Five Things Friday: January 17, 2014

Three creative things I want to do RIGHT NOW. But seriously, literally right now.

1. Write for a really large block of time and finish at least one short story (that’s been in the works for a pretty long time now). In addition, make some progress on the novel I was writing that I was going to work on a bit in December, and then didn’t because I’m just too lazy to ever be productive.

2. Get paints and brushes and DIY the cardboard boxes I use as storage bins so that my room can be pretty and not just a complete mess.

3. Totally reorganize my room. It doesn’t sound like a “creative” thing, but it would have to be to figure out how to make everything fit nicely in my room.

Two reasons I’m sure I won’t do these things.

1. Chores and errands and adult things like that. It’s often tempting to forego responsibility for awesomeness, but at some point the concept was ingrained in me that if you do that you end up with a mess that’s harder to deal with later. So I try. Sort of. But I also waste a lot of time watching tv shows, so what’s the real problem here?

2. Currently editing the longest manuscript ever.  EVER. Aside from, like, encyclopedias or whatever. And because of time and deadlines and stuff, I’m going to have to work quite a bit this weekend, because otherwise we might have problems.

~~~~

It’s 2014! When you have fewer life changes, it feels like time is just passing you by and making you older. I HATE it. I feel so stuck right now. Not fun. What’s my goal? Where’s my end point? I need these things in order to actually function.

First five things Friday of the year–and the first one for a few weeks. I remember my original intention to do this every week, somehow missing the fact that Friday nights are usually spent hanging out with friends and way too tired out from the week to have clever, coherent thoughts… I am the tiredest.

I’m having major life issues right now–mostly, realizing that I don’t think the skills from my current job are really transferable to any other jobs, which is something that’s probably going to work against me in the future. Unfortunately,  further details can’t really be given on the internet, so I guess I’ll just have to be vague.

My birthday is approaching. I’m about to be 27. It’s both still young and too old. You know what? I blame the internet. If I didn’t hear so many stories about people who are super successful in their 20s, I’d probably be much more ok with where I am in life. (Or at least marginally more ok with it…)

I think that I sound awfully boring right now. It’s so bad that I almost want to delete this whole post and not blog at all right now, but, well, why not.

Five Things Friday: December 27, 2013

I’ve been trying to determine if I am really an adult… since it isn’t really about your age, it seems. Let’s review the most recent arguments.

 

1. I’m happy about getting practical things for Christmas. I got a printer, and a blender. Yay, appliances! And socks.

2. The socks I got for Christmas have cartoon-y cats on them.

3. I offered to help with the baking (but then I didn’t; too tired).

4. I have no idea how to work the tv cable box or the smoke alarm. I need a ride everywhere I go, because I don’t have my own car and I’m not likely to anytime soon.

5. I have not eaten all the cheesecake yet. However, I want to.

….results inconclusive.

Five Things Friday: November 22, 2013

This week has been unfortunately long. So long, in fact, that it really feels like it should be NEXT Friday … and I’m not just saying that because I’ll be able to sleep in that day.

So here are five things from this week that I just feel like sharing. No particular thought, just the high-and-lowlights. It’s not going to be a very interesting post, I don’t think. I just need a little brain dump.

1. I had to go to the dentist. That is, I had made an appointment with a livingsocial coupon, and since I had made the appointment and they were letting me use the coupon even though it expired in August, I felt that I should go. So I got out of bed quite a bit earlier than usual and forced myself out the door by 7:15, for an 8:00 a.m. appointment… and it was about 10:30 by the time I got to work. The appointment itself was just over an hour, including the post-cleaning consultation about fillings that I can’t afford. My last dentist appointment took about 20 minutes. But it was also like four years ago, so I think we’ve solved this mystery.

2. The light in the bathroom started flickering (I suspected a possible ghost) and then went out on Wednesday evening. Apparently, we don’t have any replacement light bulbs. They seem to be among the things that you don’t think about keeping around, but then when you need them, you wish they were there… I switched it out for the light from a lamp in the living room that we almost never turn on. I’m hoping to get more light bulbs after I get paid.

3. Also on Wednesday, Fedex failed to deliver my package. Usually it’s UPS that fails, so it’s always surprising when it’s Fedex. The tracking information said it was out for delivery until nearly ten o’clock, as I kept refreshing it, and then it suddenly said a “Delivery exception” had “occurred” at just after 8. (The “exception” actually being that I was at home and no one rang the doorbell.) Fedex is weird, and sometimes they end up giving packages to the USPS if they “can’t” complete delivery. I got it the next day–by the way, it fit through the mail slot perfectly.

Based on what I do know, this is what I think Fedex does: when they don’t actually get to your package that day, they claim you weren’t there and make it the problem of the post office. I.e. instead of admitting that you couldn’t do your job, you’re trying to blame me. That’s so annoying.

The only other time this happened, I had to go get the package down at the post office. This time it showed up the next day, and now my ears will be warm snugly wrapped in my black cashmere cable-knit ear warmer. That’s 100% cashmere. It’s very soft and perfect. Now that I have it, I’m over the whole thing, but I still wanted to rant.

4. Also on Wednesday, I started reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I have out from the library on a dismally short loan (only two weeks, instead of the usual month that most books are allowed). I wasn’t sure I would have time to finish the whole thing by the due date, which is today, so I went online to renew it and discovered that it was not an option for this book. So I had to stay up late two nights in a row to be able to finish it. I did get it back on time, but still. Wednesday was not a very good day.

5. A facebook friend posted this very fun-sounding pun-type game (pun-sounding?): Come up with the funniest version of a movie title by changing one letter (including omission/addition of a letter). I posted it, asking people to join in. It was quite fun. Here are a few good one:

-From Duck Til Dawn

-Footsie

-Jurassic Pork

-Soy Anything

-28 Gays

-O Bother! Where Art Thou?

…you get the idea. I highly recommend it, although I’m sure it can get tiresome to some people… I like puns. Deal with it.

So that was some of my week. The rest was mostly work. And other stressful things.

Five Things Friday: September 6, 2013

Today has been… um, yeah. None of my productivity plans happened. I probably shouldn’t be surprised. And I bought a few, fairly inexpensive things, which I kind of shouldn’t have. Having paid some of my bills and done some shopping, I’ve pretty much spent all the money I can until my next paycheck. At the end of the month. FFfffffffuuuu…

This will probably just be an admission of stupidity, but I want you to know that I tried to go to the new Cambridge Open Market today, and I could not find it. I walked around Harvard Square, didn’t see any signs pointing to any particular area or any hints of vendors. I was only a little bit annoyed, because it was a nice day and I like Harvard Square in general… even if I have to go by myself. But seriously, where the hell was the Open Market hiding? I was so confused. The directions on their site just lead to the Hvd. Sq. area–directions that I didn’t need, because everyone in Boston knows how to get there.

For the reason of just being lazy, I have no goals for the rest of the day. I probably COULD get something done, but I’m really not in the mood to try. I wish I had a good excuse, so maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty about that. So I just figured I would go right to the blog posting, in case I go out later and am too tired when I get home.

These are just five thoughts from the week. Whatever is prominent in my mind right now.

1. Today, there was a woman on the train drink what looked like chia seeds in milk (or almond milk, soy milk, something like that). Or maybe bugs. And it wasn’t a disposable cup she was using, it was a real glass (could have been plastic, I didn’t have a chance to check) like someone would use in their home or in a restaurant. Generally, I think people should just do whatever works for them, including taking a glass of chia seed bugs on the train, but it still struck me as weird.

2. I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the time I used to spend at my grandparents’ house in Connecticut. When I was little I would go spend a week there during the summer, and it was great. I ate well, I got to watch Nickelodeon and the Disney channel, and MTV (back when they used to play music videos). I would read a lot, hang out with Nina in the kitchen while she made cookies or a pie or dinner. We would walk down the streets to the tennis courts. There was only one year I actually played any tennis.

I haven’t spent much time in Bridgeport for many years now. I haven’t thought about it much, actually. But lately I miss it. Or I miss being young and having the option, even the NEED to go away for a week just to pass some more time.

3. There are eight different nail polishes out on the table by my bed. I have no idea what they’re all doing there. I’ve only used three or so of them in the past month. I really should start putting things like that away after I use them. I also have about six different lotions within arm’s reach right now. I never use more than one at a time.

4. My current read, Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, is the best book I’ve read in a long time. It’s fantastic, both in the literary sense and the I-love-this-thing sense. I’m not usually sad when I finish a book, like some people are, I guess because it doesn’t occur to them that they can re-read it whenever they want, but I think I might actually be a little disappointed when this ends. Because I’ll want more. Was that clear? I don’t mean I won’t like the ending. It’s always possible, but I doubt it.

5.  I’ve had quite a few moments recently of that strong urge to write. I need to fill up some pages! I thought. I need to tell stories!

Unfortunately it never happens when I have the time and tools in front of me. I’m serious. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it’s the truth. And you should see my computer setup. It is not a comfortable or productivity-inspiring area. If anything, it promotes just clicking on related youtube videos for hours. What am I gonna do? Almost any time I have the time to write, I’m too tired.

Bonus thought: pumpkin chai is delicious, but it’s better if you drink it before it gets cold.

Five Things Friday: August 23, 2013

My life is generally mundane, as usual, but I have learned that it’s the WAY you write about something that makes it interesting, not just the events themselves. (I may or may not have made these mundane things interesting. …Sorry?) If you’re writing about a murder in a really boring way, it’s going to be a boring story, despite the murder.

With that in mind, here are five things that happened this week.

1. I managed to go to Trader Joe’s, at long last … it’s kind of far to go there regularly, which is very unfortunate for me since I love TJ. They have so much awesome stuff there and in some cases they are actually CHEAPER than Stop and Shop, which I consider to be the cheap store (and which I hate quite strongly). I wish I could just shop at Trader Joes’ and farmers’ markets.

I got a few goods to tide me over until the weekend, when I’ll be out of town, and the remaining ingredients needed to make chili. I then ate chili for the next few days, which is fine because it was very good. It’s possible that my chili is actually just spicy bean soup, but I’m totally ok with that.

2. I went to Panera for dinner on Monday, because I wanted to use a coupon and it brought me close to Trader Joe’s (see Item 1). I started talking to two ladies who were there because they complimented the shirt I was wearing, and in the end there was talk of getting together to talk about mythology. I didn’t get any more details, but I love mythology. Where else do you meet new people, if not in a Panera while waiting for your sandwich?

3. Plans were half-formed… and left that way… and I wasted most of my free time on youtube. There was a time, not too long ago, when I barely went on youtube at all, except to find songs. Then I started a vlog, and now I spend far too much time on that site.

4. I didn’t write, as usual, because I’ve been very tired this week. But I thought about writing. See, that’s the thing… I think about writing all the time. But generally, the times when I feel like writing are not good times. At work. On the bus. Etc. When will I get my #$%! together.

5. Fun Friday dinner! I had a spicy meal at Bella Luna. Have you ever had habanero infused tequila? Me neither, before last night. And what’s better than pizza?

 

Nothing. The answer is: nothing is better than pizza.

Five Things Friday: August 16, 2013

It’s Friday. (Technically it’s Saturday, but since I haven’t gone to bed yet, it’s still Friday.) These are five things. (Technically, it’s fifteen things.)

One

Crazy, half-awake nightmare of a horror-movie spider

Two

Mixed berry applesauce spice muffins

Three

Purchase transactions – two for snacks, one for hair products and toothpaste. Gotta keep those teeth clean. I need whitening toothpaste because I drink so much coffee.

Four

Times when I berated myself for being so scattered in the brain today. I think I got thirty pages of editing done all day (I did some more at home later).

Five

Different ideas for what I might write about this Friday. It’s harder than I originally thought it would be. If I carried around a journal to take notes throughout the week (which I’m sure wouldn’t be such a terrible thing for a writer to do), I could look over it on Friday nights and make up a much more poignant, observations-of-life, thoughtful thing. But I don’t have a journal like that, so I’m always having to come up with things as I go along. It’s hard to feel like anything I think of would be worth writing down.

You try it. Tell me how hard you found it.

Five Things Friday: August 2, 2013

I’ve been blogging for a pretty long time now. I spend a lot of time these days looking at blogs and there are some blogging habits I’ve noticed that I do not understand at all. I’m not saying I’m 100% right, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people agree about these. Here they are:

 

 

Using very small or very large font honestly offends my eyes. Stick to size 11 or 12, please (or possibly a bit larger, depending on the font you’re using). When I open a page and the font size is ungainly in any sense, I will close it before reading it. Please, just think about that as you’re formatting.

 

Using irrelevant tags pisses me off, honestly. As I’m scrolling through my “coffee” feed and there’s nothing about coffee in your post, or it’s mentioned in passing while really being about something entirely different, I’m bothered. Very. There are some exceptions, but only if the post is one I would read for other reasons.

 

Not having an “about” page is just confusing. How much information you want to put on it is a judgment call, although I really like to be able to click on the “about” tab and have some real idea of who you are and/or what kind of blog I’m looking at. A minimal about page is ok, because at least it’s something. None at all just says “spam blog” to me.

 

Not everyone is born to be a writer, I get it. The blog world is a forum that covers people from professionals all the way down to people who just want to put down their thoughts somewhere and share them with others, or… something along those lines. Not everyone has to be a master of wordistry (that’s a real word [now]). But people who seem to lack any understanding of grammar in their posts make me sad. I don’t know what the reason is for this. Maybe some of them had really deplorable educations. Maybe they just don’t speak English very well, but for reasons that just confuse me chose to write a blog in English anyway. Not everyone has an interest in actually being a writer, nor the ability to move people with words. However, I believe that everyone can learn basic grammar and sentence structure. Even if you’re just writing for yourself, you have chosen the written word as a medium and you should have enough respect for it, and the readers and YOURSELF, to get that core knowledge down. (Side note: if you’re writing just for yourself or your family, then maybe you shouldn’t be making your posts viewable to the general public. Just saying.)

 

Blogs that have only been around a short time and have somehow racked up thousands of views make me extremely doubtful. Maybe you had a post that went viral, and isn’t that nice for you … but generally speaking, it takes much longer than a few months to get that level of total views. I don’t mean to offend anyone if you fall into that category of people who happen to be really lucky, but honestly, unless you’re bringing an established fan base from another forum, I am very skeptical of your numbers. Besides which, it makes the rest of us, who have been around a while and get an average (I’ll admit sometimes disappointing) number of views, feel quite resentful of you. Don’t make me want to press “unfollow.”

 

 

 

…I’m just kidding, mostly, about the last one. I mean, it does confuse me, but really it shows that “success,” if you define it in the sense of the external validation you get from having large audience, whatever that audience might be, is somewhat arbitrary. I’d bet you actual money (like $10 maybe–don’t judge, I’m just a responsible gambler) that there are hundreds or thousands of good blogs/songs/youtubers/books/etc./etc./etc. that few people have found because they just have not managed to bridge that gap to the audience. Fame works like capitalism: the more views (money) you already have, the more you tend to gain. The rest of us just kind of scrape for what we can get at the bottom, or lower middle (which, I think, is where I would be).