A throwback to hosting my very first interview with the Spartans. Thank you, Kristen, for your genuine responses!
Trinity Western women’s soccer star Kristen Sakaki sits down with Hazal Senkoyuncu to chat about her soccer career, her three years as a Spartan and Mario Kart’s “Rainbow Road.” (November 2018, TWU Spartans)
2018 was my ride or die. It was full of moments that left me in awe, put my capabilities in a trial, overwhelmed me with joy and with its last bit, challenged me with deep sadness as well.
I love the photoblogs because it has always been hard for me to see the small successes. As I looked through these moments, I said to myself, “I did all this?“. Believe me, there were a lot of question marks, not just one.
As always, thanks to the many friends I made along the way.
Tom Hardy’s performance is so powerful in Sony’s Venom that it almost makes you overlook the other half of Eddie Brock (Hardy), the much anticipated, and animated Venom. Hardy’s performance is almost too good! At times it is tough for his character to blend in with the storyline that is running ahead of him.
Moreover, you can tell that Director Ruben Fleischer is meant to work on the film if we reference his previous work with Zombieland (1 and 2), the Gangster Squad. Fleischer takes the film to a different level which I am still uncertain if I really like. Venom is one of the tougher Marvel comics to present on the big screen—Portraying the corky/laid-back (Wait. Deadpool, is that you?) journalist and an alien that acts like He’s from a horror movie housed on the same body –in somewhat of harmony— is tough business.
Venom is definitely different (and better) than your typical superhero action movie. The movie could pass as an intense thriller with numerous slapstick scenes here and there, which resembles Fleischer’s work as a director. Overall, it is a uniquely (take the word as you wish) directed film with an excellent performance from Hardy. I would not have given Venom such a high rating if it wasn’t for the actor’s performance.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The production quality of the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse screams so much more than the movie itself. The visuals are vibrant, captivating, and different in such a good way. Hats off to the animators for showing us guys the comic world through a new set of lenses—What an experience!
The representation of Miles Morales’ ethnicity is genuine and real—The choices of the soundtrack, the family dynamic and the conversations in between the characters deeply represents the world of this new teenager we are all meeting for the first time on screen. There are so many ‘yes!’ moments in the movie: Clever monologues, the representation of Peter Parker as a role model (anyone else notice the difference to the Comic Code?), an appearance of Stan Lee, and the overall message: “Anyone can be Spider-Man”. Beautiful… groundbreaking. I love it.
Why didn’t it get a 10/10 rating from me? I think featuring all the other Spider Marvel characters took the spotlight away from Miles Morales. Yes, MCU—Now that you introduced them, you have material to produce. But, could I have had some more quality screen time with Miles? Yes.
I dreaded writing again today even though the creative Hazal was knocking on the walls of my brain. That is the girl with long wavy hair who wears a nice shade of pastel mint t-shirt and a violet pleated skirt. She is very bubbly and wants to play. She didn’t have any space at all to exist in this fairly large room in me, it’s been occupied with a load of black and white documents. It hasn’t been fun. But it feels great to have a little more space to be me, again. Let’s welcome the creative girl, and let her tell you why she has been so happy and excited the past few days…
I found myself sitting in a car, being driven to Seattle, WA, for no reason that involves me directly. I will not get into any detail on that. However, because of this trip, I was looking for Christmassy things to do while we were there and came across the annual Seattle Winterfest. Set the GPS, and here we went. The Winterfest as a whole was nothing fancy, all I saw was—a very talented orchestra of high school students playing festive songs and a small indoor skating facility. I was not impressed by what they called a festival as a whole, but the building right across this festival was the MoPOP, meaning the Museum of Popular Culture.
Let me tell you how excited I felt purchasing my ticket (with an additional charge of $5 to see the Marvel Exhibition), and what a treasure this place was for a Media and Communications student to spend not only 3 hours (as I did), but a whole day (as I wished I did).
Looking from the outside, the maroon-purple building is compelling and makes you wonder what could actually be inside. Is it a circus? A venue? That is practically how I ended up walking in without reading any signs at all. Later, I found out that the riveting building was designed by the one and only Frank O. Gehry. Entering in, I quickly realize I was meant to be here. The 80s pop music, the minimalistic black/brown décor (if I recall it right still), and the kind staff who seem to like their job, pull you in fairly quickly.
Giving my ticket to the attendant, I enter the main lobby: A gigantic screen that covers the whole width of the main wall, and I watch Michael Jackson trying to convince this chick next to him that the movie they are watching is actually not that scary. Ahh… Thriller is about to play. A classic. I place myself on a comfy red-round seat and relax, watching the whole music video since I spent the whole day walking. Feeling content, I walk towards my right, see a set of stairs, and walk down the stairs instead of seeing the first floor first. By the time I finish the first half of the stairs, I read the words “to those who have looked to the stars, and wondered” … I keep walking, then read, “your journey begins here”.
Ah… Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction, the other side of the door looks very dark. Here we go!…? I walk around in an atmosphere that is similar to the inside of a spaceship that is in power saving mode, of course (meaning, there were very minimal lighting across all platforms). The exhibit is home to illustrations and texts written by the authors of Sci-Fi legends as well as iconic pieces from their on-screen adaptations. The pieces are from many stories we are familiar with, such as the Star Wars series, Star Trek series, the Fifth Element (1997), Dune (1965), H.G. Wells’ the War of the Worlds (2005) and the Blade Runner (1982-2017). One that stays with me the most is looking at the life-sized T-800 endoskeleton from the Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), it is definitely challenging to stare at the figure more than 20 seconds in the dark room even though I know there are a bunch of people walking around me. I am certain if I stared at it long enough, I would be able to see its red eyes moving, not to mention that the Terminator was a childhood nightmare as it was one of my parents’ favorite movie. I am surprisingly relieved as I take a couple more steps to my right to see Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leather jacket, right next to the T-800.
The exhibit revolves around the idea that the initial purpose of the Sci-Fi worlds is to let the author express himself bluntly through an outside world and its outsider-creatures. Through creating these worlds that seem so different than the earth, the author(s) is able to illustrate the negative aspects of humanity without offending the readers. So, all the disgusting aliens that we read about… actually, mirror us.
Although seeing the familiar pieces and being able to read the progression of the stories through the personal notes of the author’s had been more than enough for me, the interactive component of the exhibit is also valuable to the experience. I was able to choose any imaginary planet from the Sci-Fi world and examine a holographic vision of it 360 degrees all around, I also explored what it felt like to be sitting inside a spaceship, staring at the zillion buttons I would not know what to do with.
Wishing the Infinite Worlds exhibit had more pieces to observe, I walk away feeling content. I try to find my way around the building until I come across a gigantic wooden door. I read the text that has the very same font as a childhood book of Snow White I can easily recall: “What awaits you on the other side of the door? An enchanting forest. A sleeping dragon. A silver-scaled tree. A giant dragonfly. Unlikely heroes and dark forces.” Oh, that feels home! I realize that I make it to the exhibit, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.
Before seeing all the pieces from the movies, I adore, I read through the Archetypes of Fantasy. Later along the exhibit, I realize how useful knowing the archetypes is to deeply understand the components of a story of magic. The archetypes form the pieces of the puzzle that create the riveting story. The Unlikely Hero? Ronald Weasley? Yes, sounds about right! The atmosphere in the exhibit feels right in all the ways possible. A sound effect that reminds me of magic, almost like stars shining and birds chirping at the same time, and subtle lighting that reminds me of a thousand candles being lit, creating space for me to stare at a witches’ ball on a corner of the room.
Moreover, the exhibit contains props, costumes and figures from our silver screen favourites such as the Princess Bride (1987), Conan the Destroyer (1985), Harry Potter (1997-2017), the Lord of the Rings (2001-2003), Narnia, the Legend of Zelda (1986-2018) and a favourite of my best friends—an ancient copy (1974, to be exact) of the iconic game, Dungeons and Dragons!
A favorite moment is seeing Judy Garland’s iconic costume from the Wizard of Oz. Ah, and the black pointy hat that melted right after Garland poured a big bucket of water on the green lady… that was there too! The lady? She was the wicked witch. What a moment of joy seeing Garland beat her up (theoretically, with a bucket of water), and she was able to go back home, to Kansas. I remember watching the very same movie at the age of 5-6 at my grandmother’s house. It was the only movie that would play constantly in one of the channels. Wouldn’t matter the time you turn the TV on, the Wizard of Oz would always be airing. You see it was like Netflix without the choice click cancel, and I would watch it over and over and over again.
Another highlight of the exhibit, again, is seeing the creative process of the authors. A book series that I enjoyed as a 13-year-old middle schooler was the great story of Eragon. I’ve read about the author still being a teenager when he wrote the books, but I never imagined him being 15 years-old. The exhibit shows hand-written notes of Paolini as well as a selection of edits from his publisher. It was a privilege to be able to observe the text so clearly and closely and become a part of the artistic process.
I walk out of the same wooden door. I am sure there is a proper way to exit, but I really want to go through the door again, taking me back to the world without magic. I leave, with my heart feeling full.
I would recommend visiting the MoPOP to all ages (with a parent’s assistance for certain exhibitions) and support the museum financially if you are able to do so. My creative-self was so happy to be present in the moment surrounded by all the things that could possibly inspire me the most. I hope to go back for a longer visit and experience this all again. I was also able to see the Marvel Exhibit, that was extraordinary, and it would require me to write another blog post for such a well-presented exhibit. Let me know if you would like to read about it, and comment below if you have any questions about your upcoming MoPOP visit!
Anxiety was a new friend that I could easily understand it came to stay a while. It became an old friend that visits a little too often, too quickly. I have read about it, and I thought “this is not a mental illness, they are over exaggerating”. Stress comes and goes, but when it starts to show up a little too often than usual, it drags you down and introduces you to its good friend: Anxiety.
Anxiety must have many forms that I have not experienced, but here are a few that I have:
Wake up. 1 a.m. It’s okay. Close your eyes. Wake up. 1.30 a.m. It’s okay. Wake up. 2.20 a.m. It honestly is fine. Close your eyes. Wake up. 3.10 a.m. I am getting worried. But. It’s fine. Close your eyes. It’s fine. 3.20 a.m. It’s okay. 3.25 a.m. My heart is pounding. It’s okay. 3.30 a.m.…
I need to be alone right now. He/she keeps talking. I’ll leave in 2 minutes. This topic of conversation is something that I really don’t want to listen. It’s been a while now, I can leave. My stomach really doesn’t feel good. I really don’t want to hear it, it makes me feel bad. I’ll leave now. I don’t want to come off as rude. My heart is pounding. I can’t stand it. It’s okay. My stomach really doesn’t feel good. I’ll leave now. It’s okay. I don’t know how to say it.
It’s been 3 hours. I cannot sleep. My body is so tired I just really need a little bit of rest. My heart keeps pounding. Why doesn’t it stop? I just really feel like crying. It’s dark and I don’t know what to do.
I assure you, this is not an easy business. I have been through emotional eating, periods of crying and locking myself in my room so I wouldn’t have to deal with it, and It has been a long time until I realized that a lot of the behavior was caused by anxiety, the bad friend.
Here is something anxiety likes, at least my individual friend, and that is CBD Oil. Since Canada legalized Cannabis last month and it took over the news pretty rapidly, I was hoping to experiment with the Cannabidiol Oil and write a blog review. So, here it is.
I searched CBD Oil on Amazon and picked up the Amazon’s choice product (CB2 Cannanda). As usual, it was shipped to my doorstep within 2 days (I am not advertising anything whatsoever, all humanity will agree that Amazon is the best at their game). Opening the product, I was sketched out because it did not have any how-to-use guide or recommended dosage, so I had to do my own research. Later, I found out that I could trust the brand as I checked their website.
I started with 1-2 drops every time that I felt the anxiety. Common signals that said, “take it!” for me was feeling angry, clashing my teeth, inability to sleep (those usually happened around exam times). I would say that I was taking it once a week to 2-3 times a week at the most.
The Result: It helped me significantly. As someone who has never taken medication for anxiety relief, I came to be very thankful for using CBD Oil. It is important to be mindful that it is not a magic cure and individual responses will vary, however, I was able to receive a calming response from it. It seems to lower the heart-pounding effect of anxiety, and clears my mind, taking it away from the negative thoughts that regularly race in my brain leading up to important events.
Side Effects: I personally did not experience any side effects after the first couple of uses. However, during your first couple days and/or if taken higher dosages here are a couple things you might experience.
Cloudy feeling/brain fog (or as some may describe, drowsiness)
Indifference in facial muscles ONLY in higher doses (I wouldn’t know how to describe this, I experienced a tingly feeling on my mouth when I smiled, weird, hey?)
Tingly feeling (If applied on the skin for pain relief)
Anxiety Relief: 3.5/5
Response Time: Approx. 15 mins
I called Anxiety a friend because I learned it the hard way that if you don’t come to love and accept the parts of you that do not necessarily do good to you, they start taking up a lot of negative space in your mind and body. Anxiety is my friend that I am trying to help right now. Friends come and go, and Anxiety won’t stay for long once we take care of what’s been making it a little more sad than usual.
CBD Oil seemed to be working for me, and I recommend giving it a try if you are looking for a natural way to relieve anxiety. Let me know on the comments below how you deal with anxiety and your review of any CBD oil.
I came here to say that I appreciate your support and readership that you have given me over the years. As you may have noticed, I have not been writing. I am painfully stuck in a semester of university that is hard (even for me) to handle.
Please bare with me as I finish up with my finals. I am so excited to create content for you and let my mind flourish. Even though my soul misses this platform, unfortunately, now is not the time for my epic comeback yet.
The answer is actually quite simple. But, you wouldn’t read the whole article if I gave it to you right away. Unless—
You are one of those people who flips the book, reads the very last page, –it is usually something like this “And, they walked away, holding each other’s hands tightly”—, literally is now shocked that the two main characters actually saved the world together walking off to a different planet, flips back to the first chapter, keeps reading.
Who are you?
I am caught up in the middle of everything. I am sure you know the feeling. Waking up too early, running in no fuel, sleeping too early, not sleeping, doing this for that, doing that for your co-worker, doing, literally doing something all the damn time.
Brain overloaded. In my case, I cannot properly speak the only two languages I know—especially my mother tongue. Words, words, words… what are those things?
You want to be in place A but expected to be in place B.
You want to pursue your dreams but expected to live enough to survive.
You want to say something but can’t oversee the consequences.
I am sure every single old person you met told you this golden rule of life: Everybody dies. They probably didn’t tell you this: Some kill themselves and some kill the ones they love the most. They commit the biggest crime in this life alone, push until they burst, snap or tear.
The online world is occupied with what other people do, where they go to eat, what they wear, how they consume. My world consists of those with ambitions who have endless goals and just as much greed and anger. Just maybe, the pure love that expects commitment. Death. Words. I start clashing my teeth. The society I see needs a reality check.
Let’s jump to the part about why you were reading this whole thing.
Follow me: It’s you. In you.
Do what makes you, you. (Maybe avoid major decisions, like me). Find that One to talk to. And, you will live forever.
(As you already know, writing is my therapy. Thank you for listening.)
The same old title that you have read about 10 times right after you finish that yummy bar of chocolate? And potentially leaned over to grab some more?…
The same old title that you have read about 10 times right after you realize pushing yourself to your limit doesn’t seem to help what you see in the mirror anymore? Be it losing fat or seeing new curves… or simply growing the guns.
Or you are like me… Recovering from an injury, or just been too long into the “healthy living” trend that you couldn’t care less anymore… yet it’s a struggle to get up from the couch sometimes.
Well, whoever you are, I hope this article finds you well and gives you hope that you can just do it.
Short bio:I grew up with ballet and horseback riding, later fell in love with running and fitness. I prepped for a bodybuilding show 3 years ago and was a member of UKBFF. I trained powerlifting style, and later, tried CrossFit for a short period of time (up until the famous injury). I aim to obtain my minor in Human Kinetics very soon. Although I do not have any certificates, I have a great interest in fitness and loving my body for all that it does. Please take the advice as you need it!
There is no finish line.
Whenever I go on a run using my Nike Running app, it says this: “Remember: There is no finish line, and you’ll just keep getting better”, I oddly find peace when I hear this.
One thing that I see a lot of people do when they first start working out, or the “cutting phase” is that they start FAST, and they finish FAST. It sounds like the right thing to do, right? Sadly, that’s a no.
If you have been sedentary all your life (or e.g. for the past 2-3 months), your body is not going to magically lose weight when you start running 5 times a week. It’s actually more likely that your body is going to be like “What the hell, dude?”. At that point, your body doesn’t know how to properly recover for your next activity because you are basically tiring your muscles, slowly damaging your metabolism and wearing yourself out. The “go all out” method might work for a few weeks or a month, but the second that you need to push yourself further, you will quickly realize that there’s no further left, and you have already used your body to its limits.
What should you do? When you start working out or start a cut, start slowly and build up the momentum. Start two times a week, add a third workout next week. Cut your extra slice of bread from your breakfast and next week, switch up the pasta lunch with a tuna salad. Don’t do it all at the same time. Give your body some time to adjust the new activities and recover from them to positively affect your health.
One of the greatest advice that I was given: I and my body will be on a long journey together. Changes take time to adjust, and we have a lifetime to do it just right. Love your body, train because you love your body.
It’s a long run and you know that you don’t want to wear yourself out too quickly. Love what you do, more love will follow.
If you are a newbie, read this.
I could not tell you how important it is for you to read these words. I just started to a new gym full of buff dudes myself and it actually is intimidating to walk around them. It might seem like you have nothing in common with all the ‘fit’ people if you allegedly feel insecure about yourself. And, that’s okay!
In my opinion, training shouldn’t be about other people and how you should only train to show off at the gym. I had a similar conversation with a friend over the phone just an hour ago. I had sent him a video of myself practicing the snatch move (which was shot a few days before I got injured), I told him I missed training like that. He followed up with a question “You are not an athlete, I know that you don’t need to feed your ego… and you are not prepping for a competition. Why did you even bother doing those exercises? You did not need to”. My answer was simple, I usually get bored with endless hours of cardio and Pilates (seems like a lot of girls do enjoy it, and I respect that), and I love doing things that stop my mind from pacing around. I overthink too much, and when I train at a fast pace, it is my remedy.
I think I kind of like the brain fog (and the endorphins, ya know?).
Abs are made in the kitchen, okay, okay. We get it, fine. Unless you are an obsessive freak (flashback to me 3 years ago), you will not be able to make the salad and 0 calorie water life for a long time. I absolutely respect you if you can, but I have seen and experienced first-hand that a lot of restrictive eating brings eating disorders with it. Let me tell you, disorders don’t go away as fast as you would want them to.
What should you do? So, please, have your cake, chocolate, hamburger or whatever your tummy desires BUT… have it in moderation. IIFYM method usually works well to estimate what your body needs and tailor your calories according to that. However, it might sometimes trigger restrictive eating, too. Experiment, and find your own balance. I personally like to eat healthy most of the time. I have a sweet tooth, so I’ll have a couple pieces of dark chocolate or a small piece of cake to fuel my training. Who needs coffee when you have sugar, right?
The take away: Do NOT eliminate any food. Food is your friend. Go out with your friends and have the occasional dessert. The important part? Do NOT beat yourself for it. Move on, keep living.
Find a partner.
Choosing a partner is an important, at times life-changing (hopefully in a good way), and a burdening decision. Many say best friends make great partners. I got to refute this one really quick: My best friend in middle school ruined every diet I have ever started. We would swallow bars of chocolate for every pound we lose for the week. Gain all of that back, feel miserable, eat to feel better, diet, repeat the cycle. One word: BRUTAL.
Not all partners are like that though. Find partners who have similar goals as you. My boyfriend and I met at the gym because we were the only two crazy people who would wake up at 6 am to make it for training before anyone else. We became good friends, woke each other up when one would not, and he became a motivating factor for me to get out of bed and get working. Training partners will push you further, at times create friendly competitions and become your helpers.
Choose one wisely, and when it’s time to let go for your own personal bodily and mental growth, let go, like everything else.Slow down and remember; things change eventually.
Over the coming days, months, years… You will change, and your body will, too. Maybe you started your fitness journey hating running, and one day, all of a sudden, running isn’t so painful anymore. Because last year, all the negative thoughts that you hear in your head only worsened your struggle to put your feet forward. Today, you suddenly started feeling alive, and happy with the wind blowing through your hair.
Much likely, for some reason, you might not be able to do things that you used to do, and that’s okay. Putting your body through stress, overworking, injuries, and more happen. If you are slow and steady, you prohibit a chunk of it. But if life happens, and you need to slow down, find new ways to make old things happen. Take a walk, relax, love your body through all that it has been through.
Times that you feel there is no change? No forward progress? Ask for help, find ways to leave the mental stress (depression, insomnia, anxiety and more causes) behind, do it because you love it (I know I say this a lot), do not get your mind stuck on the scale or other measurements. DO: Measure the positive changes on how YOU feel, keep going. Keep going.
Leave any questions you might have and let me know if you’d want to read a series of posts on health and fitness.
I remember a significant scene of two friends talking in front of the entrance of the gym that I work. One of my co-workers was ranting about the future and how she was getting serious with her boyfriend and she wants (and probably needs) to get married to her boyfriend within the next couple of years. I am usually interested in almost every conversation at work… This one, I half or quarter-listened, it really did not matter to me… up until now.
I am twenty-two, hardly earning enough money to pay for my peanut butter consumption, gym membership and half of the books that my university requires. Apparently, I need to write a thesis this year, what the heck is a thesis? Is there a way to not live with my parents when I graduate? Because I am literally, mentally, and unapologetically done. Oh, and I probably am scared as hell about getting married… Wooow, did I just type that? Okay, let’s stop here.
I have been told by someone that no one can interfere with your life unless you let them. I once was in one of the many unpleasant arguments with a family member, I probably said something like “I am fed up with this, and I want you to stop trying to make me unhappy all the damn time”. She, as always, replied, “It’s your choice to be unhappy, I did not make you”. Just writing this, I still want to punch her face even though I understand the meaning behind the words now.
The TV series “Fi” that I recently started watching revolves around a beautiful dancer and a famous psychiatrist who is obsessively in love with her. He manipulates her life a great deal using his wisdom and money; he changes her career, ruins her relationship and quickly “takes” her to himself. But, I hope you got the hint because even the way I describe it right now is faulty.
No one, I repeat, no one can interfere with your life, cross over your lines, manipulate or change you. No one has the power to do that unless you want them to, or you let them.
After I realized that this is the way it is, the remedy to all of my problems was simple… Trust yourself, trust the Greater Power if you believe, and trust that there’s a plan that only works only for you.
I need to crash the taboos within my own mind. I know you probably have your own, too. All I know is that I will live, but I’ll do it my way.