Moriarty Should Have Lived

Do you ever get so passionate in the heat of the moment that you just have to blog about it?

This is a topic that’s been on my mind a while: Moriarty’s fate in BBC Sherlock.

And yes, many spoilers here if you haven’t read it.

I’m gonna put a bit more space here in case your eyes glaze over it, like most do when reading blog posts.

SPOILERS.

Anyhoo.

So Moriarty kills himself at the end of season two of Sherlock. Yeah. What a mistake. It was as if the writers didn’t know how popular the character would become because they spend the next TWO SEASONS bringing him back in weird ghost forms, to the point where he was more prominently featured in the show after he died than when he was alive.

BBC Sherlock’s version of Moriarty is one of the greatest villains of all time. I would put him either on par or higher than Heath Ledger’s Joker and THAT is high praise, buddy. You could understand his motivations, yet he was a total madman. Andrew Scott’s performance would be the highlight of every episode for me.

And don’t get me wrong, I actually love his death scene and his motivation behind it. He’s so desperate to kill Sherlock’s eternal reputation, that he’d literally kill himself to achieve it. What other villain even comes close to that level of pettiness?

At the end of season three, they introduced a new villain, before quickly killing him as well and teasing MORIARTY’S RETURN.

OH MAN, THAT GOT ME HYPED…

…for one of, if not the biggest let down of my life.

Seriously, this was a bigger let down than when I felt like my dad didn’t love me because I couldn’t play sports. I tried, I really tried.

I asked him to train me one afternoon. We went to the local park and shot some hoops. It could’ve been a great father-son bonding moment, but I just sucked so badly at basketball that the only thing I was left with was the silent disappointment in my father’s eyes.

We would go to the gym every Saturday, where I would routinely underperform in every aspect of the sport possible. I even sucked at simply passing the ball.

On the way home, my dad told me I was grounded from using the computer, since I had a bad attitude about sports. I ran upstairs to my room and cried. I felt trapped. It wasn’t that I had a bad attitude, I was just bad. I wasn’t good enough. And now my dad was punishing me for being physically unable to be the athletic son he’s always wanted. Sigh. At least he has my brothers.

In the Sherlock season four teaser, they show a shot of what is clearly the back of Moriarty’s head. My spirits lifted. HE’S ALIVE! I began chanting like it was Easter.

Then season four actually premiered.

And man, did they do my dirty.

They introduced Moriarty back into the Sherlock universe, alive and well…

…only to reveal it was a flashback MIDWAY into the scene.

Now that is some messed up ish.

Kinda like the time my dad….never mind.

Look, the writers had a good thing going. They had this fantastic villain and a fantastic death scene. Great. But either bring him back to life or leave him dead! Don’t play my heart, fools! The villain in season three was great! I loved him despite not being able to remember his name!

If you were going to toy with my feelings, teasing that he might be alive, then BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE BRO I JUST WANT MORE-RIARTY!

Ugh.

Anyway, I’m still upset about Sherlock. Truly one of the worst moments of my life.

Josh out.

3 Objective Reasons Why iPhone Is The Superior Phone

I usually don’t write about things like this, but I have some strong feelings I need to unleash. See, I was a faithful Android user for years. My first smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S4. I loved it.

After I had dropped it multiple times and purchased the spider-web design on my home screen, I upgraded to the S6. Made sense. Nothing particularly new.

I must’ve bought at least ten different chargers for this thing. The battery would die twice a day after only two years of use. Texting was a major pain in the crack so I rarely texted, preferring Facebook messenger instead.

When looking for a new phone, I considered getting a Google Pixel. It was like finding a person who resembles your ex and being attracted to them. However, to quote Breaking Bad, I was done with half measures.

I bought an iPhone X.

The lights came on. I experienced a revelation second only to my faith in Jesus Christ. I had a phone that actually….worked?

Now that I’ve owned an iPhone for about a month and clearly a leading expert in this field of study, here are three objective, undeniable reasons based on empirical data why iPhones are the best smartphones in the world.

Number one, the app store. Let’s face it, phones are unnecessarily advanced nowadays. I don’t need my phone to fly me to the moon, I just want to make calls, text, take photos, and use apps. Every phone, even the cursed Android, is great at these tasks. We can get into the minutiae about which camera has more megapixels, but honestly who gives a flying funky monkey.

What iPhone has over Android, and will always have over Android, is that every app is made for iPhone.

Maybe a tiny percent of apps are made for the ‘droid. Tiny. But it’s indisputable that all apps are designed for iPhone, then ported to Android.

Because of this iPhone will always get the first updates, have priority when it comes to debugging, and access to a greater variety. A good example is Instagram. Often on my Android, Instagram updates would come months after everyone with an iPhone was already tired of the new features.

Let’s take a moment to analyze why I’m so built up about this. Are phones really that important? Does any of this really matter? When I’m on my deathbed, will I remember fondly how I wrote a lengthy blog post telling everyone something they already know? The answer is, of course, yes.

NUMBAHHHH TWOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Here’s an easy plus: the software and hardware for iPhones are manufactured by the same company. This is why I briefly considered the Google Pixel; however, Apple’s been in the smartphone game for far longer…heck, they began the smartphone game…so I decided on the tried and true.

One of my biggest irks with Android were uninstallable third-party apps. This drove me up the wazoo, especially an app called Peel Smart Remote. I couldn’t uninstall this thing. I talked to Verizon about it; apparently Android made a deal with this company to throw this app onto all their phones.

It made using an Android comparable to the third level of phone hell.

It had ads I had to pay to remove (I didn’t). Every time I uninstalled it, it would reinstall within a few hours. It filled my home screen, making me feel like I was holding an portable ad, not my personal smartphone. I don’t know who in Samsung thought this was a good idea but gee golly, some days I wanted to smash my phone with a hammer.

Number three, Apple’s simple, intuitive designs make it the easiest smartphone to use. I don’t need to feel like a computer hacker every time I make a phone call, I just want to use my phone. When you have to google how to use your own phone, you know someone on the design team seriously forked up.

That’s pretty much it. I’ve been telling Jenine I would write a blog post about my new phone for a while, so here it is. I can finally move on with my life and talk about other things I’m passionate about, like how every Harry Potter movie directed by David Yates is utter trash.

Josh out.

Home.

I wish I could work from home in New Jersey. A client would call, telling me they had a batch of footage to transfer over. In two hours, I’d be editing a video, creating a digital explosion, or whatever they needed done, and sending it back to them. Boom. A thousand dollars. Then I’d ask my mom if she needed help cooking dinner.

It’d be nice to live like that. A guy can dream.

After three years, I’m finally getting used to Los Angeles. I like it there. It’s a good place to work. I have a group of friends who I consider family, people I can trust to have my back. But every time I come to the East Coast, I remember that I miss it so damn much.

Many things have changed. For instance, I don’t rock a Chinese monk haircut with a pathetic prepubescent mustache. Glad that’s changed. Most of my peers are working adults, including my best friends. All but one of my siblings have moved out of the house. I barely see my favorite couple in the world, Matt and Rebecca, after they had kids. Chinatown is becoming gentrified.

Yet some things stay the same. Our family gatherings are still insane. My home churches are still thriving. And you can’t beat fancy dinners in Chinatown with Grandma.

When I’m asked where I consider home, I say without a doubt, the east coast. Easy peasy. It’s where I grew up. It’s where ninety-five percent of my family reside. So why do I live in Los Angeles?

Because I believe I was designed for a purpose. I don’t mean to sound over-confident, like I have everything together, because I don’t. But I do believe these things. My visits back home always remind me of who I am.

The people who believed in me are still here.

Everyone I grew up loving is still here.

My family is still here.

My God is still here.

And He’s with me in California too. He’s sent me there with a purpose. Again, I don’t mean to sound over-confident. There’s so many questions I still have, so many doubts I need to fight. But it’s all part of the journey, and I’m not afraid of the journey anymore.

See you later, East Coast. I’ve got some work to do.

Josh out.

 

Few Things I’ve Learned So Far

I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a person in 2018. Right now, these life lessons are floating around in my head, but I’d like to write them down as a way of nailing the coffin. It helps.

1. Invest in yourself

I’ve always been a risk-averse person. You know how they say you need to spend money to earn money? That concept was foreign to me until recently.

I participated in an episode of Jubilee’s Real Monopoly, where we played Monopoly with real money. There I met a businessman who encouraged me to invest in myself.

“Buying a suit,” he said, “is investing in yourself. Anything that can create more opportunities for you, that is worth your money.”

Buying a new camera lens is investing in myself. Paying for online classes is investing in myself. Investing in a Roth IRA is investing in myself. Right now my money’s just sitting in my bank, earning minimal interest. If I have enough savings, there’s no reason I shouldn’t put my money toward my future. Risking a little money is better than hoarding it.

2. You’re not ready for every opportunity.

As much as I would love to be handed the chance to direct a feature film, I’m not ready. I tend to seek amazing opportunities for myself without asking if I’m even ready for those opportunities. That requires growth, both technical and spiritual. That’s why I make short films. To practice filmmaking.

But it’s not just about skillz. It’s about being an honorable, mature person who is capable of handling responsibility. Like Spider-man. Spiritual growth is equally as important as technical. One without the other means I haven’t fully grown into the person I want to be.

3. Time is precious.

I’ve blocked Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and several movie news sites from my laptop. Yes, I can still access them on my phone, but it’s a start. I’m using an Chrome extension called StayFocused, which allows me to view my blocked sites for a total of ten minutes, and I’m always surprised at how quickly I use those ten minutes up.

Those sites aren’t worth my time, no matter how entertained I feel. I used to think I was good under pressure, but I’m not. When I have too many tasks at hand, I try to numb myself. Do something lazy. Ignore the tasks until the last second. Surf the web.

I’ve already used up all my “blocked site time” for the day. That forced me to blog. See? Progress.


These are just a few life lessons I’ve been engraining into my psychology. It’s 3:30am right now and I wanted to make this short and sweet. Plus I have to pick up my sister from soccer practice in five hours.

Josh out.

I Don’t Need To Be A Director

As I get older, the person who I want to be becomes clearer.

All my life I’ve dreamed of working in movies, directing short films and eventually features. Teenage Josh had vision. Big dreams. I’ll always remember something one of my best friends once said to me during high school:

ROBERT
Josh, I really admire how you know exactly what you want to do with your life. It’s taken me years to figure out my own purpose.

I embraced that statement with pride. Most of my friends had no freakin’ clue what they wanted to be. Maybe a doctor, lawyer, the Asian stereotype. Many just wanted to have fun and live in the moment. But not Josh. Even as a teen, my train had one destination. Anything outside my goal was an unnecessary distraction.

For the past ten years, I clutched so tightly to my dreams that I lost them. Filmmaking became a chore. I used to make films out of passion; now I made them to advance my career. Funny thing is, when you make films to advance your career, they don’t.

A few days ago, I had a surprisingly honest conversation with Ien, the creative director of Jubilee Media. We chatted about what we wanted in life. I don’t remember what we said word-for-word, but here’s our dialogue paraphrased:

IEN
I used to want to be a director. But now I realized I was in love with the “idea” of being a director, rather than actually directing.

ME
Yeah, I mean, everyone wants to be Christopher Nolan…

IEN
…or Steven Spielberg, exactly! It’s the honor, the glory associated with the title that makes it so damn attractive.  Now at Jubilee, I probably direct my own content thirty percent of the time.

ME
That’s not a lot.

IEN
It isn’t. It’s not the role I thought I’d be playing. But it’s so incredibly fulfilling. I’m creating communities, building connections with real people. I used to want one specific thing, to direct my own movies. Now my life goals are less specific, and they could look like a number of things. I’m open to different experiences that may not align with what I imagined myself doing, but they align with the person I want to become.

The realization hit me. I used to be disappointed with myself when I wasn’t working toward “my dream.” Feeding the homeless doesn’t help me become a director. Going to Bible study doesn’t help me become a director. Only doing director-ish things helps me do that, and that’s a pretty narrow-minded way of living.

I no longer need to be a director. For the first time in ten years, I can safely say that. I’ve just been fooling myself this whole time, not wanting to let teen Josh’s dreams down. I still love telling stories, in whatever form that takes. I don’t need the accolades or affirmation. Being the truest version of myself is enough.

In fact, by admitting I don’t need to be a director allows me to freely say I want to be one! I want to make movies! It’s fun! I love it! My sense of self-worth doesn’t hinge on whether I become Ridley Scott or not, that’s stupid. But through films I can express my self-worth. And that’s awesome.

Gee, I haven’t blogged in a while. There are A LOT of thoughts that I need to get out so expect more on the way. I’m stuck on a cruise ship right now and paying $119 bucks for a week’s worth of internet is totally worth it.

Josh out.

Pure Filmmaking Intentions

Jubilee Fellowship starts tomorrow, but I have some quick thoughts to get out:

What are my intentions when I make films? What is my desired outcome? Recognition? Or is it enough just to create?


Josh began making films at twelve years old, using one of Canon’s first digital cameras. A brick. He made a Narnia spoof. No one was watching, except his family. He just did it because it was fun.

One year later, thirteen year old Josh screened his fifteen minute magnum opus, Ultrakids, at his church’s retreat. People were ecstatic. They like me. They really, really like me.

Teenage Josh recognized this admiration as a “good feeling” and subsequently desired more. So he made more films. And more films. And many, many more films. All while chasing this high he felt when people praised his work. He forgot what it was like just to make films for fun. The reason he started in the first place.

The sad irony is that the best films come not from an artist attempting to gain recognition, but from a pure expression of the soul. Josh realized this, but how could he retrain his brain after eleven years of making films for the approval of others?

He doesn’t know how he’ll do it. But he knows he has to try. A problem can’t be fixed until it’s acknowledged.


Why did I write this thing in third person?

I No Longer Take Warm Showers

I don’t like announcing I’ve changed an old habit just a few days in. I could revert back anytime now.

July 4th. My friend Lester and I were chit-chatting about ways to stay motivated in life.

LESTER
I’ve been saying this a lot, but I’ll say it again. Cold showers. It helps me focus like nothing else.

ME
That sounds miserable.

When people suggest changing my lifestyle, I usually don’t. Not until the lack of change directly affects me, by then it’s a little too late (e.g. I got braces twice). However, as I stepped in the shower later that night, a wave of inspiration hit.

I turned the water to cold.

With gritted teeth, I stuck my hand into stream. Then my arm. Oh boy. I don’t like this. My body inched into the water, then retreated. You can do this, Josh. I closed my eyes then dove in.

I realized three things after my first few cold showers. First, my skin feels amazing afterwards. Something about the cold water drying gives a warm, burning sensation.

Second, I save a TON of water, gas, and time. My showers are three thousand times faster (wouldn’t be surprised if that was an accurate calculation) because I don’t dilly-dally in a jacuzzi. Instead, I’m in and out, long enough to wash myself and that’s it. Heck, it also makes me a more efficient person. Less shower time equals more time to do other things. Like blogging.

Third, it’s great for waking up and refocusing, as Lester mentioned. I was a bit drowsy before writing this post. The cure? A blast of cold water in the face. Boom. Magic.

I’m only three days into taking cold showers. Apparently it takes two weeks to get used to. I’ll update you guys then. If I haven’t given an update in two weeks, comment below and remind me.

I’ve been thinking about the moment right before I enter the water. Hesitation. Dread. I squirm every time, but I know I should do it. It’s better for me. I’m convicted of that.

My quality of life increases because of these five seconds of discomfort. It could be ten seconds. It could be a minute. But that doesn’t matter. As long as I choose the cold shower, I win. Oh, it’d be a lot easier to go back the blazing hot showers I’ve been taking for twenty-five years. I’ve already thought of “treating” myself to a warm shower every now and then.

But why should I? Why would I trade a better life for a lazy, convenient one? Sure, it feels good in the moment, but I’m losing so much more. I’m losing self-discipline. The will to do hard things. The will to make tough decisions. Wow, you take cold showers and suddenly you’re a motivational speaker. I believe it’s the little things. Good habits aren’t created in a snap. They’re little adjustments that you make to yourself over time. My first step is just a bit frigid.

Josh out.