Saturday, November 13, 2010

This Blog's Title Doesn't Matter

... Nor does anything else while you're reading this.

The other day, in chemistry class, we were made to watch The Cove, an Academy Award nominated and Oscar winning documentary about the dolphin trade and slaughter happening in Taiji, Japan.

Septembers are officially the worst months of  every year. It is when dolphin hunting season begins in Taiji. They're being slaughtered for their meat, being sold as performance animals, or simply killed because they are (as the Japanese fishermen call them,) "pests" that eat too many of the ocean's fish. Scientific research says otherwise, though. The fish are just fine. They are being eaten at just the right pace, thank you very much.

Dolphin meat is poisoned with Mercury, and this is difficult (or impossible, I forget which is accurate,) to get rid of. Not all Japanese people are aware of the fact that they are even exposed to it. Dolphin meat is sold in supermarkets (labeled as FISH meat), almost ended up as part of mandatory school lunches, and is even sold at snack stands at dolphin shows. As if to add insult to injury...

Mercury... wow. It affects the embryos of pregnant women who eat the stuff in dolphin meat. Mercury degrades the nerve endings developing in unborn children. This causes them to be born (if they are lucky enough to be born at all, under the circumstances,) with physical deformities and mental disabilities. Ironically, a Japanese corporation (whose name escapes me right now) is also responsible for poisoning the oceans that dolphins inhabit. But... yes, it's been happening for many decades.

So anyway, see the link down there? It's a Facebook page of the TDAG, the Taiji Dolphin Action Group. If you can support them, it would be awesome. If you can't support them directly, at least try to find some
people who can. That is, please spread the word.

Also, if you would, look for information about a man named Ric O'Barry, who is responsible for the film The Cove. You've probably heard of the iconic dolphin in the movie Flipper. Well, Ric O'Barry was the dolphin trainer of all those separate dolphins who collectively played the character of Flipper. He loves dolphins more than anything else, and more than anyone can. Support him and the cause he... caused.

Actually, forget looking for him. I found him for you. Support!

And the documentary's website.

Please, help us save the dolphins. They've never done anything wrong to us, right? They're apparently smarter than us, very affectionate with us, and even protective of us. Help us protect them as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you leave a comment, I can probably use those to share your thoughts as well. So, yeah. Please leave a comment. Thank you!

-Atom P.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I Mean When I Mean You Harmony

This is all more or less just an excuse to be blogging again, but whatever.

Okay, so it's only over a week since I came out of the closet, which has been slightly ajar for almost 4 years (which was when I told my best friend I was in love with him), and the reactions I've gotten have been nothing but positive. I've been very much afraid of exposing my true self to a world where people within my age group ridicule and gossip about people like me (that is to say, other than straight) when we don't know it.

While in hiding, I've seen what close-minded people are capable of. They snipe and bash whoever they feel don't belong on the same planet they inhabit. It's painful to know that I have friends on both sides of the great social divide. Some of these friends don't know about me yet, since they don't actually read my blog. However they react to this fact that I am not one of them, so to speak, will determine whether they remain my friends or not. I have no intentions of associating myself with prejudiced people who choose to misunderstand those who NEED closets.

That said, I think I should prepare myself for the worst. I know how not to give in to those suicidal urges I had almost 5 years ago. Oh, have I not mentioned that? Yeah, I used to cut myself. Thankfully, the cuts were usually shallow, and healed without leaving a scar. Except for one distinct one on my left wrist, which I look at every time I feel hopeless. It reminds me that I've survived the worst, and things can only get better.

And things are indeed getting better. A few of my relatives know about me, and so do a few of my selected friends (including the two aforementioned guys). They've accepted me for how I am, and it makes me feel like I've made good decisions in friend choice. I worry more about those who haven't found out yet. But as much as I'd hate to lose my friends because of something that I am, as opposed to something that I did, I'd much rather be myself, not changing for anyone else's preference. After all, I'm an artist, and artists value individuality over all else. Those who don't, well... should.

And to finally get to the point of my blog, here's what I mean, when I mean you harmony:

In the same way the beautiful music is created with a combination of different good notes, different good instruments, and different good voices, society must consist of good people, who are all different, and are all capable of complementing each other, not pushing each other away. I want to work on that. I want to have harmony in life, society, and love. I've got the right idol (that being the social and environmental activist Jason Mraz), and I want to be an active supporter. I want people to be supporters as well.

People will be male, female, straight, gay, bi, or any combination of those. They can be of any race, too. Accept them as they are. They probably just want some harmony as well.

Help us attain harmony.
You'll be glad you did.

Thanks for reading. And for caring. And for the virtual cookies you feed me every time you do.

-Atom P.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Maintenance Post

I don't really understand what's going on with me. I'm usually brimming with words that want to be heard and read, but I can't seem to make things coherent enough to actually blog. I haven't blogged in over 2 months! That's how wasted my mind is. The usual suspects are responsible for the delay in my output: laziness, school, uninspired-ness, life in general...

I've been quite frazzled with myself lately. I've been sleeping late, for no reason, listening to the same songs over and over and over and OVER again, not willing to expand my musical vocabulary yet, figuring out what my heart wants while my mind contradicts it all. I'm confused. I'm getting desperate.

I want to get this out in the open once and for all. I'm bi. But I've known love. Like, REAL love. You'll know it's real love when your heart beats slower instead of faster, so that time slows down for you personally when the one you love walks into the room, or into your mind. In my lifetime, I've fallen in love with 2 guys and 2 girls. None of them have returned the affection, so I've currently succumbed to the fact that I'm not ready to have a relationship yet with anybody. Fortunately, one of those guys happened to be my best friend, and although he may not have the capacity to reciprocate the feelings I had (or have) for him, our friendship has remained intact. I am grateful to him for that.

I am also grateful for having the capability of expressing love to whomever I choose. And through experience, I've learned that it doesn't matter if you get love back, as long as you know you're giving it. I think that's a blessing. I say that even though I'm not religious.

I'm happy with what I am. All you homophobes can kiss my ass as I fart my optimism in your faces. Expect some shit along the way, though.

So, matters of the heart aside, there's the matter of who I am. I am a walking contradiction. I'm principled but immature. I'm fat, I'm lazy, I hate to move, but I love to dance. I'm shy, I'm introverted, but I love all my friends. I get stage-fright, but I love to perform. I'm intelligent, but my grades are always low. I'm good at everything, but I'm great at nothing. I wait all night, but I don't know what I'm waiting for. I'm objective, but highly emotional. I solve my own problems by discussing them with my pillows, and pretending that they can talk back to me (even though I'm fully aware that I'm essentially talking to myself, and sometimes I even disagree with myself). I'm probably crazy, but I speak with near-perfect grammar. I manually type the "http://" in the address bar when I surf the internet, I never use shorthand when chatting or texting, but I keep summarizing the world. I'll begin reading 10 different novels and finish less than half of those before I move on to new ones. I've got an affinity for the random, but I think logically.

I'm the blurred line between brilliance and insanity. That's a really, really thin line, people. That just means I'm special. :)

As I'm rereading my blog entry before I post, I realize that this became less of a maintenance post and more
of an exodus from my metaphorical turtle shell. This could be because I know hardly anyone cares enough to read this blog, or because I don't want any of my personal secrets canned up in me anymore. I love life, and I love to laugh, and I love to love the people who deserve it. I'm happy. The people I care about are happy. I'm not gonna waste my time worrying about what everyone else thinks of me.

Within the secrets we hide well,
Our hearts are waiting to reveal
Emotions bursting out to tell
The ones we love just how we feel.

-Atom P.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let's Face It: Physics is F=µN.

If you're done with high school (and I'm willing to bet that 99.9% of you are), then you're familiar, more or less, with the subject of physics. To some, it's that mind-corrupting hour filled with fractions, exponents, and a whole bunch of unheard-of terminologies that are close to meaninglessness. To others, it's an excuse to type in "58008" on their calculators then look at it upside-down. Fortunately for us, we got the pleasure of being taken under the wing of one Miss Arra C. Quitaneg, a young and bubbly professor of NATSC14 (code for "College Physics") at De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).

She had this special touch, an air about her that made our classes fun and exciting. She usually had some toy or trick prepared to catch everyone's attention in class, as if we were all about 10 years old. She wasn't even afraid of sharing with us her love for singing, which many of us in class, including myself, could relate to as Music Production students. I've yet to have a class as much fun as she had made ours.

And as if to tease, she had assigned us, her students, to prepare a physics-related project based on our respective courses. Music Production, Theater Design, Architecture, and others, all had their own agenda.

Yesterday, our class, Miss Arra included, had the pleasure of witnessing each others' talents. It was astounding, to say the least. Here are a few snapshots, taken by my good friend and classmate, a budding professional musician (and photographer, perhaps?), Mel Roño. I suggest you take note of these people's names; they'll most likely be up in lights someday. You'll notice I'm not here, because the camera hates me. (At this point, I laugh at myself.)

The very beautiful and very talented Ms. Andrea Moredo:

School choir members (left to right):  Tenor: Nico Angeles, and Sopranos: Ronica Mae "RM" Mangahas and Ana Almenario

(Left to right,) Class Clown: Nolan Diosana, Walking Jukebox: Alex Salva, and our resident Snapshot Connoisseur, Mr. Nomel Roño himself:

And finally, not to be shown up by her own students, up on stage here is Ms. Arra herself (with Alex loitering in the background). :P

So, all in all, it was a surprisingly fun time of showing off what we could. So much diversity in a single physics class. Plenty of energy to go around. Pun intended.

 F=µN is the equation of Friction, solved by taking the coefficient of static friction (µ, pronounced as "mew") and multiplying it by the Normal Force (N) applied. It's the very first equation I learned in the class. We all should have seen this coming. Is it any coincidence that a solution would be spelled that way?

Classmates, Friends,
NATSC14 is possibly the funnest class I've attended since entering DLS-CSB. I'd like to thank you all for making it memorable and exciting, and hopefully I'll see you guys in future classes.

Ms. Arra,
Thank you very much for taking an allegedly mind-numbing class and livening it up with your sunshiny personality and patience. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that we all had a great time with you as our professor.

I hope to keep seeing you all around campus.

Best wishes,
Atom P.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Whatever Doesn't Kill You...

It's true what those people on TV tell you: "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Except of course if the thing that doesn't kill you turns out to be some chemical substance that destroys your ability to function your voluntary muscles and turns you into a vegetable for the rest of your life, but that's beside the point.

Today, my mom returned from the hospital where she had been confined for a week. She was rushed to the hospital due to... meh... I'll call it "severe fatigue" since that's what everybody chooses to call it. Let it be known, though, that tears were shed, cigarettes were lit, voices were raised, patience and patients were tested, lawyers were called, testimonies were written, constitutional acts were read, and eyes turned red.

Legal action... Yeah. I met an actual lawyer for the first time in my life. Or maybe I've met other lawyers in the past but I was too ignorant to realize they were lawyers. Needless to say, my playthroughs of the entire Ace Attorney game series on the NDS sparked my intrigue in the legal system. I enjoyed reading the act on Violence Against Women and Their Children. Awesome stuff in there.

Hospitals are funny places. People get sick or injured, one way or another. That's unavoidable. The beautiful paradox that is the hospital is the one place where all kinds of drama can ensue. Where else is there a more beautiful, albeit depressing moment, than a boy whose existence on the planet was to be cut short due to a terminal cancer, surrounded by his loving family and friends, with him letting them know that his 15 short years of life were the best anybody on the planet could ask for. Where else could you possibly find a more triumphant moment than a child, nearly drowned at the beach, waking up with her family by her side and realizing that it could all have been just a very bad dream.

Or a mom who overcame her self-inflicted, fear-induced, near-death experience, to continue living and keep on keeping on, to experience all that the world has yet to offer: the tears, the laughs, the pains, the reliefs, the weakening times, and the empowering ones. She may see herself as having failed the family, but we hold nothing against her. Although, it's true, she did fail at the last thing she tried to do... and we're glad she did.

Gravity can't keep birds from flying.
Don't let what brings you down, keep you down.

Much love,
Atom P.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Overture of Me.

Today is Thursday, August 12, 2010. It's 10:54pm (according to my laptop clock). This is the first time I've ever made a blog. I'm trying to keep this as candid as possible, so it feels authentic, spontaneous, and free. Anyway, here's me... Enjoy.

Full name: Andrew Thomas Mendoza Portillo
Birth Date: January 4, 1990.
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Country of Origin: Philippines
Height: 5'6"
Blood Type: A
Hobbies: Music, Video Games, Badminton, TV, Singing, Pokémon (kiddish, I know), and loving life.

- Atom P.