Five Things Friday: January 31, 2014

It is 2014. A whole month has gone by and almost the only thing I’ve done all month is wallow and stress. I’m failing at 2014.

1. I have an eye twitch right now. It’s really annoying. It’s almost always my left eye. Anyone have thoughts about this? I think it’s interesting that it’s usually the same eye, and it’s always just one of them. It happens at the most random time, too.

2. I forgot momentarily that the breakfast sandwich I got has bacon on it, so I was like, hey, surprise bacon! (The otom from Cafenation. I resisted the urge to get a red chili tea latte, because I should really wait until after I have my paycheck to buy more lattes…)

3. I just watched the most recent video release from Within Temptation’s new album. The song. I don’t like it. It sounds more like Nickelback-style pop-rock than their usual sound, which is at least close to metal–I know some metalheads argue that they aren’t metal, but, they are. It’s disappointing and makes me sad. Listen, I know they aren’t musical or lyrical geniuses or doing influential new stuff,  but I’ve mostly loved their sound in the past and so when they make a song I really don’t like, it’s sad. Everything else I’ve heard from this album so far seems much better than this one song, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll just go back to listening to The Heart of Everything again…

4. I really need my money, so I can buy groceries, so I can eat real meals again. Nevermind about the bills and stuff, I just want to afford food that I’ll actually eat. Surprisingly enough, I am not really a fan of peanut butter and jelly or tuna sandwiches, and in the morning I really need things I can just grab easily and take to work with me, because who has time to eat before they get to work? Not me.

5. My habits and/or actions in the last… &$%^ years (unknown) suggest to me that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a writer after all. I have so many ideas and I am good at writing, but I have no motivation anymore, I never actually write. Plus, I don’t think I have the stamina for all the rejections writers supposedly get.

I’m awash in a sea of personal crises.

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: December 20, 2013

Things I’ve lost in the last month:

1. Any real motivation to write. It’s still what I want to do all day, if I could, and I have lots of ideas and stuff, but during any free time I have I really, really don’t want to.

2. An unfortunate amount of the Christmas spirit that started showing up in November. Even before Thanksgiving this year, I was feeling excited about Christmas and even listened to Christmas music a little bit. I’m not sure what happened exactly. Got too stressed out? Mood ruined by the fact that buses all lose their damn minds when there’s weather? Either way… bah humbug.

I’m still listening to Christmas music and wearing lots of sparkly things and red things (pretty much like always…) in an attempt to feel more Christmas-y. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t go anywhere that actually has Christmas decorations.

3. Healthy habits. I have only wanted to eat things that are smothered in cheese lately. Sandwiches with cheese, pizza, mac and cheese, cheeseburgers… etc. It doesn’t help that all the vegetables I really like have become ridiculously expensive lately (although that’s my fault, because I go to Whole Foods a lot. It’s not my fault it’s the only grocery store that I actually pass on the way home from work.) I also haven’t been working out as much. Why? Because I’m lazy, or some other reason that I don’t really feel like explaining. So let’s just go with lazy.

4. One of my gloves. But then I found it.

5. My ability to sing. Granted, I don’t know how long it’s been gone because I don’t really sing anymore. But I tried to sing some Christmas carols last week, and I sounded like–well, someone who can’t sing. Basically. This is the result of ten years of voice lessons, then four years without them.

Feeding

This is either the beginning of a story, or just the first draft of a flash piece. I like it so far. Feel free to take this idea/theme and write your own version!

 

“Feed me,” said the heart.

 

“Feed me,” said the mind.

 

“Feed me,” said the soul.

 

We had forgotten how. We fed our stomachs instead, and feasted well. Risotto. Masala. Pierogi. We gorged on brie, persimmons, poached pears. Our heads swam with liquid chocolate, espresso, wine, whiskey, and we soaked it up with spongy pound cakes.

 

And in that gluttonous state, we starved.

 

Five Things Friday: October 18, 2013

After this week, I don’t want to make my brain work right now. So, a short list.

 

Five things in my house that should be self-replenishing.

1) Half and half. Because when I run out, and don’t have anything to put in my coffee in the morning, it makes my life sad.

2) Aluminum foil. It doesn’t run out that often, but when it does, it takes too long for it to be replaced. And how am I supposed to package leftovers and sandwiches without it?

3) Trader Joe’s Chai. I get one container and probably get 6-8 cups out of it. Since I can’t get to TJ’s too often, when I run out I usually don’t have any for weeks or even months after. What I should do is buy three or four containers at once. That would last a while.

4) Water in the filtered pitcher. It’s not hard to refill, but it’s also not very big, so I have to stick it under the faucet at least twice a day.

5) The good soap. You know how once in a while you find some really nice hand soap on sale, and you buy it, and it smells really good and it’s probably fully organic/vegan/natural/hippie and it makes washing your hands so pleasant, but then you run out and you’re stuck with the slimier, extra-lemony softsoap? I really hate that.

 

Good night.

Five Things Friday: September 13, 2013

…on Saturday.

I keep writing August, then having to change it to September. Not relevant, but I decided to say it anyway.

Today, my theme is something we all struggle with. Yes, that’s right… guilty pleasures. This came out of some of my own activities earlier this week, when I was enjoying for hours on end a musical artist that I’ve heard bashed pretty much since I’ve heard of her at all. I thought, we all have guilty pleasures, and why bother being guilty about them?

Before I begin, I should define the term. When I say “guilty pleasures,” I mean things you are embarrassed or hesitant to admit that you like. It may be because you know it’s objectively bad, or due to popular opinion–either everyone hates it, or, if you’re a hipster, everyone likes it.

Guilty pleasures are generally unnecessary. How many times have you actually lost friends because you like a certain movie and they don’t? Did you say zero? I’m betting you did. Sometimes you’ll get teased, and that’s no fun, but I’m pretty sure they’ll stop if you just shrug unapologetically. It works a little better if you have a real reason for liking it, but guess what? YOU DON’T NEED ONE! (Although, if your thing is, say, Taylor Swift, I’d prefer if you just didn’t tell me.)

With this in mind, I decided I would own my guilty pleasures, and stop being guilty about them. Someone will undoubtedly disagree with me on some of these, but there are so many things people like that I don’t enjoy, and they never seem to care, so I won’t either.

The same day I decided to do this as my Friday post, I went home and watched this video on self-confidence by Jen from A Vintage Vanity. One of her points is “like what you like because you like it.” I was like, what weird timing! I’m going to post on that! Clearly Jen and I think very alike. No, I don’t know her personally. Another case of the internet making you look like a stalker, when really all I’m doing is watching her videos…

Apologies (but not really) for the long introduction. You could have scrolled past it if you just wanted the list. But here it is now!

1. The first thing, which was the inspiration for doing this post at all, is Lana Del Rey. She did her performance on SNL (which I don’t think I ever watched) before I actually heard her music at all, and then everyone started talking about how bad she was because of something about her performance. Can you tell I’m fuzzy on the details there? I am.  I don’t really know what the problem was, whether it was her singing itself, or most likely that she just didn’t deliver the kind of performance that the people watching wanted to see. Whatever the reason, it was so long ago that this one performance really can’t be anyone’s reason not to like her. I hear people all the time, though, saying something along the lines of “She sucks!” Tons of other people love her. My full acceptance was slow. First someone posted Dark Paradise on youtube, which eventually led me to get Born to Die, and then I finally listened to the extended edition, and the other day I went on youtube and listened to a bunch of unreleased songs. Over and over, all day. Some of her songs, I’m not into, and that’s ok. Others, I can’t stop listening to. My favorite right now is Velvet Crowbar, and I highly recommend you listen to it. I also really like her style. She’s like a hodgepodge of vintage from various decades, and I love it. This will probably be the longest entry, and it still doesn’t explain what I like about her music–because I don’t HAVE to explain it. So there.

2. Food time! I hope someone facepalms on this one, because I should not like this. Ready? Here we go… hot pockets. Granted, I haven’t actually had one for almost a year, from what I can remember, and maybe at this point I wouldn’t actually like them. But I keep wanting them. I just really like the broccoli and cheesiness in there. I loved the chicken bacon dijon flavor, because duh. And I liked the breakfast ones, because it’s like having a nice warm egg sandwich, but it only takes two minutes. I am well aware that they basically have no nutritional value at all (maybe a little, but it’s cancelled out by the badness), and I just shouldn’t eat them. Having written that, I’m probably going to go out and buy one soon.

3. Sitcoms. I don’t like all sitcoms, but I like a bunch of them, and have them favorited on hulu so I know when a new episode is available. I am well aware of how much some of them suck, how stupid the plots can be, and how rarely they are actually funny enough to make me laugh. Yet I spend a fair amount of time watching them. Some of my favorites are British sitcoms–which I think we should call Britcoms–like “Miranda” and “Coupling.” I know that Coupling is a lot like Friends, with more sex, and there isn’t really anything else to it. Not to mention that I’ve seen all the episodes multiple times already and can no longer be entertained by a new joke. I don’t care. I still like watching it.

4. I feel like I should stick a movie in here. Here are several: The Pride and Prejudice movie with Keira Knightley should start. I have heard complaints about this movie, although I can’t remember what they were, and I know a lot of people prefer the miniseries. But I haven’t seen the miniseries, and I own the newer version on DVD, and I really, genuinely like it.

Here’s a really good one: Confessions of a Shopaholic. In some ways it’s SO bad, but I still watch it every few months or so, and I have a good time. Judging by my love of Devil Wears Prada and Sex in the City, I think we can safely say that I just like movies that have a lot of clothes in them…

So that’s probably enough for movies. (Sex in the City 2 was one of the worst movies ever made, though. I just need everyone to know how I feel about it, because it really would be embarrassing if you thought I enjoyed that piece of crap. It was so bad I’m not even going to italicize it.)

5. We’re going to go back to music again. This one’s a little weird for me to include, because I don’t listen to this artist with any regularity at all, I don’t own copies of any of her music, but I do actually like some of the songs. Maybe it’s just that they’re catchy, I don’t know. Who is it? Lady Gaga. I couldn’t say what I like in the music itself, but despite them being a little more pop than what fits my taste in general, I’m ok with listening to them if they come on, and I will unabashedly sing along with Bad Romance. I also find her crazy outfits interesting, although I can’t get behind the meat dress, because that’s just disgusting.

I was going to think of a book for the last one, but while I will gag at many books that are absurdly popular, I don’t know of any I like that are particularly disliked, so I had to leave books out. Books are awesome! Read them!

That’s all for Five Things Friday on Saturday. If you would like to participate, post about your own guilty pleasures, or leave them for me in a comment. I’d be interested to know what you like that, for some reason, you don’t really want to talk about. (But please, don’t take it to a creepy place…)

Have a great weekend, folks!

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: July 5, 2013

This is a bit later than I planned, because Friday night happened, as it sometimes does, and I did not end up having time. Then I just totally blanked for a while on anything I could write about. So now I’m just going to wind back some metaphorical clock or other and pretend it’s Friday while I write this.

July 4th edition

One

The first thing was waking up around 9. After waking up much earlier, thinking, “That’s too early,” and going back to sleep.

Two

Sometimes people make you waffles. Waffles are tasty with maple syrup and a giant pile of cut-up fruit on top. And coffee. But most things are tasty with coffee, so why even bother mentioning it?

Three

The movies are an excellent place to go when it’s Hellishly hot outside. They always have air conditioning. I saw Man of Steel. It was entertaining. Since then I have developed an impression of drunk Superman that is very entertaining.

Four

DON’T go to The Gourmet Dumpling in Chinatown on a holiday. Just don’t. But, DO go. They have really tasty food and considering the portions, it’s going to be well worth your money. Unless you hate Chinese food, in which case, I’m sorry about your taste buds.

Five

I should have known that Friday, being the day after a holiday, would not be a productive work day. I should have known. I thought that I could be all focused and just knock out all this work in no time. …Nope. I blame the heat and my need for tons and tons of sleep right now. You know that feeling you get sometimes, when you just want to spend an entire day in bed, napping, maybe reading or watching a movie if you feel too awake, but otherwise not being conscious, and maybe wake up the next day super-rested? That’s what I would have liked to do on Friday.

 

And also, Happy 4th of July. I prefer to express that sentiment AFTER the 4th, when most people are over it. 😉

National Grilled Cheese Poetry Month

It’s National Poetry Month! Write a poem! It’s also National Grilled Cheese Month. (and I guess today is grilled cheese DAY. But really, whichever day you eat it is grilled cheese day.) I think the conclusion we are supposed to make here is that grilled cheese is poetry. (Because it would be weird to say that poems are grilled cheese.) I feel like it’s my responsibility to eat a grilled cheese sandwich at some point this month.

I figured I would try to write at least one poem this month, even though I’m not really that into writing poems. I guess some people might define the flash pieces as prose poetry, but that’s not how I think of them. And that’s what matters.

So right now I’m going to write a poem about grilled cheese. You’re welcome.

 

Anything

can go on your grilled cheese.

There are rules, of course

Bread. Cheese. Grill.

But after that your sandwich will go wherever

your imagination takes it.

I like apple and brie, personally

Can it still count as grilled cheese

if it’s made on a panini press?

I think so.

It’s my sandwich, not yours

so I’ll call it whatever I want.

 

The last time I tried

to make grilled cheese,

I burned it.

And the bread didn’t line up right.

It wasn’t really very good.

And I wondered,

what’s so great about grilled cheese anyway?

But sometimes that’s just how it happens.

It can be something of a “task”

to get it right.

Isn’t it worth it, though?

The melty in your mouth, buttery

(maybe bacony)

flavor.

The crunch and the warmth.

Eat slowly. I always find

that my food is gone and

I’ve barely had a chance

to taste it.