Browse the Garden

Friday, August 28, 2015

Disney By The Numb3rs Guest Blog Post!

I am excited to announce that I have had my first ever guest blog :) 
DisneybytheNumb3rs has kindly published my article about the Tanabata Festival in Tokyo Disneyland! 
It's an honor to be published on a travel blog!  ^_^

If you would like to read the article, the link is below: 

Thank you DisneybytheNumb3rs! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy National Dog Day!

It's good to celebrate man's best friend! 
These are my bestfriends: Haley and Dingo. 

Haley was a beautiful Black Lab, and Dad and I named her after Hale Bop Comet. 
Haley loved going hiking, and when she was a puppy, her first fourteener was Mount Sherman at four months old!
Like any dog, Haley loved treats . . .
but she really loved snow!
Haley and I went on many adventures together.
She went hiking, camping and even canoeing! 

Haley was the sweetest black lab I will ever know :) 
When Haley was fourteen Dingo joined the family. And he fit right in. 
I think he enjoyed Halloween as much as Haley did. 
But he does like furniture. 
Dingo enjoys hiking as well . . . 
but his favorite thing is sunbathing. 
Dingo is one happy pup! 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Goal Setting

Setting a goal is not always easy, but this video really breaks down the three core elements of a worthwhile goal. Vishen Lakhiani uses a three part exercise to discover the motivation and meaning in what you believe you can do. He also explains that there are different types of goals, means goals and end goals. We often confuse the two.
Goals are usually broken down logically, but Lakhiani explains that the meaning behind a goal is just as important. If you're going after something, chances are that you care about it, and once you find what experiences, lessons and contributions you can make, you can do anything you set your mind to.
I found this video really helpful in creating a worthwhile goal.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Talk for Generation Y

So I have to be honest. This is my generation: the one born between 1983- 2002. And I'm currently at a point in my life where I have the power to choose what to do next. And I'm lucky enough to have the ability to choose between several options.
I have met several people from my generation throughout the world, and most of them, including me are terrified of the future. Student loans, the economy and so many other social and political topics have made this generation feel like they have no way to follow their passion.
I remember a talk I had, with several expats around my age, where we spoke of how doomed our generation was.
I was very surprised that my perspective of our situation was not the norm.
You see, I believe that this generation has the ability to prove all the naysayers, critics and the people that turn their nose up at our generation wrong. We have the challenge before us, and if we conquer that challenge, we will amaze the world!
Because it is so difficult, it's easy to see the meaning in facing it. 
Once again, it won't be easy, and yes things have become more difficult, but if we give up before we begin, what can the world say about us? 
After voicing my opinion to several other people my age, there was a stunned silence. 
"I've never thought of it that way." one person said, and "Maybe that's not so farfetched." another person said. But I was shocked. I had no idea that this perspective was so rare. 
Maybe it's because, I'm stubborn and I will face a challenge. Some might say I'm foolish and I watch too much Disney, but really? Is it so difficult? Is it really that tough to reach out to the world and find your calling? 
We have the technology, resources and the connections to find our way in the world. And I know that failure is possible, but it's never the end. 
I think Eunice Hii has a point. We can still follow our passion and find the motivation to discover that great career, and the thing is, passions change, goals change, and there's nothing wrong with that. 
What truly matters is to find the meaning in what you love to do, and to decide what it's worth to risk. 
I refuse to give up. And while my passion is to work for Disney, my purpose is to inspire others to overcome adversity and find the courage to be who they are. 
These facts took a long time to learn, but now that I know them, I'm one step closer to my goal. 
I agree with Eunice Hii. Even if it's not your job, you can be passionate about something and work toward it. You don't have to know your passion by a certain age, and it's okay if you haven't found it. 
My experience, both in identifying and pursuing what I love to do, is that life is really about meaning. If your hobbies, dream job and goals mean something to you, you will find a way to make them happen. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Makings of Greatness

I watched Treasure Planet today. It's been a while since I saw that movie, but I did remember that Silver tells Jim to never give up. 

He tells him, "You've got the makings of greatness in you, but you've got to take the helm and chart your own course. Stick to it no matter the squalls, and when the time comes you get the chance to really test the cut of your sails and show what you're made of . . . well, I hope I'm there catching some of the light coming off you that day." 
He tells Jim this, after Jim gives up his dream and tells himself that he can't do anything right. 
We all reach these moments in our lives, but it's important to stick to our goals no matter what. 
I know it's hard. No one said it would be easy. I know it's tough and the path is not a clear road that you can see, but if you chart your own course and stay true to your goal, anything is possible. 
Cheesy, I know, but I live off these beliefs. I live off these dreams. And I believe that it is possible. 
This is what makes Disney so special to me, and it's always there to help me push on, even after a rough day. 
I will get there. I'll never give up. My course may not be straight forward, but it's there. And as long as I call the shots, I'll find a way to make my dream come true. 
Disney is the destination, but getting there is the meaning of the journey. 
Don't give up on your dream. You never know what light will shine off you, and how much of a difference you can make in this world. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Dragon Pearl

I found the necklace near a stream, when I was out for a walk, far from the village. 
I was only seven then, and I was already the talk of the town. 
"Why does she daydream so much?" the villagers asked. "Doesn't she know that's a sign of the mystic world?" 
Of course I knew, but I couldn't help it. I was, after all, only seven. So I went to the outskirts of the forest, wondering what lie beyond the houses and gardens that I saw everyday. 
First, there was a stream, with a waterfall that mumbled like an old man. 
And there, in the water, near the edge, I saw something shining. I pulled out the object, admiring the silver dragon, curled around the most beautiful pearl I had ever seen. It seemed to glow as the sun came out from the clouds. 
"You shouldn't be here." a voice said. 
I looked up from the pearl, and I saw a boy. He was no ordinary boy. I knew that from his strange outfit. It looked fit for a prince. Two blue dragons adorned the belt of a pearl white silk robe. His hair was not pulled back, but he stood straight, unafraid of anything. 
"That belongs to me." he said, pointing at the necklace. 
"Oh." I said. I had forgotten what I was holding. 
"Who are you girl?" he asked, "And why are you here?" 
"My name is Shimcheong." I said, "Who are you?" 
The boy stared for a moment, then he scratched his head. 
"My name would be . . . difficult for you to pronounce. You can call me Yong." 
"Hello Yong." I said, smiling. It was rare that I met someone my own age, or at least someone who looked like it. 
He smiled, and held out his hand.
I gave him the necklace and he laughed. 
"Do you know what this is?" he asked.
"It's a dragon pearl." I said, "but why is it here?"
"I'm surprised that you know it." Yong said, "Not many people talk of the dragons anymore."
"My mom did." I said. "They were my favorite stories."
"That's fascinating." the boy said. "But I'm afraid I can't tell you why the pearl is here." 
"Why not?" I asked, stomping my foot. 
He smiled at me again. 
"Because I don't know." he said. 
"Is it yours?" I asked. 
"It might be." he said. 
I stared at him. 
He stared back, and handed me the necklace. 
"Will you hold on to it for me?" he asked. 
I stared at him. 
"Why?" I asked. 
"Because it chose you." he replied. 
As he handed me the necklace, I thought I saw the silver dragon wink at me. 
"You must keep it safe. Until I return." Yong said. 
I nodded and placed the pearl in the palm of my hand. 
"I will." I said. 
"Good." Yong replied. 
But, when I looked up, he was gone, and I didn't see any footprints on the ground where he stood. 
As I walked back to the village, hiding the necklace in my hanbok. I thought I had spoken with a ghost. 
At first, I went to the stream every day, searching for Yong. But, as the years passed, and no one came, I visited the stream less often
When I turned sixteen, the crops began to go bad, and my father slowly went blind. 
The villagers began to whisper that I was bad luck, and my father and I did what we could to manage the farm, but we soon had no choice but to sell it. 
People said that the Dragon King was angry, and the clouds blocked the sun. No farm did well that year, and as my father and I moved from the farm to a hut near the village gate, I began to wonder if I held the key to our salvation. 
One night, when the wind howled and the rain poured, I pulled out the necklace. 
The silver had never tarnished, and the pearl still glowed. I stared at the dragon, closed my eyes and made a wish. 
Thats when it all began. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

For a butterfly . . .

You may be 
small now
do not fret
You just don't
your wings
Soon you will,
and soon you'll see
the sky is 
the best place to be. 
I know you're scared
I know you're confused.
Maybe even battered,
broken and bruised.
Your time in the cocoon 
is nearly gone.
The time will come
to move on.
And when it does
do not cry
because change
is an opportunity 
to fly. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A New Angle

Problem solving does not always have a straightforward solution. Although we are taught to look at things in a specific way, sometimes life just isn't that simple. We can get so caught up in the goal that we can miss the solution right in front of us. That's when it's time to step back and look at the problem in a new way. 
Disney's Big Hero 6 does a great job demonstrating what happens when you think outside the box. 
Hiro is trying to come up with something that will impress his brother's "nerd school" so he can start making great inventions like his brother. He hits a road block and becomes frustrated when he tries to come up with something amazing, but Tadashi tells him something really important. 
"Look for a new angle." 

This approach to problems is not always easy. 
Dan Pink explains this using what is called "The Candle Problem", a different way, and less common approach to problem solving. 

When it comes to careers and choices, life is more of a candle problem, and it's more difficult to find the box. This is especially true when it comes to career goals. There's never one set path, and it may take failure and set backs before you can see the solution.
In many cases, obstacles that seem daunting can actually be the solution that we need to move toward the goal. 
When life gives us candle problems, it usually adds a deadline, and enormous pressure to get the work done, but if we take a step back, the solution may not be as straightforward, or even as difficult as we have originally thought. 
When we look at things from a new angle, take a step back and stop focusing on what we think will reach the goal, the solution could be right in front of us.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Element of Wonder

"Wonder is the elemental wisdom of a child, a wisdom that is wide open to awe." - T.A. Barron

"The best stories infuse wonder." - Andrew Stanton

Wonder is one of my favorite elements of a story. But it's not always easy to write. 
To be surrounded by the world, and to capture a brief moment in time is to be in wonder. It is an incredible and  magical part of a story. 
When the audience is in awe, they are with the characters in that moment, seeing the world through their eyes. They are no longer a passive observer, but a participant in the story itself. 
To create wonder, I think of things that leave me in awe in the real world: 
Bubbles: real for a moment, and gone in a moment
Rain in the sunshine: Streaks of light falling from the sky
Butterflies: living from moment to moment
Sunsets: vibrant colors that paint the sky
The ocean: each wave different, but still flowing
Waterfalls: Towering pillars of water reaching for the ground
The Night Sky: filled with stars and revealing just how small we are
Autumn Leaves: red and gold shades of once green plants
Fireworks: Bursts of light in the sky
Flying: skimming the clouds in a manmade craft
The Coral Reef: Beautiful fish in bright colors

There are so many things in life that create wonder. 
Here are my favorite movie, TV show and videogame scenes with wonder:

When Belle sees the library in Beauty and the Beast 
The magic carpet ride in Aladdin
Luigi's flight in Pokemon
The Rainbow bridge in Thor

Seeing Rivendell for the first time in Lord of the Rings
When Bilbo confront Smaug in The Hobbit
When Harry sees Diagon Alley in Harry Potter
When the Croods see the stars for the first time
When the Gargoyles come to life in Gargoyles
Yuna's dance in Kilika from FFX
When Lightning sees the Ceiling of Sky on Pulse in FFXIII
WaLLE and EVE dance in space
Remy sees the Paris skyline
Aang visits the Spirit World in Avatar the Last Airbender
The Land of Music in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
When Jane sees the Gorilla nest in Tarzan
The Coral Reef scene in Finding Nemo
The ballroom scene in Ever After
 The World beyond dreams in Inception
When Jake enters the Navi body in Avatar
Haku's flight in Sprited away
Sailor Moon's transfomation into Super Sailor Moon
Chibiusa's flight with Helios
The lantern scene in Tangled
The marriage vows between Rumple and Belle in Once Upon A Time
When Kairi saves Sora in Kingdom Hearts
When Ventus, Terra and Aqua watch the meteor shower in Birth by Sleep

Nuturing Creativity: A TED Talk

This is an interesting look at creativity and what drives it. This perspective is actually very useful when it comes to dealing with criticism and during the long painful process of editing your work.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Descendants: A Disney Channel Original Movie Review

Okay. I'll admit that when I first saw the pictures for the film, I was not so sure about it. I was already invested in Once Upon A Time, Ever After High, and following the University Ever After web series. All are good by the way. 
Descendants has a few similarities to Ever After High. But fairytales have been around for generations. 
Mal is Malificent's daughter, and the narrator of the story. She has a big name to live up to, and she's constantly putting pressure on herself to live up to her mother's name. She starts out living under her mother's shadow, along with Evie, the Evil Queen's daughter, Carlos, Cruella DeVil's son and Jay, Jafar's son. As the villians pressure their kids to be like them, the kids show off their own hobbies, but none of them are thrilled when they have to live among the goody goodies of the world. 
Ben, Beauty and the Beast's son invites the kids to have a second chance, and to write their own stories. But the kids see this as an opportunity to make their parents proud. 
Malificent is, of course, the mastermind and her plan is for the kids to steal the magic and break the barrier between the island and the kingdoms. 
Mal takes it upon herself to be the leader of the operation, and they get the welcome to the school that they expect. No one wants to be with the Villians' offspring. 
The only person who treats them like people at first is Ben. He really believes that they will try their best to be good students and decide what they want to do in their own lives, without the bad influence of their parents. As time passes, Mal is torn between knowing good from bad, and the call of her heart versus the call of her head. 
This movie was several things: 
1. Disney having fun with Disney- It had a similar atmosphere as Enchanted, with a High School twist. 
2. A character study- what are Mal and company really like? Who will they choose to be?
3. A commentary on the power of choosing who you are.
4. A fun musical: If Only and Did I Mention are my favorites :)

If Only (Spoilers) 

Did I mention (Spoilers) 

I enjoyed this movie. Especially for what it was, and I hope that I can help write the sequel. It would be fun to explore what happens next, as the second generation decides who they want to be. 

I give it five out of five chocolate chip cookies. :)