Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: When positive thinking is not enough

Ah, the genius that is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. A dark comedy, the Netflix show centers on Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) — a survivor of kidnapping, cult mind-conditioning, and (implied) sexual assault who tries to shrug away her trauma by choosing to embody a Disney-like optimism. Cue in the bright clothes, the Disney princess musical numbers; the cartoon…

Prelude to Australia

I wouldn’t have gone to Australia this year if it weren’t for a couple of awesome workmates alerting me that Cebu Pacific had promo fares for plane tickets to Sydney. Sydney tickets usually cost around 40k PHP (around 1000 AUD), which is too rich for my blood right now.  That’s already a week-long trip somewhere…

The high of travelling alone

I’ve been traveling alone for a while now (intermittently since 2009 and more so now) and I often get asked by people I meet how and why I travel by myself. The most recent query came from a woman from New Zealand whom I met in Hunter Valley, Australia. The how part is easy. You…

The face in the mirror

I started watching Please Like Me via Netflix around the time Chester Bennington took his own life. It may have been a coincidence but the show and the Linkin Park frontman’s unfortunate passing did share underlying themes of mental illness and the grasp it has on those afflicted with it. On the surface, Please Like…

Could pro-social behavior change victim-minded individuals?

Is there a way to save victim-minded individuals? I came up with this question yesterday morning, March 25, 2014, when I went to a seminar on “The Psychology of Justice Sensitivity and Cross-Cultural Differences” by German researcher Simona Maltese at De La Salle University. I almost didn’t go because I wasn’t that interested in the…

Toilet buddies

For the past few months, I’ve had two toilet buddies that make my time doing # 2 a little less lonely. They are Edge’s What Have You Changed Your Mind About? and What Are You Optimistic About?, both edited by John Brockman. These non-fiction books by the self-proclaimed intellectual online hub http://www.edge.org collect short essays…