10 brilliant new artists that’ll steal your heart (PT 1)

So, we have the all-American girl band, the strange electronica, a couple overdosing happy pills, the very European-sounding American sextet… Welcome to the world of eclectic music, all fairly green bands with a flavor for rhythm and making music art. This is my personal playlist of addicting tunes, I do hope you enjoy! Here’s some quality music in 3…2…

1. HAIM

First came across HAIM as a recommendation in Teen Vogue, and hot shnitzel!, these sisters are gorgeous geeks who know their identity like the backs of their hands. Their songs are chill, “synth-pop and Fleetwood-mac rock inspired” tunes that remind me of summer. What’s amazing is that it’s just them, the sisters, the best friends, the musicians with bluesy voices that can also rock a guitar solo. ‘

2. BEIRUT

The deep warmth of French horns, the organ, a prickly accordion … These are all instruments found in nearly every Beirut song, which are usually indie folk jams. Zach Condon, the lead singer, has a warm vibrato voice that raises goosebumps. When paired with the rich, delicious blend of horns and a catchy melody, each song becomes an escape into a what feels like an early 20th century paradise.

3. MATT & KIM

They’re a couple. A darn cute one, in fact — Matt’s the voice of the duo with his boyish, perky voice, and Kim is the wicked talented drummer who loves to dance. Their “giddy, punky pop music” is perfect for uplifting (or continuing already chipper) moods. Always positive, always polished, and always … well, a little strange, this band’ll have you both dancing and fangirling over the perfection that is their coupledom faster than you can say MATT&KIM!

4. CITY & COLOUR

A little more laid-back than the other three. City and Colour is a one-man show that runs incredibly smoothly. Dallas Green, a singer-songwriter, specializes in beautiful acoustic melodies that complement his voice, which practically drips with honey. This simple artist is a diamond in the rough  who truly distinguishes himself — I mean, Green oozes passion and personality — what’s not to like? (Not to mention his glasses are SPECtacular. Oh, that was terrible..)

5. THE POSTAL SERVICE

I must admit — the Postal Service uses quick, lively techno beats to disguise the depressing lyrics of their songs. But guess what? They get away with it. This band has a lethargic, wistful kind of sadness that aches for a more idealistic society, but their music wins an award for their song variety and catchy beats. Fans of Death Cab for Cutie will perk up knowing their very own Ben Gibbard is the vocalist even if this band has long since disintegrated from the musical sphere.

_That’s all for today — 5 more amazing artists will be posted sometime this week! I love these artists with all my heart and feel they’ve so much more potential to grow if they had a few more supporters. (exception: #5) Hope you enjoyed listening as much as I have. Stay tuned!

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It’s been a year, but I’m back. Let’s boogie.

Hello, ghosts or warlocks, artists or writers, journalists or bloggers or all six.

It’s been a while, and abandoning this gem of this blog for a year has been quite an experience. Just wanted to let you all know, whoever you may be, that SEAOFCOLOR is back, vivacious as ever, and that it will never float out of the WordPress sphere without a finger-lickin’-good explanation. I apologize for my inactivity, my supposed laziness, my “writer’s block” .. although we all know that’s far from true – there must be six or seven drafts on my dashboard, pending for publication.

I’m going to continue doing what I love, blogging, writing, exaggerating, and I hope you all are willing to buckle up for the ride because I appreciate every post read.

This year, I’ve traveled around the States and the Philippines, fallen in love with an introspective, eccentric sweetheart of a poet that loves me back, got stung by jellyfish, and grown. Grown in imagination, thought, my personal philosophies, my faith.

It’s been a darling year, probably one of the best I’ve had, and I’m saddened I was too much of a perfectionist to document it on here, what’s supposed to be the nest of my experiences and years of teenhood. I finally feel confident enough to resume this blog, I’ll never fade out again. You all were with me since the summer of 7th grade, and you’ll be with me for hopefully a long time.

Going on a Confirmation retreat this weekend and bracing myself for a weekend of bunk beds and reflection, which I will so happily document on here!

Thank you for embarking on this journey with me, the anchor’s now hoisted up and the ship’s ready to challenge this sea of colors :’) 

(Have I also mentioned I’ve gotten more cheesy? Fromage.)

How I Began to Love Writing ~

Good DAY, detectives!

Once again, this blog has been as lonesome as those sorry little tumbleweeds in western movies for the past . . . couple of months?! I apologize – my schoolwork has swept me off my feet and dumped my free time into, well, a bottomless abyss.

[Now for a rather watery-eyed confession from me, Kezi, but if you love to write, you’re going to read this because you’re curious. Like all writers, you’re curious as to how other crazy people like you started out.]

THE BIG BANG – The website that started it all

Today, I decided to explore my thoughts and interests, because, guess what? I’ve had this blog for almost two years!

As a refresher – this blog was an alternative, a blog just for me, after my trials and errors with a cutesy writing website. I made it when I was 11 or 12.

I, surprisingly, learned so much about people in general and about the responsibility of pleasing my viewers. I think that website, where I showcased my writings, however childish they may seem now, had finally clicked for me. Creating morningblossominc.webs.com unknowingly changed my life. It was something I never told my parents about. Or all of my friends, despite its rising popularity. I wanted to be completely independent and learn things myself.

And I did! Not only did I explore and pave my path to finding my voice while writing, (which has always been important to me) I actually WROTE. Almost every day. I kept editing and I spent countless hours in front of the computer revising and revising and revising because I had an active audience who expected great things from me.

With motivation, I could transform from an awkward, shy girl into something like a superhero.

I learned how to manipulate photos and use photo editors, and just more about technology in general.

Those were the days! That website really affected me, and I am just realizing this now as I am typing. It was permission to give some of myself to the world, and I received positive reactions, not flying fruits! It was glorious. That is what inspired me to pursue a career in communications, or more specifically, journalism or creative writing.

Sadly, I faded out of this phase voluntarily because I spotted that those who loved and enjoyed my site were escaping the whole “pretty-graphics-on-a-webpage” phase as well. After many years, I decided I only had two choices:

1) Never update my website & slowly fade out of existence

2) Close it down with a proper good-bye and explanation, & give my viewers a substantial reason

So I chose option 2.

Rather than continually chugging out stories and writing tips for people who knew more about writing than I did, I decided to feed and cultivate the love I had for writing even more by exploring my “talents.”

This, TA-DA! Was my product. I’m quite satisfied.

I’ve looked back at my old website I put so much effort into, and I remembered making people so happy. When I closed it down, 14 people (hey, 14 is better than none) told me they were inspired to write more because of the dedication I put into my stories. I discovered I even had a secret fan club with an intimate 5 members who visited and raved over my stories every day. I realized I CAN do it. I can probably make it in the writing business – if I can attract a couple of hard-core fans without realizing it, I could probably attract more down the road if I worked hard.

I’ll tell you a secret – that was the best feeling in the world. To know that I had made a difference by simply having an enthusiasm for something that I already had a deep-rooted love for. Although sometimes I look back at my silly and frilly pink website with a cartoon elephant saying, “Welcome” on the home page, it really meant a lot to me, and it STILL means a lot to me. And that’s saying something, since I was only 11 or 12 when I made it, and I’m just a silly teenager who’s about to be 15 right now.

Many things  have changed. If you look back to some of my previous entries on this site, which stretch back to July 2011, you’ll see that I become increasingly sarcastic over the years! I’ve unconsciously stopped using an abundance of smiley faces, and my writing has become more formal. I’ve also written about more mature subjects. For example – this is the opening of a blog I wrote in August, 2011.

Hey guys! Wow, today was such a great day! Our grade had a retreat, all day, (no classes) at the gym of the neighboring church. My goodness, it was really fun & inspiring. We made play-doh monsters, skits, lectures, FREE FOOD, piggy-back races, races with the interns & basically, when we weren’t in the middle of an activity or lecture, we were partying :) Everyone was running around, dancing on chairs & spinning around & getting dizzy. (that’s what I did ^_^)

Ahh, how refreshing is that sweet child-like innocence?! I’m still a child, of course, but I’m just a little more sure of myself now and it’s pertinent.

The early years, and the scary books I wrote that freak me out now.

I started like any other person who love to write – by reading! My favorite book in Pre-K was Hippopotamus Wants to Take a Bath  and in Kindergarten, it was The Dying Cactus. Now that I think of it, I have no idea why a 4/5 year old was so intrigued by dying plants . . . but perhaps this inspired me to create my first “serious” – and rather morbid – story in 2nd grade.

But before that, my first story ever was called Flora Buttercup, a girl who lived in the Philippines. Yup. That’s it. (Don’t blame me, I was 6 when I wrote those 2 pages!)

My next one was when I was 7 – 9 years old, but I mostly remember 2nd grade. It was called The Deals and Julia. This is why it was morbid –

-Julia and her family go on a kayaking trip down a river

-What they don’t know is that river extended into a humongous waterfall

-The water fall was about 30 feet high.

-Julia, her parents, her little sister, and her baby brother fall down the waterfall.

-Her parents died because they didn’t know how to swim. I gave the reader false hope and I gave the parents a log to float on but then I made a wave, which washed it away, and therefore they drowned

-Her baby brother drowned

-Her sister hit her head on a rock on the way down, Julia saved her. But then the sister got bit by a poisonous banana spider, turned purple, and fell into the water, drowning.

. . . I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty morbid for someone who’s hasn’t lost all their teeth yet.

My point has been made – I’ve never been afraid to push boundaries and limit myself to what is “normal” and “acceptable” writing. In fact, I find writing about twisted murders, shady characters, and post-apocalyptic worlds  highly amusing. On the other hand, sometimes I write about sappy things, like teenage love stories because, I hate to admit it, I’m a romantic.

Over the course of the years I made more stories, and I won’t get into that because there are too many to count!

Something else, other than the website that really made me love writing even more (and more cocky that I already was) was winning gold at a district competition for Ready Writing. They give you a topic and you write as much or as little as you want about it, and it’s judged subjectively by a panel of 3 judges. There were 50 kids my age and a year older then me in the competition.

That’s my writing history, because quite frankly, I haven’t been alive for too long.

Why writing is an escape for me

I’ve always thought of writing as an escape. I’ve learned that words are malleable and can be manipulated to form the most beautiful and interesting passages, and I fell in love with that. Writing is a form of self-expression that tears down barriers in my mind and leaves a gateway into creativity and beauty! It’s so spectacular how amazing good writing can make me feel  – because of the many talented writers out there, I’ve been able to explore in a completely new way. I get chills when I read good books, I become so enveloped in the story and the characters that I want to create something that will make other people feel that way, as well.

I fell in love with those moments where a word just FITS so perfectly to convey my thoughts – at those moments, I am reminded of how words can be so incredibly powerful. I love how I can be completely stuck on what I’m writing and suddenly, images and words string themselves together to help me create a perfect affirmation of  what I’m writing. It’s a beautiful and mysterious thing that I can’t seem to shake off.

As much as I’ve been told I’m a good writer, I’ve had more times where people tell me there is no career in it. Some people don’t seem to take me seriously when I tell them, because later on, they either question it or they ask me again what I want to do. My answer will not waver. 

I’ve realized over the years that writing is something I’ve always considered and never negated. Although other careers like being a sociologist or teacher have been possibilities for me, nothing can beat the elation I feel when I write. It’s tough and sometimes drives me crazy, but perhaps that’s the “consequence” of becoming more accomplished and creating something I am proud of. I also love to write because it often comes out as wild and unpredictable, and free. The freedom is so sweet.

 

Although I don’t write as much as I used to,  I still feel the same raw and pure joy I feel when I put something together. I also can’t go a day without reading. And when I read, I dissect the words, I dissect the characters. I dissect the meanings of the book and how the writer used certain words to produce a certain effect. For some reason, I can’t just enjoy the story, I have to understand how the writer came to carry it out. I think that means something.

Call me cocky or inexperienced, or call me an inefficient girl who wants to make a name for herself one day, but doesn’t have the natural talent to. Or, tell me that I’m still a sapling in comparison to the greats and I have a lot to learn. I agree, I need to experience more things to truly be labeled a “writer,” because technically, I’m not one.

But I’ll tell you this – I do have a burning passion for writing, and people always tell me if you love what you do, keep doing it.

Advice for an older sibling, written by a younger sibling (7 year gap)

“A crisp day, isn’t it, Mr. Run?”

Yes! Indeed, it is most definitely a crisp winter day.  Did you hear that? A crisp WINTER day. Guess what guys, Christmas is approaching as quickly as a choo-choo train, fools!

I’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months –  a very fashionable, diamond encrusted rock, (my birthstone) that is – but a ROCK. A big old fat boulder.  I apologize.

The other week, I had a revelation while carefully shampooing my bird’s nest.  I always have these emotional episodes in the shower.  It’s just something about that cold water attacking you and stinging soap that makes you panic when it gets into your eye that just evokes so many cry-able moments.

You know, the best part about crying in the shower is that no one can see your tears! That quote was originally by Mr. Bean, (substitute “rain” for “shower”) the comedian.  How about that? Whoa there, paradox.

So, here’s the stitch:

I’m 14. My name is Kezi.

My sister, who I’m calling Cat, (an abbreviation of her middle name) is 21.

We’re 7 years apart! She’s graduated college. I’m a freshman in high school.

She left for college when I was starting 6th grade.

I probably love my sister more than anything in the entire world.  Although she’s been “missing” most of my life, she’s always been there!  I’ve been living both as a sibling and as an only child all these years.  Here are some tips I suggest for older siblings, because, believe it or not, Cat and I went through both good and bad times that may have changed our relationship forever.  So, grab your nacho bowl and donkey pinata and listen up, chicas.

————————————-

DO:

1.  SHARE THINGS WITH YOUR YOUNGER SIBLING.

Yes, no matter how old they are! Sometimes you’ll feel that your little sib can’t handle something because they’re too young.  And yes, sometimes, they ARE too young.  But please make sure to inform them of big (or what you feel are big) events in your life – like who you’re dating, how you feel about family problems, or simply keys to your personality.

Your younger sib, however squirmy or sassy they may be, most likely looks up to you.  A lot of their decisions in life will be based upon your judgement.  If your sib thinks of you as another god, it’s important to show some sensitivity.  This is especially important as they get older – the more you trust with them, the more they’ll open up to you.  This will create a sibling bond as strong as the shell of a cockroach! (For lack of a better simile)

2.  ENCOURAGE THEM TO TRY NEW THINGS.

This is so, so, so, SO important! Your sibling might be encouraging YOU to be the one to try new things, or they might be as close-minded as a person that only eats fat hamburgers.  If your sibling is the latter, try to persuade them (without forcing them) to BE DARING.  Here are some things my sister persuaded me to do:

-surf in the middle of the ocean

-ride this:

-eat seafood, including sushi

-learn how to skii and actually skii down the largest hill in the resort

-ride a jet skii

-play paintball

-Run for STUCO secretary, joing National Honor Society

-go horseback riding

-Jump off a platform 100 ft in the sky with only ropes to catch me when I fall

And so much more!

You see- my sister taught me I could do anything.  She is an amazing role model for being daring, adventurous, and living life the way it’s SUPPOSED to be lived.  Without her, I would’ve never done any of these things that made my life that much more interesting.

By encouraging your sib to do things out of the ordinary, not only will they have another thing to boast about, but they will most likely become a much more outgoing, social person.

3.  SHOW THEM YOU CARE ABOUT THEM.

Perhaps it’s just the needy younger sibling in me, but a little affection now and then really can’t hurt!

You don’t have to bake them cookies or flood them with kisses when you come home, but make sure you do simple things occasionally that show them that you care.

Growing up, my sister was really harsh on me, especially during her teenage years.  You would think that as I got older, I would realize that she isn’t a goddess and that I would be so fed up with the way she treats me.  Nope! I enjoy her company (however sassy she may be) much more than I dislike her attitude.  This is because, amidst the irritations she showed me, she was extremely thoughtful.

Examples:

She always helped me with my homework, even making flashcards and creating techniques for me to study better.

When something reminded her of me, she bought it happily.

One day, she spontaneously came home with bubble swords and we spent the day blowing bubbles bigger than our heads

I can easily say that the small things she’s done for me has kept me going.  If she had never showed a sensitive, fun, or caring side, (and I do feel terrible as I write this) – I would’ve given up on her a long time ago.  I would think of her maybe as an old, distant friend rather than a sibling.  You really don’t want your relationship to resort to that.

There are several other things you should do for your siblings, but to make this post shorter, here are the no-no’s!

NO-NO #1 –  TREAT YOUR SIBLING AS YOUR SLAVE

“Can you take this to the sink for me?”

“Can you read this book and summarize it for me?”

“OH YEAH . . . . I left my exotic bird, Quackers, at that resort we stayed at in Switzerland.  Next time you go out, can you bike over there and grab him for me?  Kay, thanks.”

Two ways your sib will react to this:

1)  ARE YOU CRAZY? I got stuff to do, places to be.  You may be older, but you aren’t the boss of this!!!
2)  Oh ok.  I get/do/sniff that for you :D

If your sib lashes out at you, then they’re probably acting accordingly if your request is . . . grand.  A multitude of small orders can also produce this same reaction.  Their respect for you will most likely drop.

For #2 – Alright.  So your sibling fulfills your every order.  It’s pleasant for you, but this can actually damage the self-confidence of your sibling.  However happy they may seem while serving you, later on, they will have issues saying “NO” and will become a doormat.  They may feel like that have to fulfill everyone else’s needs as well!!

NO-NO #2 –  POINT OUT THEIR FLAWS, OR COMMENT ON HOW THEY’RE CHANGING.

This is really more common in siblings with larger age gaps.  If the older sibling has been away for some time without seeing the younger sibling, naturally, they WILL change.  They aren’t going to be the little baby you saw at the hospital forever.

“You know, you’ve changed.  I can’t believe you went from being a girly-girl to someone that’s hardly a girl anymore.”

“Since when did you start wearing make-up?”

Comments like these, however harmless you may intend them to be, can really shut down your sibling’s confidence.  Friends’ comments can be shaken off, but if your sibling respects your opinion, they may feel as if they’re doing something wrong.  Remember how you changed personality and appearance wise as you grew up?  Well, the same thing is happening to them.

NO-NO #3 – COMPARE THEM TO YOU/MAKE THEM A CLONE OF YOU

“When I was your age, I was MAKING websites, not just looking at them for hours.”

“WOW, I was that size when I was 18 . . . . and you’re 15!”

 

Please, don’t do this!  Everyone evolves and discovers what they like at different ages and points in their lives.  If you have a large age difference, keep in mind that times have changed since you were their age.  Some things are harder, or easier, to accomplish.

You sibling most likely is compared to you by your relatives, family, and friends.  Even subtle comments from unsuspecting people can make your sibling think that they are dependent on YOU.  Example:

“Oh, so are you going to be a doctor like your brother?”

Once, my dad said to me, “When your sister was your age, she had much more friends than you did.”  Chances are, your sibling is compared enough to you by other people, and they really don’t need to hear it from you yourself.  Once again, this shuts down self-confidence.

 

I supposed that sums it up! I really hope that you can you these tips, or if you’re a younger sibling, you can relate.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to make more posts like this since I have a little too much free time! See you next time :D

 

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Cat (left) & I ♥

 

 

 

Reasons why I LOVE Happy People

 

Good DAY detectives!

Oh gee, life has been wonderful these past few days.  My first weeks of school have got me thinking about a certain . . . 

species

(THERE! I said it!) of people that practically ooze sunshine, sing silly songs, and skip wherever they go.  I have just a handful of those people in my life – and 98% of the time, I adore them, and in the other 2%, I am so jealous.

And why do these people make me fume?

Because sometimes I think – how can they be so happy when I’m so tired and I want to just throw tomatoes at everyone who talks to me?  How can they be singing and dancing while I have to keep my mouth shut so I don’t say something I’ll regret? 

But alas – with an exception of those days, I finally started to realize that those annoyingly sweet people are the ones that everyone around them a little happier.  Like yawns, happiness is super contagious. 

I enjoy being around people that are cheerful and friendly as opposed to those who are always wallowing in their problems, and are just so desperate for someone to ask them to homecoming because if no one takes them, they’ll automatically become crazy cat ladies. 

It’s funny, because my most cheerful friend was texting me and here what she said:

I think the people in my speech class are getting used to my weirdness. Or should I say uniqueness!! 

We had to do speeches and I accidentally  got hyper because someone was kind to me and I jumped up and down!! Man . . . it’s a good thing the teacher was nice! I didn’t get in trouble :) There were these two girls and they told me they loved me an I guess that isn’t kind but they said something sweet so all of a sudden my heart was filled because I was happy and then I became hyper lol!!! 

And I started to jump up and down and I even told the teacher I was happy so he gave me a waterbreak lol

You know what they say! If you are happy you cannot suppress it!! (I do not know if people say this or not but it’s true for me) 

************

Honestly? How can you not love this girl? So back to this main topic. 

I LOVE happy people because they make me happy.   They remind me not to stress out too much.  You know that heavy heart you get when you are absolutely -excuse my language- pissed? Well, compare that feeling with being happy.  Ba da boom.  Congratulations – shoulders =lighter.  Smile = looser.  Heart =soaring. 

They are the type of people I want to be like.  I’ve done so many things I have regretted, and sometimes my actions are tainted with several vices.  Without happy people in the world, I would have no role models and would therefore be a living dead, staring-at-my-shoes zombie or an I-HATE-YOU type of person.  No, just no!

They are fun to be around.  Who in the world wants to hear someone complaining on how their hair looks so oily that day?  And I don’t know about you, but that ONE friend that never wants to try something new always spoils the fun.  Happy people are more likely to be open to the world around them.

They are incredibly easy to approach.  Someone with a scowl glued to their face isn’t going to get any attention from this girl.  Friendly people are more comfortable to be around and they can launch a conversation to new heights. 

So there you go.  If you don’t have any happy people in your life right now, it’s fine!  To solve this problem, just BE that happy person and others will follow.

Thanks for reading!! :) And about my life right now, I have a personal school stalker (that’s been suspended twice) . . . that’s going to be on the bus with me tomorrow when my theater class sees a play. Wish this girl luck. 

Make sure to sing Disney songs in the morning,

kezi (my nickname at school now is Ma kay-kay.  Oh Lord, please give me strength.)

Here’s a happy song for the occasion :) Enjoy! 

And here’s Chris Colfer dancing to the Single Ladies, blowing all the girls in the background out of the water with those hips. Love you guys :D