Archive for the ‘ Random ’ Category

I Realized Something

The other day I realized something funny about women and fashion. Women put a lot of effort into being thin so that they can wear clothes that make them look larger.

Putting Thoughts on Paper

I can’t be the only one that feels as though her thoughts organize and manifest differently when tying on a computer versus writing on paper. I know that there’s a difference in which parts of the brain are accessed, and I feel like it has a profound effect on my own creative process.

Sometimes, I sit in front of a blank screen, empty Word document glaring at me in its pristine digital white, and can’t conjure a single sentence only to pull out a notebook and let endless streams of thought dump from my mind onto paper in a scratchy, scrawling hand.

Somehow, my words are more refined and poetic, a garden of flowery prose, in the digital. On paper, the words are more raw and uninhibited. They’re far from pretty but they drive to the point of the plot, and pounce forward. I get my thoughts down quick, my fingers fly across the keyboard and I don’t have to dwell on what’s popping up on the screen. I linger when handwriting, it’s a skeleton without flesh and features, and I’m not concerned about structure, aesthetics, dreaded word count and number of pages, proper formatting, and which font is prettier.

Sometimes my keyboard sticks, my computer fails me with the distractions of other applications, music, online web-surfing, and video games (I’ve got cities to conquer and puzzles to solve, it’s all more important than putting to word the stories flitting about my mind drowning me in their design). Sometimes my hand cramps, my pen runs out of ink, and my papers become a mess, I can’t read my own writing or stomach looking back over it to type it up , it wasn’t pleasing the first time, the digital won’t make it anymore pleasing when I can actually see on screen what my mind is saying on paper.

Bring on the Bird

thanksgiving-dinner-wallpaper-2

This year my sister is hosting Thanksgiving for  the first time.  She’s a good cook, and likes to go all out for big events, so my stomach is very excited.  She’s trying out a few new fancy dishes, like a pork, bacon, and apple stuffing, and a orange-cranberry sauce made from fresh cranberries.

A little less excited that my holiday weekend will be spent doing homework, but I’ve got two more weeks left and the semester is over!  After that, just five more classes to go and I’ll have my degree.  I’m already signed up for the classes and I’m anxious for them to start.  Year’s not over yet, and I’m ready for the next to begin, what is wrong with me?  I guess I just see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m making a mad, mad, mad dash to the finish line.

Here’s hoping your kitchen smells as fantastic as mine right now.  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Opening Doors, Leaving Others Behind

I start my new job tonight.

It’s a little frightening.  There’s a lot of pressure attached to it.  This isn’t just an opportunity to change where I am, but in a sense, I’m pursuing my dreams.  I want to write, to live off writing, see if I have it in me to turn out something people are willing to pay for to read.

Meanwhile, my other job is going to be left hanging for a little while.  Things are slow there, so I’ve cut back hours to transition into this new job.  I feel like a half-person at the old place, a ghost in a sense, which is different than the prisoner I’ve felt like for the past few years.  I’m trying desperately to stay focused on work when I’m there, to keep caring about what I’m doing, but all I really want to do is swap over to this new place and leave the other entirely behind.  I’ve been trapped for so long, this tiny taste of freedom has me salivating at the bit.

I don’t know what I’ll do if this new place decides not to take me on as a permanent employee.

I guess I shouldn’t think like that.  Just need to write like I mean it.

I have a test in a couple hours.  I should be studying, but instead I’m here, procrastinating.

For no real, particular reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about trust and where I’ve placed it in recent times.  Also, I’ve been thinking about the weird ways in which the world works.  They seem like profound musings, but really I’m dwelling on a fellow classmate that seemed to make valiant efforts to befriend me and now I feel did it solely to take advantage of me (and my far better study habits than her own), and how the other day when I got in a car accident I also received invitation to interview at the new job I’ll be starting next week.

Life, at least from my perspective, always balances out in the long run.  Which I think is a very optimistic outlook, given that I grew up a household that focused entirely on the bad things and completely ignored or, it might be more appropriate to say, let the bad overshadow the good.  When I moved out of the house, I very gradually came to realize happiness really does come from within, and that it’s really not about where you are in life but what you do while you’re there.

Or as Yoga Jones put it in Orange is the New Black:

“Work hard to make something as beautiful and meaningful as you can, and when you’re done, pack it in and known it was all temporary.”

Spam – Not Just a Processed Meat

I love that WordPress is generally very good at filtering out spam comments.  It makes my life a lot easier.  Of all the spam comments I’ve received since starting this blog, only one has ever slipped by the filter.  It was a tricky one too, short and sweet, but obviously computer generated due to its referencing something that had nothing whatsoever to do with the post.  Because I’m paranoid though, I always skim through my spam pile to make sure someone who wrote a real comment didn’t accidentally get filtered out as spam.  It could happen, you never know. There are times I write things that look like such a garbled mess, I wonder if I didn’t momentarily channel a bot.

The interesting thing is, sometimes I enjoy reading spam.  It makes me laugh, makes me cry (when it’s the only comment I get for a post, that is…), and sometimes, the spam bot throws together a combination of words that’s just so profound, I find myself wishing I’d written it.  Only to Google the phrase and find out spam bot just lifted the entire paragraph from a comment someone actually did write in an obscure forum post.  Plagiarism, not just for desperate college students.

In a way, spam makes me think of Descartes’ mind-body dualism theory, what would later be referred to as his “Ghost in the Machine”, which is another story for another day.  My actual point being, as with any human writer, if you let a machine generate enough sentences, eventually it will create something meaningful.  Of course, I like to think human writers have a higher success rate than machines.  Though some days, I’m not so sure.

Anyhow, here are a few recent spam comments I’ve received that really made me smile.

“My buddy encouraged I’d quite possibly this way web page. He or she seemed to be completely perfect. This publish truly made this morning. A person cann’t believe that purely precisely how so much time frame I had put together invested because of this details! Thank you!” [sic].   — I especially liked the line “This publish truly made this morning”.  You’re welcome, spam bot.

“These are in fact enormous ideas in about blogging.
You have touched some good factors here. Any way keep up wrinting” [sic] — I will keep wrinting.  Thank you.

“It’s as you master my head! You peer to grasp lots relating to this, such as you submitted the ebook there something like that. I’m sure that you choose to is capable of doing with just a few per-cent to help electricity what it’s all about residence a bit, but instead of that, which is amazing blog site. An incredible examine. I’m going to easily be rear.” [sic] — I am a master of heads, as it so happens.  Though I don’t recall submitting an ebook.  This spam comment must have been meant for someone else.

“You could surely view your capabilities from the art you are submitting. The sector desires for much more passionate writers just like you that aren’t frightened post where did they consider. Everyday stick to your coronary heart.” [sic] — well, if we’re going to be getting anatomical up in here, you struck my humeral medial epicondyle, spam bot, and tickled my ulnar nerve.

“If any one wishes to be a successful blogger,subsequently he/she must learn this chip of writing,for it contains al} strategies related to that.” [sic] — this one was posted to my short story “Comedy of Fables”.  It’s entertaining, but I’m not sure it’ll help you become a successful blogger.  Hasn’t helped me none.

And that’s all folks.  Read spam, it’s as bad for your health as the stuff in the can, but if prepared right, sometimes it’s just so gosh darn good, you can’t help yourself.

I Got This School Thing Down…

Now if only I could get the rest of my life in order.

Got my grades back for the semester: 3 A’s and 1 B.  Go me!  I can almost see the finish line, my Bachelors in Anthropology hovering in the distance.  It’ll look pretty framed in a dark oak.

I’m now officially on week two of my summer break and I haven’t accomplished anything.  Well, that’s not *entirely* true.  I did about half the pile of laundry in my room and straightened some of the clutter.  I also threw out all the garbage in my car.  It’s nice to pull through a drive-thru now and not have to avert my eyes out of embarrassment because the passenger side of my car is covered in take-out bags.

I swear, I’m not a junk-food addict, I’m just a college student!  I’m now in overcompensation mode, cooking up a storm of good-foods from scratch.  Made whole wheat pizza dough from scratch, turned out delicious.  Next on my agenda is bread from scratch, and a berry cake with mascarpone frosting.  Also, I’m waiting for the doughnut pan I ordered from Amazon to arrive so I can start baking yummy breakfast pastries.

Okay, maybe I’ve been a little busy since summer started.  Only thing I haven’t gotten my mind focused on is, of course, writing.

It just goes to figure.  I’ve got an abundance of time and I’m hit with the dreaded W.B.

I could pull out my old post on dealing with writer’s block that I wrote almost a year ago…where did that thing go again….ah, here it is.

Or I could suck it up, sit down, and pound out a few pages, with no regard to quality.  Can always rewrite later, right?  Right.

I think for now I’ll read a bit, go to bed, and then work on it in the morning.  Maybe I’ll shake things up a bit in the writing realm, step outside my comfort zone and try my hand at something outside of my norm.  Horror, perhaps.  I’ve never written a horror, not a proper one anyhow.

Off I go, I’ll let you guys know how things turn out.

Thinking, Believing, Supposing

I’m thinking about believing who I’m supposed to be

To become who I was

Or change what I am

Who I’m supposed to believe I think I can be

Will it change what I think I believe I am

That I was

Who I’ve been

What I suppose I believed

Thinking if I am supposed to believe what I was

Changes who I am

Believing if I think I can change who I’m supposed to be

That maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally see me.

Spring Cleaning

I’m supposed to be doing homework right now, so of course, I’m on my blog screwing around.  Ah…procrastination…if only you were a sport.

Anyhow, I’ve been letting my blog get cluttered and directionless lately, figured I ought to do a bit of “spring cleaning”. ‘Tis the season, right?  Next I’ll do laundry and clean the debris from my room (HAH!  Yeah, right.)

Forewarning, I’ll be moving things around, deleting useless posts, and possibly updating my blog “theme” for a spiffy new look, we’ll see.   Seems like sprucing up your blog is something you should do every so often.

Also, it takes care of one of my New Year’s Resolutions, Number 11: Become a better blogger.  Posting regularly and visiting other blogs would probably go a longer ways in helping me accomplish this resolution, but you know, I’m working on it.

Procrastination and Other Drugs

I’m thinking about buying the game Minecraft.  I know I’m a bit behind not owning it, and buying it would make my sister (who is obsessed with the game) so happy, but I’m a tad concerned about my preoccupation with buying it at this particular juncture because of what it means, that it’s that time of the season again.

School is in session and I am all geared up and ready to…procrastinate!

Because my goal this year is to get straight A’s (or four A’s and a “pass”, which is the only “grade” I can receive from my internship), I thought I’d write out my Top Five Ways to Procrastinate, listing them out will help me think up ways to avoid and overcome them, and I figured if I’m writing them out I might as well share them with all of you!

So, here goes nothing.

My Top Five Ways to Procrastinate

1) Play video games.  In my (nonexistent except in my delusional fantasy world) spare time, I’m a bit of a gamer.  Not hardcore, mind you, but I’ve been acquainted with a joystick or two.  My favorites of the moment are Don’t Starve (which is a beta indie game about survival in a Gothic-inspired, demon infested, alternate dimension) and Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition (I played the original and all its subsequent incarnations, sequels and side-stories, so this is an old favorite reborn).  Typically I keep my game play to a reasonable minimum, but when school is in session,  it becomes a chore pulling myself away from the tree chopping and kobold slaying (little bastards come in packs of ten with fire arrows!!).

Breaking the Habit: Right now, my method of putting this procrastination fix on hold is to shift to another addiction on this list, but it only lasts for so long.  Now I’m taking a cue from Felicia Day.  She’s an actress, writer, Youtube sensation, and gamer that I’ve been following on twitter (@feliciaday if you’re interested).  She doesn’t tweet often, I imagine because she’s so busy with running her successful Youtube channel but every now and then she mentions having an “hour to play” some game or another, usually as a reward for having gotten some big project done.  This seems to me to be the best way to motivate myself to do homework and also nip this bad habit in the bud.  I’ll do homework for an hour, take a twenty minute or so game break, then do another hour of homework.  We’ll see how that goes.

2) Browser Window Shopping.  In the digital age, window shopping has never been easier.  I’m already at a computer, my mind is numb from having to read about Life History Theory again, and although I may not have any money, there’s no reason why I can’t simply browse through books on Amazon or build my if-money-were-no-object dream PC on  CyberPowerPC or  assemble my fantasy wardrobe on Modcloth.  Of course, this is all just a gateway drug, because eventually surfing the shopping sites leads me to Youtube, and Youtube leads me to a video of a cat chasing snow and suddenly…suddenly…hours of my time have flown by and what have I been doing?  Watching the, albeit adorable cat, pounce through white powder and not learning a single thing about how Life History Theory ties in to Cultural Evolution and behavior change as adaptation.  Do you see how this is a problem?

Breaking the Habit: This one is tricky.  The web is literally at my fingertips, and I am a few keystrokes from window shopping addict’s heaven.  I can hear Etsy calling my name right now, and gosh darn it all, there are way too many cute octopus necklaces on that site than ought to be legal.  I don’t know why I’m obsessed with the tentacled-beasties, I swear I don’t!!  That being said, I need a way to get on the wagon and fast, I just don’t know what it looks like or where it’s going.  I’m thinking this one might have to be a rubberband trick.  You know the one, put a rubberband round your wrist and flick it every time you go to do the bad habit (run of the mill behavioral conditioning).  Except, instead of a rubberband, I think every time I feel the urge to window shop, I will put my computer to sleep and take a ten minute break (stretch my legs, get a drink or snack).  This should give my mind the obviously much needed refresher, and keep me from getting sucked into a spiraling vortex of cute kitty-dom that will rob me of my entire study time.

3) Watching television or Youtube.  Typically, I’m not much for watching shows.  I usually spend free time writing, nothing worth reading mind you, but it feels more productive  than staring mindlessly at the boobtube watching other people’s stories unfold.  I have a few television shows I watch (like Justified, and can I just say, this season has been so fucking fantastic, I gape at the screen five minutes after an episode ends crying “I can’t wait until Tuesday, I want more now!”), and I take care of watching those off the DVR on my day’s off from work.  The problem is Youtube more than anything, and those amalgamations of insidiousness Netflix and Hulu.  Once again, right at my fingertips…and, let’s face it, all links lead to Youtube.

Breaking the Habit: I have to quit cold turkey.  It’ll hurt for awhile, especially since i just discovered Table Top (courtesy of my all-things-nerd expert, aka, my older sister), hosted by Wil Wheaton.  Youtube is a huge time suck, it’s like a giant, swirling blackhole for time except…theoretically…time goes slower the closer you get to the center of a blackhole, therefore if Youtube were a blackhole and my free time was approaching its center I would have an eternity of time…but this is not astrophysics here, this is a metaphor and I got literary license for it.  I’m going to walk away from this one and I’m leaving Youtube behind with it.

4) Socializing.  In general, I’m not really a social person.  I have friends, family I like to see from time to time (and then immediately get drunk right after) but overall, I’m a hardcore introvert.  I prefer spending my free time alone in my room listening to music and typing up stories or reading a good book.  That being said, I go out so much when school is in.  I book plans every weekend: lunches with old friends I haven’t seen in months, hiking trips and family dinner/game nights.  Anything that gets me out of the house and far, far, far away from my homework is high up on my must do now list.

Breaking the Habit: This one is tricky because it involves friends, family, loved ones in general.  But I have to do it…I have to silence the phone, cut off the text messages and stop making plans.  The mountain can wait, even if I only have two months left on my season pass to Red Rock, my friends can go another month without hearing from me, family dinner is sort of locked in and unavoidable, but I need to focus on getting more homework done earlier in the day, which I should be able to do if I can overcome all the other procrastination techniques on this list.

5) Last, but most certainly not least, Writing.  Yes, at this very moment, I am procrastinating.  I’m actually, currently, supposed to be reading a chapter of my textbook for my Patterns of Human Growth and Development class and then writing up a quick discussion post based on those readings and yet…here I am!  I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but my number of blog posts has increased over the past few weeks and that is because…school started a few weeks ago.  This is probably the worst method of procrastination on this list.  Why?  I can justify it.  I’m a writer.  I maintain (sort of) this blog, and I have the twitter thing I have to every now and then post to in order to justify it’s existence and then I also have to dedicate time to writing my stories in hopes of one day writing something worth selling and…well…maybe you’re starting to see my conundrum.

Breaking the Habit: Or not.  Take inspiration where you can get it, right?  Because if I flunk out of school, at least I’ll always have writing to fall back on…er…well…I guess, taking into consideration that writing is a really difficult industry to break into and it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and a lot of rejection before you can even come close to making money you can live off of…right, on second thought, I think I’m going to go hit those books.

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