Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The World of Monopoly

I am very proud to say (especially after feeling the way I did in my last post) that I wrote a poem yesterday! Annette helped me a little bit, but I feel so good to have written something new!

I don't know how it came up, but while my family was having lunch, one of us were trying to remember all the spaces around the Monopoly board. We know all the color blocks (purple, grey-blue, magenta, orange, red, yellow, green and blue), but the individual names and locations of deeds and railroads and Chance/Community Chest was harder to recall.

So, for no reason at all, I decided to write a poem about it! I felt like giving it a somewhat Dr. Seuss tone and rhythm. I think this could make a really fun children's book someday, with colorful pictures and characters and everything!

Without further ado, here is my poem! XD
Do you want adventure? You want to have fun?
You want to learn something to impress everyone?
Well fly around the board and you will see
All the places to land in Monopoly

"Mediterranean Ave" is right after Go
Impossible to get on the first dice throw
Since of course you play with 2 dice, you know!
(In Britain however, it's Old Kent Road)

Afterwards, Community Chest
Then Baltic Ave (or Whitechapel) next
On Income Tax you must pay out
200 bucks or 10 percent your amount

First railroad is Reading, or Kings Cross
The train Harry takes to reach Hogwarts!
Oriental Ave or Angel Islington
Then comes Chance, you might just win

Vermont Ave or Euston Road, either one is fine
Connecticut Ave or Pentonville, suddenly you find
You've gone to jail! Tough luck, how sad. Oh wait, it's just a visit?
Continue on your merry way. That isn't so bad, is it?

Next St. Charles Place, also Pall Mall
Then Electric Company and that's not all
You see States Avenue (or Whitehall)
Having fun yet? I'm having a ball!

Virginia or Northumberland Ave
The last Magenta space you'll have
Pennsylvania Railroad or Mary-le-bone Station
Keep an eye out for your next destination

Which is St. James Place or Bow Street
Then Community Chest number 2, how neat
Tennessee Ave or Marlborough
Is the second orange place you'll go

New York Ave or a Street called Vine
Then Free Parking's next in line
Kentucky Ave (in Britain The Strand)
Chance is the very next place you'll land

Indiana Ave or Sweeney's Fleet Street
Red like the blood in Lovett's meat
Illinois Ave or Trafalgar Square
B&O Railroad (Fenchurch St. Station there)

Atlantic Avenue or Leicester Square
Two squares in a row? What a mighty fine pair
Next is Ventnor or Coventry Street
Turn on Waterworks if you can't stand the heat

Marvin Gardens or Piccadilly
The cop whistles stop. Oh come on, really?
I can't go to jail. I'm almost done
Alright, I'll let you off with a warning, son

Pacific Ave or Regent Street
North Carolina, (Oxford, sweet!)
Here's the last Community Chest
Quickly now let's finish the rest

Pennsylvania Ave or a street called Bond
Double-oh-7 urges you on
to Short Line Railroad or Liverpool Street
Buy all 4 stations and you can't be beat

Now's your last Chance to be a fat cat
Park Place or Park Lane is where it's at
Luxury Tax is a small price to pay there
If you can afford Boardwalk or Mayfair

Then you're back on Go where you began
Well what do you know? That sure was grand
So whether you're a dog, a shoe or a car
Or a ship or a hat, you'll go very far
Around that board again and again
Good luck kid, hope you win in the end!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I don't know what I'm doing

For the last few days, I have felt many things... Lost. Restless. Lazy. Wishful. Guilty. (All in no particular order.)

It's been too long since my last post, so here's what's been happening in my life:

On Valentine's Day, my mom got a call from Israel that my grandfather was in the hospital. Long story short, he fell to the floor, hit his head, and might have even injured his brain. I was shocked when I heard the news in the kitchen getting breakfast, but it was hard to feel very sad about it right then, because my boyfriend Jerome had stayed the night and was there, and it's hard for me to be sad about anything when he's around. ^_^ My brother and sister had their own plans during the weekend, so it wasn't until the next day that they heard the bad news.

So anyway, since then, I haven't been very motivated to do my normal website work with my dad and sister. Mostly because I know things are tough for my parents right now, and they aren't showing much motivation either. These are just strange times...

I feel like I'm just wasting time, though. I've been continuing my French studies with the Duolingo app (see my last post), which is steadily getting harder, but is still lots of fun. It's kind of addictive, actually. I have no real reason for learning the language. It's not like I'm scheduled to visit France any time soon. It's just because I can, and I like it. Still...

I've been reading a lot (I finished the first 3 books of the Crossfire series, and I'm excitedly awaiting the 4th from the library. I've continued reading bits of them Jerome, and the shared experience makes it so special to me), eating a lot (it was cold for a while, so my mom has been making lots of soups and pastas and stuff), spending lots of time on YouTube (even though I promised myself I would stop) and generally feeling like just a consumer and not a creator.

Meanwhile my sister Annette spent the last few days putting together a really funny video that combines "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" with the so-bad-it's-surprisingly-good movie "Kung-Pow: Enter the Fist", which you can see here.
Already it has nearly 300 views, because one of her friends linked to it in an MLP forum. I'm proud of her for making it, though I'm partly jealous of her for having something so creative to work on while I have nothing...

It just hit me hard this moment that I don't know what I'm doing. I really don't. I'm sure everyone has felt the same way at one time or another, but it's still a strange feeling...

I also realized something as I was walking with my dad this afternoon: In another couple of years, heck,  maybe even within one year, my family is eventually going to explode, scatter, break apart. Whether because my parents decide to split for whatever reason (things have been rocky for them sometimes), or Annette and I (or even Adam) finally move out of the house and start our own lives, the 5 of us aren't always going to be the tight unit we've always been known to be. We'll be forced to make our way through life as individuals...

I'm so used to the lifestyle I have now that it's hard to think about the life I really want for myself. I tell myself I want to be a writer, but I don't write nearly enough. Why don't I write? Because I've always had my website work as an excuse.

So what's my excuse now?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Started Duolingo

So a few cool things have happened since my last post. I finished the second season of Wander over Yonder and eagerly await the next season. I completed the anime Death Note with my boyfriend Jerome over the weekend, which was awesome, but a bit sad at the same time...

I have also started and finished reading the first book in the Crossfire series, "Bared to You". It's a similar type of story to the 50 Shades trilogy, but trust me when I say that this is INFINITELY BETTER! I actually read some of it with Jerome, and he enjoyed it as much as I did!

The great thing about this story is that all the characters are interesting and relatable. The woman (Eva) is no naive Mary Sue; she's been around the block, she has a strong personality and a past. The man (Gideon) may be devastatingly handsome, but he's human too; he messes up and has his flaws, and he acknowledges that and is willing to work on them! As a couple they have their problems, but they have, for the most part, a very healthy relationship. They communicate, they accept each other, they make changes for each other, and — of course — they have a banging sex life. XD

Anyway, totally looking forward to getting the next in the series. But the big thing I wanted to blog about is that I started a new program this week!
It's a language-learning game called Duolingo, and for the past 3 days, I have been picking up French. I am so excited, because I've always wanted to learn another language besides English, and now I've found an effective and genuinely fun way to do that! Also French happens to be the language Jerome is studying, so I thought it would be fun to see if I can catch up to him. ^,^

See how far I've gotten in the program already!
So far, as you can see, I've covered the basics, certain common phrases, different foods and animals! All the while I'm picking up on all the different little grammar rules and gender specific words. I'm learning how to read, write, translate and pronounce the language with all kinds of mini-games, and it's incredibly addictive! I just don't want to stop learning!
In this picture you can see that the next level for me is Adjectives, but because I've been getting so much XP in such a short time, I also picked up a bonus skill: flirting. ^_~ Ooh la la! Looking forward to getting those lessons!

It's kind of fitting that I'm starting to learn the "language of love", since Valentine's Day is almost upon us! ^_^ I hope who ever is reading this has a week full of love and happiness. Oh yeah, and you should totally try Duolingo out for yourself!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You have to suck before you succeed

It occurred to me that it's been quite a while since I last posted here. In keeping with my New Year resolution to write at least one post a week, I thought I'd come back and write what's been on my mind recently. ^_^

So this month I've started reading this book called "Launch", and it's really exciting. As the subtitle suggests, it's basically a manual on how to succeed with your internet business and make tons of money doing it. Annette and my dad are reading it too.

I'll admit, I'm usually pretty skeptical about get-rich-quick-scheme books, but this has some very good ideas and material in it, and while the stories may seem a bit unbelievable, they're inspirational and true.

In a nutshell, the idea is to build a big list of emails, give customers a taste of things to come, and then make a big deal about your launch. It's like how Hollywood releases awesome trailers of movies months before they hit the theaters, or how Apple makes announcements about their newest smart devices. You create a buzz, build up anticipation for whatever you're offering, and then you open up shop. The most important element here, it seems, is building a good email list, so you can talk to your customers and build a relationship with them.

I'm only on the fourth chapter so far, but I decided that I had to check out the author guy's website and find out more. So Annette and I did some research on Jeff Walker, checking out his blog and such, and my god, I think we have found ourselves a new hero!

If you were to go and check out his blog at, you'd find this sincere, smart, down-to-earth man from Colorado who has made it his mission to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses quickly and easily. He posts videos every week, and he talks in a really conversational way, with a big smile. Maybe he'll trip over some words on occasion, but he doesn't edit those parts out. He just speaks for 5, 6 minutes straight on whatever topic he has, in one take! Gotta give him some respect just for that!

I'm not sure why, but Jeff reminds me a bit of the author who got me interested blogging, James Dashner. If Dashner ever decided to take up video blogging, I imagine he'd pretty much be like this guy. ^,^

This book and the whole idea of building an email list couldn't have come at a better time. My dad, sister and I have been racking our heads on how best to release our websites to the public, and this seems to be something cool to work towards.

Also, if you'll remember, at the beginning of the year I made another resolution to talk to every one of my 115 Facebook friends. Guess what? I already accomplished that goal in the first week of January. I wrote every person I knew a personalized Happy New Year message, and I got roughly an 80-85% response rate! Just imagine... If that had been an email list rather than FB friends list, and I had been selling them something rather than wishing them a great 2015, I would have been raking it in! :P

And that is why I've decided to start collecting all the email addresses of our iPad contacts and putting them in a spreadsheet for future use. Maybe I'll go through my Gmail contacts next, and ask for the emails of anyone I'm missing from Facebook. In "Launch", there was a couple who got their business started purely from reaching out to their friends and family first, and they're living in France now! If it worked for them, it can work for me and my family too. So far I have about 50 emails, and I only got up to "J". I decided to do the rest tomorrow, and in the meantime tell you... whoever is reading this right now... about how excited I am about all this. ^_^

Oh, and the title of this post comes from something Annette said while we were on a walk this afternoon. We were saying how we could make it as big as Jeff Walker and the rest of them, and how everyone had to start at zero. She said something along the lines of, "I guess we all have to suck before we can succeed." I thought that was really true, and really funny! XD

So yeah, even if we make a few mistakes along the way, I'm sure someday we'll look back on all our hard work and experiences and laugh about them, clinking flutes of champagne from a fancy hotel in Italy or something. ^_~

If you're interested in any of this, I implore you to check "Launch" out of the library. Buy it, if you must. Just read it! Also check out Jeff Walker's website and blog, and I'm sure he'll become your hero too. ^,^