More Salt

Me wondering if I need more salt to purify 2020 and this current situation 😅😩🤦‍♀️🤣🤔

Misdirection

How much do you notice about your environment and the people around you? What about facial expressions, reactions, tone of voice, and patterns of movement? The feelings you get about people, environments, and situations, are they based on your observations? Experience? Intuition? Perhaps a combination of factors? What about your first impressions, are they usually accurate? Are you better at reading body language of people you know versus strangers? Can you read the mood of a room? Atmosphere? When I was at a happy hour for a friend’s promotion, her roommate’s boyfriend and I were talking about energy. He scoffed at it. I mentioned the example, many of us can relate to, and it’s entering a room and sensing immediately that there’s tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. Even without knowing the people in the room, or the topic being discussed, you can sense it. What is it that we sense? He understood what I was trying to convey after using that example. Why do some of us have such a huge presence and some of us don’t? Does it depend on the day and our energy level and mood? Is it something consistent? Is it because of physical features? Why do we notice someone when they enter a room, versus the many who entered without us realizing? What about realizing someone is behind us, without hearing or seeing anything? Or when we can tell someone is staring at us from across the room? What is charisma, and are people born with it, or is it developed over time? Who notices the nuances between people and groups? Those with emotional intelligence? If so, how did they acquire it? Why are some people so stiff in their emotions, body, and speech? How are other people so incredibly welcoming that they exude kindness and warmth?

Being a psychology major, I found the episodes in season three of Kuroko’s Basketball, when Kuroko first uses misdirection fascinating. Whether or not the idea is realistic in a basketball game, I leave to the athletes and experts to decide. But as a concept itself, I found it intriguing. Is being aware of these idiosyncrasies, and using them to your advantage, manipulative? Is it something people do subconsciously? Can it be misused by swindlers and advertising companies? How did magicians discover these concepts? Perhaps it’s application to Teiko’s basketball team isn’t too far-fetched?

What about people who wear their hearts on their sleeves? Someone who is hot-headed, may need to take a pause before responding to a situation. But in a general sense, people who are open with their feelings in a sincere and authentic way, are usually honest. And hopefully their feelings aren’t riddled with hate, envy, or malice. For people with intuition, and those with a keen sense of human behavior, it will be evident when people use crocodile tears or attempt emotional manipulation. How about nerves? Things that rattle us before important events, like a meeting presentation, a big game, or even a wedding? What IS that? Just an overabundance of energy? Why does it propel some people to greatness, those with an ability to harness it for enthusiasm and drive? And others to freeze? Others to run in avoidance?

When observing others, there are many factors to consider like varying cultures, environment, or health. Is it cold outside and that’s why someone’s movements are rigid? Is someone’s mental health affecting the way they carry themselves? People in healthy relationships with others will carry themselves differently than those in unhealthy relationships. People being persecuted, harmed, or bullied may avoid eye contact. Bullies may have a menacing air or an arrogant attitude. Someone who may be a bully in one situation, could be a victim in another (not excusing the situation, but noting there may be a change in behavior). Confident people may find eye contact with others normal. Those with low self-esteem may not, and it may even be rude to look someone in the eye in some cultures. Families will interact differently with each other than a group of strangers meeting for their first book club. Context plays a major part in what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Or, what is common behavior and what isn’t. We bring our own lens as an observer when analyzing human behavior. Our own potential biases is something to consider as well.

I used to study and work on school assignments at a cafe every weekend. It was rich in opportunities to observe human interactions. It was also a popular spot for online dates, not sure why. Especially on Saturday mornings when I was doing homework. Typically those were painful and awkward, so I tried to ignore those. Interestingly, I often had strangers tell me their life stories, even if I tried to avoid eye contact, because my paper had a deadline. All types of people, of various ages, and backgrounds would share their stories.

Yes, I probably should’ve started writing my paper earlier. So glad those days are behind me! Credit to the owner/creator of this meme, saw it circulating online and seemed appropriate, if not accurate lol.

I want to know what I was projecting to attract that routinely. Or not projecting that I should’ve been. Overall, I enjoyed the conversations and interactions I had. Perhaps, people felt comfortable sharing with a stranger who wouldn’t judge them, versus someone they’d see often in their daily lives. On a related note, why do lost children always come up to me in stores? Thankfully, all were reunited with their guardians without issue. Parents, please teach your kids, as early as possible what your full names are. I remember one little boy replying that his mother’s name was Mom. Realizing I had to take a different approach, I asked him what her friends called her. Knowing her name now, we were able to find her easily. Whatever part of me, that makes me approachable and lets people feel safe, I am grateful for it. I’m just curious what it is…

You Mean I Have to Fight My Own Battles?!

Luna! How dare you!

But Luna has a valid point. I’m watching Sailor Moon on Hulu. My little sister always loved this show, but it’s my first time watching the series (except for the occasional episode I’d watch with her, when we were kids). Wait, did Tuxedo Mask actually do anything when he came, or did he just throw a rose, some emotional support, then run off into the night? Well we can’t underestimate emotional support! I’m only on episode five, so I’m sure there’s room for growth.

“I depend on me.” Alright I’ll send Usagi the video below as motivation. However…Tuxedo Mask is still welcome, even if he just wants to watch anime and chill.

Image Found on Pinterest (User Name: FoxyDoor)

Weaklings Must Call In Sick (The Nerve!)

I’ve tried a couple times to watch Kimi ni Todoke, but the secondhand embarrassment was tangible and too real, too painful, and I never made it past the first fifteen minutes of the very first episode. So much cringing. However, Right Stuf had a promo, and seeing their ad made me want to give it another try. And I’m glad I did. I’m watching on Hulu and VRV/Crunchyroll.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Sawako Kuronuma (nickname: Sadako), is enjoying her high school life. Her character design reminds me of Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower / Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. Kuronuma’s fateful run in with Shouta Kazehaya, leading to their friendship and his positive influence in her life, energized her to take chances to interact more with her classmates and peers. He supports and encourages her to be herself. The scene on the stairs in the third episode, when they express their shared appreciation for each other’s positive influence, was touching. In real life, it’s not as easy being unfiltered with others, or sharing what we admire and appreciate about them. I feel comfortable expressing it, but it can be a challenge receiving it. Is one way easier or harder for you?

Ayane Yano, Chizuru Yoshida, and Ryu Sanada are in Kuronuma’s friend circle too. They, and Kazehaya, have all stood up for Kuronuma. She was the subject of bullying (especially the behind the scenes type of bullying girls are notorious for, if you’ve seen Mean Girls, or are a girl yourself, you’ve likely seen this behavior). I’m only on episode eight of the first season, but some of the ways they’ve stood up for her include; Kazehaya standing up to the class when they make rude comments about Kuronuma from the night of the Test of Courage, when he says aloud for the bullies to hear that he detests hateful gossip, when Yano, Yoshida, and Kazehaya move their seats next to Kuronuma when others avoided her (Sanada I suspect just wanted the window seat but he didn’t avoid her like the others), the girls stood up for her when she was cornered by the bullies in the ladies room, and when asked his thoughts on Kuronuma and the rumors, Sanada pointed out the unrealistic possibility of that being remotely true. Being a good friend to another person, means being a good friend to them even when they’re not around. Kuronuma’s close friends love and care for her, and they don’t give the opinions of others a second thought. Knowing all of the hurdles she’s overcome and how lonely she felt, especially with everyone calling her Sadako (from The Ring), it’s wonderful to see her finally happy. One other comment, about the bullying scene from the bathroom, sometimes intervention depends on a person’s comfort level. While Hirano and Endo didn’t feel physically, emotionally, or mentally capable of taking on the group of girl bullies, they did run to get help. Standing up for your friends can be expressed in various ways. Yes it might’ve been more helpful if they had directly intervened, but it makes me think of all the others who saw Kuronuma bullied over the years who did absolutely nothing. Seeing how Yoshida and Yano stood up for her, Kuronuma finally realizes they are friends, and have been friends all along.

I enjoy the moments when the friends are relaxing together and being themselves. Yano and Yoshida see the blossoming romance between Kazehaya and Kuronuma (even if Kuronuma herself is unaware). After intentionally making Kazehaya jealous (proving he liked Kuronuma), of course the girls can’t resist giving Kazehaya a hard time as he walks Kuronuma home.

Joking aside, Shouta Kazehaya truly is a gentlemen. He has integrity and is an authentic person. He is a leader without trying, he makes it look effortless. Everyone feels welcomed in his presence, and he “sees” those around him. He’s present. That smile puts everyone at ease. Do you know people like that in real life? I do. Their energy is positive and uplifting. They’re sincere in their words and actions. I aspire to be that way. I’m authentic, but I don’t know about uplifting and positive. Maybe one day.

This shoujo anime, Kimi Ni Todoke, has humor. Not as much as others I’ve watched in the past, but the parts that are funny make me laugh out loud. Try to overcome the hurdle of the horrible secondhand embarrassment that this show has so much of. I haven’t felt this much embarrassment since watching Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji. Here is a funny moment from episode eight of the first season. The class is discussing the upcoming Sports Festival with their teacher, Pin. I suspect if I was in their class, Pin would strongly encourage me to take a sick day (the nerve!).

Give the show a chance if you haven’t already. Or if you tried before, give it another opportunity? Maybe you will like it the third time, like I did. There are a lot of positive messages in this show. Perhaps there will be less drama and less secondhand embarrassment in the future episodes. I’m only on episode eight, but I’d prefer less cringing. Hoping everything works out for this group of friends!

Quarantine Watch List

I suggested anime that might make you laugh and lift your spirits in earlier posts, and I plan to share more later. This post I’ll just update as I’m watching shows during the quarantine. During this time of uncertainty and stress, anime has been a wonderful distraction that has positively impacted my mindset, and mood. It has brought concepts like teamwork, perseverance, young love, and humor to my daily life in quarantine. I am reminded how much our interactions with others and relationships can bring meaning to our lives. If I need an energy shift for myself, watching one of the shows below, or ones I’ve mentioned before like Tamako Market, can lift my spirits.

During this time, and always, I pray may everyone be safe, healthy, and well. I’ve been doing distance Reiki regularly. Prayers, and good energy always help. Very grateful and appreciative for those keeping us running; first responders, medical staff, cleaning crews, sanitation workers, truck drivers, grocery employees, delivery workers, and all the others.

If you find yourself at home and want to watch along, here’s what I’ve been watching (the ones marked with * I really enjoyed);

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san / Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 2*

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san / Teasing Master Takagi-san

(yes I watched the second season first lol)

Haikyu / Haikyuu! Season 1*

Haikyu / Haikyuu! Season 2*

Haikyu / Haikyuu! Season 3

Natsume Yuujinchou / Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 1*

My Sweet Tyrant / Akkun to Kanojo*

Arte

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness / Hoozuki no Reitetsu Season 1*

Gakuen Babysitters / School Babysitters*

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun / Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun *

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin / Midnight Occult Civil Servants

Miira no Kaikata / How to Keep a Mummy

Momokuri*

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness Season 2 / Hoozuki no Reitetsu 2nd Season*

A Silent Voice / Koe no Katachi*

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou / Daily Lives of High School Boys*

Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou / Kare Kano / His and Her Circumstances*

Usagi Drop / Bunny Drop*

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru / Run with the Wind*

Isshuukan Friends / One Week Friends

Gingitsune*

Days*

Prince of Stride: Alternative

Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life*

Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life Season 2*

Gakuen Alice*

Nijiiro Days / Rainbow Days

Sukitte Ii na yo / Say I Love You

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club – Season 1

Free! Eternal Summer – Season 2*

Free! Dive to the Future – Season 3

Nerves

What do you do when you’re nervous or stressing out? Changing your focus and envisioning a positive outcome can help. Practice and trust in your training. Faith. Meditation. Music. Movement, like running or yoga. Rest. There are a lot of ways people handle nervous energy. Or you could view it as excitement. Sometimes our tummies can give away our nervousness. Hinata knows that very well. I’m watching Season Two of Haikyu on Hulu. In this episode, Yamaguchi is nervous about playing in the spring tournament. The thought of him repeating his blunder from the last competition makes him anxious. Yachi tries to cheer him up, but as he tells her about his ordeal, his anxiety quickly transfer to her. The group tries to make sense of it. Having experienced that on the receiving end, I totally get it. So maybe Shimizu’s guess was pretty accurate. Of course Hinata can’t resist poking at Kageyama!

True. But it’s up to us how we choose to react to it and how we handle the situation. Check out how the Karasuno Crows handle their stress, on Hulu!

Bright Future (Post 2 of 2)

“Smile; a society without cheer and humor will not have a bright future” – Sir Nighteye

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Pro Hero, Sir Nighteye, was All Might’s sidekick for a number of years. He looked up to All Might as a mentor, but also cared for him as a friend. Sir took being a hero seriously, but also appreciated humor. He was overly cautious, likely due to his quirk Foresight. He’d send chills down people’s spines due to his stern piercing gaze. Thanks to an introduction by Mirio (that All Might helped facilitate), he took Deku for the work studies program. Sir really agreed to it because he wanted to show Deku that Mirio was the better candidate to be All Might’s successor. While on patrol with Mirio, Deku runs into Eri and Chisaki. Deku wanted to save Eri, because she’s clearly frightened and does not want to go with Chisaki (Overhaul). For wanting to save her Nighteye chided him (although later they all wondered if it would’ve been better to save her then). Sir did not think Deku was useless, but he definitely gave him a hard time.

Having been a sidekick to All Might for years, there is history between them. Sir Nighteye saw with his Foresight, that All Might would die a gruesome death at the hand of a villain, and he wanted him to find a suitable heir and retire. At that point in time, Sir’s Foresight had never been incorrect, so there wasn’t a precedent for the future being any different. They also disagreed with who should succeed him as the Symbol of Peace.

Not knowing the history behind them, Deku wanted to work with Sir Nighteye. All Might doesn’t feel comfortable introducing them, plus he was against first year students doing work studies. But he does introduce him to Mirio who is currently working with Sir. All Might reflects upon the idea, presented a while back by the UA Principal and Sir, for him to pass his quirk, One for All, to Mirio (before he ran into Deku trying to save Bakugo from Sludge).

This episode really illustrates the meaningful relationships between mentors and those they inspire. Some of the relationships that came to mind as I considered this were All Might inspiring Sir Nighteye, Deku, Bakugo, and countless others, Mirio mentoring Deku at work studies, Aizawa inspiring his students, Sir Nighteye as a mentor to Mirio, Bubble Girl, and Deku, and Nana Shimura and Gran Torino helping train Toshinori Yagi (All Might). There are countless people in the world inspired by the actions, personality, quirks, skills, traits, and outlook of others, not just in the world of My Hero Academia and anime land, but all around us. You likely inspire people by being your true, authentic self, in your daily life, even doing what you consider mundane things.

As Deku works with Sir Nighteye at his agency, alongside Mirio and Bubble Girl, we gradually feel Sir warming up towards him. He is hard on Deku, but since he doesn’t see him as useless, he must see his potential. He is appreciative that Deku showed him the future can be changed.

In the episode, Infinite 100%, we see Sir dejected. He is mortally wounded and the future he sees, shows Deku dying. He doesn’t see a point to the pro heroes and students, especially injured, risking more to fight. As the crew on the podcast Popped Off (@popped_off) pointed out this seems unusual for a hero. But given that Sir’s Foreight has never been wrong, there isn’t a precedent for him to think it can change, so his outlook is understandable. Thankfully, the future is different than he envisioned. Overhaul is defeated and Eri is saved. Sir Nighteye received his wish, through Deku, and the energy and efforts of those helping. But now, in the episode Bright Future, Sir Nighteye (not All Might), has been mortally wounded due to a villain.

Cue my uncontrollable crying and sobbing, which only got worse as the episode progressed….watching on Hulu if you want to cry with me…

Infinite 100%

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

What a great episode we had last week for My Hero Academia! Thanks to Eri we got to see Deku at Infinite 100% !!! I definitely think All Might would’ve been proud. I expected the fight to be drawn out longer, but I’m glad it wasn’t.

The crew at Popped Off (@Popped_Off) made an interesting point on their podcast for this episode, which was the girls (Hado, Tatsuma, Froppy, Uravity,) did not have as in depth an episode like the guys did (Amajiki, Togata, Red Riot). While the argument can be made that Froppy basically had her own episode in an earlier season, and generally Uravity gets a chunk of screen time, it is a valid observation. I hope we’ll learn more about Tatsuma and Hado in a future episode.

How cool is it that we’re learning how certain quirks are linked to a person’s life force? I’d like the show to delve more into that, because I find the concept (chi, life force, energy, etc.) fascinating.

Chisaki. Really. This guy takes you in, treats you like one of his own, asks you to watch after his granddaughter that was abandoned by her mom, and to learn about her quirk. Instead you do gruesome experiments on her, abuse her, and use her for actual ammunition and as a pawn in your game. After your mentor, the one who took you in, tells you to stop and reminds you that his granddaughter Eri is a person, you put him into a coma saying you’ll revive him once your grand plan is achieved. That’s one hell of a thank you. Even Shigaraki wouldn’t have done that to his mentor! I know these are villains but I don’t know what Chisaki was thinking.

Nighteye learned that his foresight isn’t 100%. Unforeseen circumstances can change the future, like Eri’s quirk. It was shocking to see how defeated he was, granted Nighteye had a giant slab of rock through his body, but his gloominess and pessimistic attitude seemed unusual for a pro hero. The last scene of the episode, when he realizes that his predictions aren’t guaranteed, likely gave him hope that All Might may have a brighter future ahead.

I’m watching on Hulu. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!