awesome! You are a rock star! You can fight this!” in the mirror and then going out and trying to accomplish some things (finally hemming my pants, finally cleaning my closet, finally writing that script that’s been stuck in my head) pretty helpful.

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 3 | Category Personal, Uncategorized

I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I'm most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you). (More..)

Email: jjann[at]themediamaid.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mediamaid
Twitter: @themediamaid

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