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Considering the fact that I haven’t posted anything since Halloween, it’s probably safe to say that I’m a terrible blogger and I’m bad at commitment.

There have been so many things that had happened in 2014 and I’m grateful for everything that has happened to me, both good and bad. One thingĀ that I don’t really tell people about is my calendar. I would love to have a journal and be able to write all my thoughts into it, but based on my blog, I would procrastinate on writing journal entries. So, I’ve created a different method with my calendar. Each day, I write a very short sentence or list a few things that had happened: tests, projects, birthdays, parties, anything. Looking back at it, I’m amazed at how things have changed and the different people I’ve met (I actually wrote down the time and day I met a person because I believe that you’ll never know when you meet them again)

The boy kneeling in the picture was me! So much has changed!!!

The boy kneeling in the picture was me! So much has changed!!!

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Scarecrow Costume Tutorial

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnn!

This is probably one of my favorite and stressful days of the year šŸ˜€ I love to see the creativity of other people’s costumes. This is a great day to be with your friends, go trick or treating, and be your childish, silly self. This day is also fairly stressful because of costume choices. I had planned out my costume since Halloween of 2013, but my diligence kind of died November of 2013 and I had to rush a costume on October 30th. Oops? And this year, I decided to be (drumroll) a scarecrow!!!

Yes, yes I know – so original.

And you can probably tell from the title of this blog that the tutorial will start….NOW!

This is what it looks like with all the pieces of the costume:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I just realized that I took the picture at a slant and now it looks like I have a tiny upper body and freakishly large legs (this blog is already failing…)

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Tumbling in Google Images and Insta-fines

Hi guys!

When I started blogging, Mr. Theriault, my English Honors 2 teacher, told the class to use large pictures for blog posts. He also said something that I still remember about today: copyrights and fines. He had said that we were using these blogs for “educational purposes” and that we would be fined for “educational purposes,” making it seem like fining students for a learning process look ridiculous. I wasn’t very satisfied with that answer. So, hopefully in this blog post, I’ll be able to elaborate more on this subject and Ā prevent other bloggers from being fined.

Mr. Theriault lightly touched on this subject, which inevitably got me interested on how I should protect myself and how to warn others of carelessly using images. The main go-to source bloggers useĀ for pictures is Google Images. I used this simple and easy tool as well, but I read a blog post by Roni Loren that helped me earn a better understanding of how bloggers can get sued for using copyrighted photos Ā According to the “Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog” (wow… this title is way too long, but at least it’s straightforward?), there are multiple mistakes that blogger make while choosing photos and there are ways to protect yourself from getting fined.

Using a simple disclaimer doesn’t protect a blogger from violating copyright rules.Ā A common disclaimer that Loren has identified from many blogs is:

“THIS BLOGĀ claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.”

This method obviously doesn’t work because Loren tried it and had her blogs taken down.

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A Whimsical Testimony

“Hello, Iā€™m Timothy Hoang. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you the story how I came to know Christ.”

And that was how I typed my testimony on baptism day. So this is going to be the start of my religious blogs? I know that I said that I’d make Christian blog posts, like, a month ago? Soooorryyyyy. (Time to make my futile excuse) It’s just that (with an overly dramatic tone), it’s hard to start a long-term habit. Starting large projects or ideas is always the difficult part because you want it to be productive and worthwhile. (I hope this excuse was believable;Ā because it’s true, the beginning is the hardest part). So, as an introduction to Christian blogs on Second-Hand Sermons, I’ll be using the speech I wrote on baptism day, combined with my present-day terrible sense of humor! šŸ˜€ (P.S. This testimony was written on May 13th of 2012, so of course I have to tweak it a little bit). Also, if you’re not a Christian, you don’t have to read this blog post. You are given a choice whether to read on or not; I’m just putting my Christian belief on the web for people interested to read this. Alrighty then, Here we go:

“I was born into a Christian family, meaning I have been going to Church with my parents ever since I was a deformed fetus that was doomed destined to become the person I am today. Continue reading

Something Else About Inequality

When you hear the word “inequality,” what do you first think of?

When I think about that word, the first thing that comes to mind is slavery. One of the darkest blemishes in US history is the enslavement of African Americans, which ultimately led to the Civil War between the Union and Confederates. And of course, war means loss of lives and one of the shocking truths of the American Civil War is that this war caused the most casualties to American citizens in any war we have participated in.

Continuing my thought process, I think about U.S. history again, but this time it deals with Continue reading

50 Shades of Grey

I’m starting a new Category called 50 Shades of Grey, and no, this is not where I post perverted, smutty FanFiction that I wish to be published to the world. I called it “50 Shades of Grey” because I want to make blog posts to talk about themes, motifs, and confusing things I find the world what we live in. I believe that the world is grouped into the area between black and white, which is grey – there aren’t correct answers and responses to everything, but that’s what makes life interesting. There are some really thought-provoking topics that raise a lot of questions and I want to be able to put my opinions out there, which is why this category exists. Also, I tend to ramble on and on about Ā topics of humanity, so when you read these blog posts, they’ll probably be about contradictions and arguments with myself (I’m a weird human). If you were looking for something else related to the actual “50 Shades of Grey” book, (I highly suggest you don’t) trying searching on Tumblr or the M rated section of fanfiction.netĀ (DON’T DO IT!!! IT’S AN UNESCAPABLE BLACK VOID!).

The Adolescent Search for Immortality

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about one of the largest pet peeves of a teenager:

accepting help or advice from another person.
(For the parents that are reading this from a 16 year-old’s point of view, I hope you enjoy reading about our daily toils…)

[Raises hand] Okay, I admit that I have rejected my parent’s assistance countless numbers of times. It’s just that I hate it when they nag about the same thing about 50 times within the past minute. One of the things that I consider an enemy that must be vanquished in the morning is the sound of my alarm clock ringing, waking me up to get ready for my 0 period class. My parents are like my alarm clock: constant and relentless. The 2 things that make them different from an alarm clock is 1. they are living beings (which is just terrible because it means they are a mobile alarm clock) and 2. they won’t turn off and if you try to turn them off, youĀ are going to receive a lecture on attitude and ungratefulness.

[insert annoying alarm beep here]

[insert annoying alarm beep here]

The worst part of ignoring an alarm clock is that you are late to class and you have to walk to the office to get a “Late Pass” to give to the teachers as penance for being absent from the class for the first few minutes. Same goes for parents: once a teenager ignores their suggestions, we regret it immediately for not listening to them. Here’s what I mean:

Mother: Timmy, don’t forget to bring your jacket! It’s gonna be cold today.

Me: (Looks out the window) It’s only a little cloudy. This is California weather, it’s just gonna clear up and become sunny in the afternoon.

A typical cold and cloudy mo(u)rning.

A typical cold and cloudy mo(u)rning.

And that was where I went wrong, not because I didn’t listen to my mom; well, that too, but more importantly, Continue reading

Steps of Life

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I apologize for being a terrible person filled with unkept promises when I said I would blog once a week. Sorry?

I’m a Junior in high school! The MOST stressful year because that’s when colleges really look at your grades, how well you manage outside forces, and stay alive in your tiny island called “social life.” So yeah, this is my (pathetic) excuse as to not blogging.

But speaking of Junior year, I just realized that a person’s life is similar to going up a staircase. I’ll show you what I mean:

[Funny story before we move on šŸ˜€ My house has a spiral staircase and whenever my friends go to my house. They first thing they do is go up and down the stairs because (and I quote) “it’s fun.” ….I don’t even understand….]

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Discouraging Encouragments

This usually happens to younger siblings. I’m pretty sure everyone receives this type of encouragement: it happens when another person tries to encourage you, but it makes you feel even worse. If you don’t know what I mean, I’ll explain it within two major examples.

First, don’t you find it annoying when you’re compared with someone you know that’s better than you, but rationalize by saying that person does the same things you do? I’m always compared to my other school friends who are super smart, takes 5-6 AP’s, and have 6.2 GPA’s (pretty sure I riled up those try-hards reading my blog post on how to get a 6.2 GP, no, just stop). But then, I tell my parents that they do all the same disapproving things that I do, “they procrastinate, they don’t study for tests, and they don’t sleep until 3AM and still get A’s, since they can do that, I can do that too!” (My life is a mess šŸ˜„ ) Also, I’m eldest sibling so I wouldn’t know, but I feel like lots of younger siblings are compared to older siblings a lot by their parents. It becomes so constant that even the eldest get annoyed. So yea, basically, stop using comparisons as encouragements, it doesn’t help, it just makes things even more awkward and makes you feel even worse.

Second, “if you don’t do this, you won’t go to college, then you won’t get a good-high-pay job, then you’ll end up homeless and on the streets.” This always comes up at dinner table conversations, usually started by you talking about school, and then continued by parents talking about school (which are two exact opposite things). I feel like this happens every night and my parents always tell me to “work harder!” or “do you best” and then followed by an “or else.” (So…annoying.)

So overall, the thing to take away from this lesson is avoid conversations around dinner tables. That’s probably where most of the annoying conversations start. Just stuff your mouth with tons of food and drink a large glass of water so that way you won’t have to respond to parental rhetorical questions.

Thanks for reading!

Ok fine, a real life tip. Ummm, don’t let other people discourage you and continue doing what makes you happy. You’ll make decisions in your life that you’ll regret, but think of each failure and disappointment as steps that’ll bring you closer to the balcony of triumph.