A Slice of Life: How I Broke Out of Holding

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Just kidding, but this is the only picture i have from the event so far. Anyway, here is an account of the morning I went to the Disney Marathon!

I arrived at the school at 3am for the Disney Marathon. As soon as we got there Bao and I went on a quest to find fun instruments for the pit to play during the marathon. While the winds just bring their instruments and the battery brings their drums, the pit, unfortunately, does not get to bring their marimbas. We settled on crash cymbals, a tambourine and some other stuff I can’t remember. After we loaded the truck and the buses, we set off to Disney World.

When we arrived at Disney World, we attempted to improvise to the “stands tunes.” We normally just dance at football games so this is our only chance in marching band season to play something other than the show. For the first hour or two, this was all that we did, but later I got the chance to play the bass drum in drum line and that was when things really started getting fun. The bass drums didn’t feel that heavy, but after you kept them on for too long, your lower back starts to hurt. This was the first time that I got to play a bass drum and have actual, predetermined music to play. The four base drums all kind of work together to make a layer of music. Oftentimes, one bass drum part doesn’t make much sense by itself because each drum only produces one pitch, but when all of the bass drums are playing their unique parts together, it can sound like a single bass drum playing one part, but with different pitches.

I had a lot of fun playing at the Disney Marathon and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

 

 

Food Adventures (to be updated!)

Sometimes the best meals can be hot kimchi soup paired with a silver spoon or a thick burger with your bare hands as the only utensil. In my experience, the tastiest food is always when you’re having fun. Thus my food adventures were born, ranging from fast food, fancy food and foreign food. It’s been pretty awesome trying all of these places, enjoy!

chirashi

I ordered this at the Bento’s located in the Doctor Phillip’s area. It was called “chirashi” on the menu and best food to ever exist” in my heart. You can see that it’s basically a sushi bowl with vinegar sticky rice, an assortment of raw fish, seaweed salad, cucumbers, ginger and wasasbi. This bowl was around $12 and if you order only two types of fish, you can get it for less. I feel like you get more out of this bowl than buying a $12 sushi roll, just because it’s more filling and you can get an assortment of fish without having to buy five different sushi dishes. Sometimes raw fish can make people feel queasy but if you think of it as the freshest fish can get, it might make consuming this bowl a little easier.

mamak

As you can tell from the picture, this is a dish from a place called mamak that specializes in Asian street food. You can find this place in the downtown area with a large asian population. ( Basically it’s located in Orlando’s Asiantown and I can’t tell you the exact place but I can name some nearby street names like Bumby road, Mills avenue and East Colonial Drive, also you can’t miss the place, the sign is huge and yellow.) Mamak really focuses on food from Malaysia and Thailand opposed to the more well-known Asian food such as Korean barbecue, Vietnamese Pho, Japanese Sushi and Chinese takeout. (lol) I think it’s great that Orlando is getting more food diverse, my pocket sure doesn’t but pockets can’t talk, thankfully. Back to the food! What I ordered here is the coconut curry, a house favorite. I might be biased because I loooooooove curry but let me tell you, this dish was the bomb. Not only was the food good but the interior design was modern and gave a really nice, industrial vibe. This was probably about $10-12 and absolutely worth it. (Also be weary of ordering the ramen here, my friend ordered ramen soup and it looked really pretty but tasted like instant ramen noodles, except watered down.)

izziban

I can’t leave out Korean barbecue, a staple food in my diet. The barbecue featured in the picture was at Izziban, a place that served Korean barbecue and Japanese sushi. You can find other places to have Korean barbecue in Orlando, such as Shin Jung or Korea House. You can get the all-you-can-eat barbecue booth deal for $25 and not only can you order barbecue, they also give you the options of basic sushi rolls, miso soup, edamame (soybeans in the pod) and crab rangoon/ragoon/lagoon (Seriously, I’ve seen so many variations of the name, get your stuff together, delicious crispy dumpling shell stuffed with cream cheese and crab meat!!!) The cool thing about Korean barbecue is that you get to cook it yourself, there is a grill in the middle of the table and they provide you tongs. Usually you also get an assortment of side dishes like pickled radish, kimchi and lettuce. Korean barbecue has a really distinct taste, so you’re going to ave to try it yourself. My parents have made this at home so you can just save money and cook it at the comfort of your home but I really do recommend to just go for the experience. Also don’t forget to ask for the fermented soybean paste.

thai

This was what I had for my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, I can’t recall the name of this place but it was in the same area as the Mamak restaurant above. This was a small Thai place with a very authentic mom and pop vibe. I was immediately excited to eat at this place because we got to sit at an elevated booth/table combination. We ordered pad Thai, noodles, Asian coleslaw, a mini wrap dish thingy and a nice spicy soup, along with the meat sticks pictured above. Like Korean barbecue places, we got to grill our food ourselves, except these came with cute little mini grills and the meat was already cooked, the grill was if you wanted it more well done. We finished the meal with a mango and warm coconut rice dish. This place was awesome, I’ll update if I can find the name!

  • Marilyn Nguyen, January 10 2016

 

 

Magic Kingdom on New Year's eve, a couple of minutes away from 2016.

Slice of Life-Disney

I am going to write about Disney seeing as I go very often. Disney is the happiest place on Earth is what everyone says and it truly is. I have been thinking about why I love Disney compared to other theme parks I have been to or know about. Here is why, it is a magical place. Every time I go, I feel like there is butterflies in my stomach. I never get tired of Disney because they have so much to offer. They have from Flower and Garden festival at Epcot in Spring to Frozen summer at Hollywood Studios to Food and Wine festival (minus the wine, I only go for the food and concerts series) at Epcot.

There is so much to do! Even without those events, you can still go on a variety of rides at Magic Kingdom to visiting and learning about the world at Epcot to learning the backstage life at Hollywood studios to learning about and having interactions with animals at Animal Kingdom. There is so much to  do just at the theme parks alone.

Then there are the two water parks- Typhoon Lagoon (currently closed until March) and Blizzard Beach (currently open). Both water parks are so unique and fun in their own way. If you want a more relaxed family feel, go to Typhoon Lagoon but if you want more water slides and thrill go to Blizzard Beach. To add onto more fun things to do, there is Disney Springs which has a movie theater, Disney Quest (this will be closing this year so hurry up if you haven’t been!), Cirque Du Soleil, and many shops to go and look around in.

Even though most of these things aren’t free, there is also  a lot to do for free at the Disney World resort. You can take a trip on the monorails for fun and look around in the lobbies of hotels. You can even get a free lei form the Hawaiian themed hotel located near Magic Kingdom.

There is just so much to do and that is one reason why I love Disney. The other reason is they never let you lose the magic of entering and having a special day at the parks. I may just go to see one concert during Food and Wine festival or I may go for a couple of hours to one of the parks for fun. Whatever it is, I always feel fulfilled at the end of the day just because of how the cast members treat everyone, they always want to make your visit one of the best days you have every had.

Also just entering the park is fun because when I enter the parking lot, the people at the pay booth are always so sweet and the people guiding traffic into parking spaces dance or do something silly. When you actually enter the park it is like you are taken into a whole other universe of fun and happiness.

This is why I like Disney the most, they go out of their way to make sure there is a lot to do and that every visit is perfect. Thanks you Disney for making everything a bit more magical.

Carry On in Review

The latest book to be written by author Rainbow Rowell, Carry On, is, in my opinion, the very best of her work to date. This novel was actually first mentioned in another of Rowell’s books, Fangirl. In Fangirl the main character is writing a fanfiction called Carry On, Simon about a made up series of books, the Simon Snow series, which are sort of a parody of Harry Potter. Throughout Fangirl snippets of Carry On, Simon and other fanfiction stories written by the main character are show, which gave reader just the first glimpse into Simon Snow’s World of the Mage’s. Evidentially, the characters and unfinished story weren’t enough for Rowell, since she has recently released a full novel version of this fanfic, Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow.

                I know, I know, this is fairly confusing. I did just mention four different books and book series, two of which don’t actually exist and two that do, one being base off the nonexistent ones. But despite the confusing chronology of these stories, Carry On is currently my favorite book. It tells the story of Simon Snow, possibly the most powerful and most unskilled magician in the World of the Mage’s. He’s training at the most prestigious of magic schools, Watford, but he has bigger things lying in the future. Simon has been destined to save the whole world of magic from a mysterious being known as The Insidious Humdrum, an evil creature that has been devouring the world’s magic. And on top off all that, Simon’s evil, possible vampire, roommate Baz has not shown up for school. Simon just knows that he’s up to no good, probably plotting a way to kill him like last year. And the year before that. And before that. And before that.

But thing change when the ghost of Baz’s mother appears to Simon looking for Baz, to tell him how to find her true killer. And then Baz mysteriously return to Watford, refusing to tell anyone where he’s been. Simon knows he needs to help Baz avenge his mother, but can he survive teaming up with his nemesis? And more importantly, can he save the entire world of magic? These questions and many more are answered in the tale of love, betrayal, and sacrifice that is Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow.

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Photo Source: Amelia Haig, 2016

A Slice of Life:The Magic Lives On

 

One of the most important days in my life may seem quite odd to most people. It is a moment that only true book lovers, only someone as big of a nerd as myself could understand. That moment was when I saw the final movie in the Harry Potter series. I know this might not sound like such a big deal but to me, it was the ending of an era. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II came out in late summer of 2011. I was less than a month away from turning twelve, meaning I was still coping with the trauma of not receiving my letter from Hogwarts.

But regardless of my owl-less summer, I was over the moon with excitement. I was so ready to see this movie, to see the finale of the wizarding world (though I had already read the books and knew the ending), but I was also incredibly sad. Harry Potter was my first book series. I can remember my mom reading the first book to me, then being able to read them on my own. I had read and reread the books, seen the movies enough times to recite them by heart, and spent long car trips listening to the audio books for the billionth time. These stories were my entire childhood. I had grown up with these characters. And now, it was ending. The last page, final chapter, hoping for a happily ever after for my best fictional friends.

I can remember going to the theater, shaking with excitement, (literally shaking, I almost spilled my popcorn on the lady in front of me). Once the final credits had rolled, the popcorn was long gone, and everyone else was filing out, the finality of it all hit me. It’s done. It’s over. No more movies, no more books, no more new stories about the Golden Trio saving the world

But it’s not, the story of this series continues as more people discover these books and create new ways to express their love for the boy who lived. And with the recent announcement of a new movie in the Potter universe, it’s the most amazing thing to know that the magic is still alive.  FullSizeRender

Photo source: Amelia Haig, 2015

The selection series review

Book review on The Selection series;

The Selection series was a fictional love story or triangle including the characters America, Maxon,and Aspen. Those three along with like the rest of the selected girls. This series was quite interesting and filled with romance and passion. The thing I like about this series is that there a good amount of romance along with “politics” if you will. Basically America is one of the selected girls and amongst one of the Prince’s favorite. Throughout the series America always confused on who she loves but she clearly expresses her feelings about how her country and its government. She gets plenty of chances to express her opinions but feels intimidated with the power given to her.
One word to describe the character of America Singer is complex. Her decisions throughout the books are believable and interesting. My favorite scenes throughout the series include when America has heart to heart conversations with Prince Maxon or Aspen. Even though I don’t necessarily think it’s right to play with two boys feelings at the same time, I actually do believe that she loves both of them. Different kinds of love of course. (Who could blame her though? they’re both awesome!!!) She’s young and confused and I totally understand her situation. She’s very indecisive like a normal teenage girl. I definitely admire her passion though.
Overall, I would recommend this book to those who love a nice, cute love story. There was not a single thing I disliked about this series. It was almost too cute to handle. And, if i’m being honest, while reading these books I felt like I was falling in love with the characters myself. I would most definitely reread this series over and over. I just can’t get enough. I strongly encourage everyone to read this series!

Slice of life:Family Outing

Sometimes, when my dad tells me we are going out I just want to stay at home and sleep. I’m pretty sure everybody gets in the “Stay at home and lay down all day” mood and it’s not only me, but when your grandparents start giving you disappointed looks you know it’s time to shut up and do what they tell you to do.

This time around we went to the Orlando Science Center and I really was not that excited. Don’t get me wrong I love going to museums and the like, but if you go once to the Orlando Science Center  you’ve basically seen it all and there’s nothing new.IMG_20160102_132941.jpg

So we went in and saw the laser show (which was really awkward in my opinion) and my little brother didn’t really like it,  I found that hilarious since that’s the type of thing he watches on YouTube. So, five minutes in he just screams “Mommy, I don’t like it can we get out?” and then my stepmom freaks out and tells him to be quiet and watch it since we went in for him.

When we got out we browsed for awhile and saw some of the science games. We played with my brother ,and my grandparents enjoyed all the things they had to show.

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It was actually nice to see the things again and see my little brother enjoying himself so I wasn’t really bored. I think there were actually a couple of new things, but for the kids, like a little park on the entrance and we got to see the science show which was new to me.

But my favorite part was the little puzzle table with things to solve which was hard for me ( Even though it is for little kids) and I got really  excited when I solved 2 of the three puzzles.

When we headed home I realized I did  not get bored and enjoyed my time with my family, we had fun family quality time.

*All images were taken from my phone in the Orlando Science Center.

  • Mariana Quintero.

A Fresh Start.

new years eve 2016As winter break is coming to an unfortunate end it also leads to a new beginning. A new beginning as a student, as a daughter, as a sibling, and as a person.

2015 had it’s ups and downs but 2016 will be a year of ups. This break I’ve learned so much more about myself and got a chance to focus on what’s important to me and those around me. With school always being a major priority in my life it’s hard sometimes to keep tabs with relatives or even those who live with me. Last year I found myself becoming unmotivated and just going with the flow, which is not like me at all. I needed to sit down and really think about what I wanted in my life.

I always love a new year because (as cliche as it is) it means I get a fresh start. A full calendar year to try something new, make resolutions and ultimately become a better person. This year I want to just give everything 110%. I want to work harder in school, make more of an effort to spend time with my family, become a better YouTuber, and just see myself grow.

Not everyone is for resolutions, trust me I know. I’ve seen those comments all over the internet about how stupid resolutions are because they always get broken within the first week of a new year. Well I say resolutions are GREAT! They give a sense of hope, a chance to break bad habits and form new ones. Resolutions give a person something to look forward to, like a light in a dark tunnel.

Who am I OR who are you to say that someone is going to be the exact same way they were a year ago? That decision is completely up to them.

So when you feel like you’re stuck being the same lame person you were a year ago remember that you can be the change you want to see. Also remember that actions speak louder than words so you should get up and make those things happen! All talk does nothing.

  • Angelina Serena Hamid

 

Slice of Life:Changing with Copic’s

Recently for Christmas, I received a set of markers. I know, it sounds rather strange. Instead of the latest iPhone or a hoverboard, I asked for a set of markers. However, these markers are special.  The set I received cost around 100 dollars and is called the “Ciao Copic Markers 24 PC Basic Set.”I know a Crayola set or BIC set of markers are way cheaper in comparison, but the markers I got are known as “Copic”. They are top quality alcohol based markers that are renowned in the Japanese manga making industry. I know what I’m conveying  is similar to saying, ” I want to go to Harvard University because I read that Harvard is the best college in the U.S.” I didn’t want Copic’s because of it’s expensive price tag or prestige, I wanted Copic’s because I’m passionate about moving my art to the next level.

Getting new art supplies absolutely thrills me.Knowing that I am able to further myself as an artist motivates me to work harder. As I am progressing my skills, I feel like the quality of art supplies progresses as well. I’m not saying that you can’t be great artist if you don’t have stellar supplies, but for me personally, I want to be able to experience all mediums possible. To be well rounded is important in any field.

Basically, Copic’s are just another change of medium to help improve myself.

On Christmas Day, I ended up sketching all day long. I decided to make a comparison between BIC and Copic. I prefer the Copic’s due to its rich color and flexibility with the nib. The BIC set is great, however it shows more streaks and has a unsaturated look to it.

Also, I decided to drop an extra sketch for fun. I enjoy my Copic’s in the meantime, but I hope to progress to my next set of art supplies soon.

*All Photo’s are produced by me and were taken by my phone.

 

 

 

 

The Thanksgiving day journey

Thanksgiving is a time when families close and distant rejoice in their good fortune. Our normal schedules are halted and we prepare for reunification. As a family we not only get a chance to intensify the depth of our bonds but to strengthen the foundation upon which they are built; in doing so we gain insight about each others lives. However is it truly necessary to stay stationary upon such a day? Unlike the millions of families in America who sit down to enjoy thanksgiving my family and I went on a journey to St. Augustine.

The two-hour venture from Orlando to St. Augustine was spent munching on snacks and engaging one another in talks about childhood memories. For example, my grandparents talked about the time I was in the midst of devouring a whole jar of salt at their house. They also shared insight on my mom. How she was very active or how she played volleyball in her youth. My grandmother and mother traded curry recipes while my grandfather and father conversed on recent events and politics. My brother and I sat in the back admiring the scenery. He was very excited to see St. Augustine  and almost “lost his marbles” when my mom told him about the beach and tour train.

As we arrived at St. Augustine we were greeted my an impressive structure. When we got closer we realized it was a fort. To be exact, it was the Castillo De San Marcos national monument. As a family we explored the perimeter of the monument and posed for pictures. Later we visited Vilano beach. At the beach we collected sea shells and soaked in the water. After getting cleaned up we had our thanksgiving day feast there. However, being culturally diverse, we ate yellow rice with a variety of curries and salad instead of the traditional turkey. We talked to each other and gave thanks for this amazing day. Later we packed up and headed home. On our way back I realized that being with your family deserves as much praise as having one.

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