Friday, Be My Friend

I have a different relationship with Friday than most people do. For almost everyone I know and everyone on the internet (judging by the memes), Friday is a day of relief. The break from work is just around the corner. The end is in sight. Whether the day is full of productivity and a push to get lots of things done or mainly goofing off on the internet, in a few hours they all have until Monday morning to live life, doing whatever non-work-related things they want to/can do.

My thoughts on Friday are a little different. Instead of being glad the weekend is here, I think, “It’s Friday already? How did another week pass and I’ve still gotten nothing done? Before long it’ll be the end of the month. Time just keeps passing and nothing ever changes. Why can’t I just have a little time to breathe?” It doesn’t help that there is always some bill looming.

If I had been able to stick to a regular schedule in my work, it might be different. But usually, the weekend comes around and it’s just the same as any other day to me–I have to get as much work done as I can manage. I’m not such a fan of a “regular schedule,” but it would certain help in changing my Fridays. Of course, I also don’t get that sense of dread or just general grumpiness other people experience on Sunday evening, knowing that they have to return to the office the next morning. So it’s a trade-off.

I have to say, though, I don’t really like being the one person wishing everyone else would stop being so happy about Friday nights.

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: October 11, 2013

Man is time flying again. Although this week dragged a bit in my perspective, mostly due to anxiety :(. Not so much fun. And not so much sleep, which means I was really tired all week. My brain, I don’t think it likes me much.

I was thinking this week, for reasons you might get if you read my other blog, that sometimes the structure of a movie plot sort of fits into the days of the work week. This is true of many movies, and books too, although there are plenty that do not fit into this structure, because there are plenty of exceptionally creative people out there. But let me just give you an overview, so you’ll know what I mean.

Monday–This is the beginning of the movie, the introduction to the main character(s) and his/her/their world. Sometimes it can start a little slowly, and sometimes it’s bustling right from the start. Either way, you’re kind of weird if you do it without coffee, or at least some kind of wake-up ritual. This is the part of the movie that gets the story going, and often nothing extremely important plot-wise happens, but we know that things are about to pick up.

Tuesday–Here, we’re into the “routine” of the movie. The introduction is over, we know what’s going on, we’ve been oriented to the people we’re watching. The momentum is going and it’s time to introduce the central conflict. What is(are) the struggle(s) of the main character(s)? This is where we find out. And by the time Tuesday’s over, we really want to know what happens next.

Wednesday–You’ve probably heard the term “hump day.” In reference to the five-day movie, this is either the part where one or several characters have sex, or the point at which there is a significant hurdle for the characters. Attempts to deal with it often result in the chaos that is Thursday.

Thursday–After the “hump,” we get the climax of the conflict. I said OF THE CONFLICT. Jeez. Get your mind out of the gutter. Anyway. This is the time in the movie where things are happening at a record pace, suspense is heightened, and everything might fall apart depending on what the characters decide to do. This is like the time at work when you know the end of the week is coming so you’re trying to get as much taken care of as possible.

Friday–On Friday, you usually start out finishing up the crap you didn’t manage to finish on Thursday (the tail end of the characters dealing with all those crises I just talked about) and either get everything all cleaned up and tidy (the happy ending), or you make sure you have things prepared for next Monday (setting up for a sequel). And sometimes, Friday is just as much of a mess as Thursday was and nothing was resolved.

This is sort of an idealized version of a work week. In reality it’s never this uniform. Things just happen when they do. And some movies have such complex or long plots that they actually take two weeks to get through (metaphorical weeks. Otherwise, it’s called a tv series).

 

 

I’m going to be the first to admit that this was terribly written. Sorry. I was reading a post just yesterday from someone about how the content of his blog was all first drafts. I’m the same way. For me a blog is more of an informal platform–therefore, some posts will be nice and well crafted, and others will be word-salad-stream-of-consciousness-what-the-hell-is-this.

All writers need a place where they can spew all their thoughts out onto some venue where they can read over it again. This is mine. :/

NEWS: I had an interesting idea for a not-a-ghost story the other day, and I am hoping I will make myself work on it in time for Halloween. If you have interest, please leave a comment and it might compel me to work on it! Just saying.

Five Things Friday: October 4, 2013

Damn, time is passing fast. Before you know it, I’m going to be 40 and I’ll wonder what the hell happened. (For reference, I’m in my 20s now.)

I’ve decided that this week I’m going to make a writing wish list. Whatever you think that means, I will tell you what I mean by that–

I am going to write a list of things I want to facilitate/encourage writing. Because I like stuff, and I like daydreaming, and I like complaining about what I don’t have. (:P) I’ll attempt to go in order from the most plausible in reality to the least.

1) This mug. I have wanted it for a while, actually, and I will get it. Perhaps for myself for Christmas or my next birthday or something. Assuming the entire country hasn’t collapsed by then because of Republicans.

I just really feel like I need this mug. I think it will help me.

2) A printing station. I’m imagining a setup with a color printer, although I’d mostly be using black ink, that would also have a scanner just in case, and a stack of crisp, clean paper underneath, easily accessible. It’s much easier to type stories to begin with than to copy them into word files from your handwritten originals, so I usually just type everything now. However, as I’ve learned from my current job, editing in word with track changes is ok but I often wish I could just have a stack of paper with the words in hard copy in front of me, and the ability to actually write on the document with an actual pen. Ah, to be working in publishing ten, or even five years ago…

But back to my own writing. I do think that printing out stories and reading them on actual paper might do something for me, in terms of seeing how the story works as a whole. I don’t have a printer right now, nor do I have easy access to a free one, and I don’t want to pay 5-10 bucks at fedex every time I need to print some of my work.

I still believe in print books. If we clap, will they stay alive–like fairies?

3) A writer’s retreat. I am picturing 5 days to a week, just being off in a little apartment/bed and breakfast place somewhere, stocked with plenty of coffee and simple food that doesn’t actually take much time to prepare, so I can just focus on writing. Maybe I could complete a few short stories or “outline” (my process never creates a real outline) a whole novel. Ooh, this is so exciting to think about!

Unfortunately, plans like this require vacation time and money. I have no money (all goes to bills and expenses) and I need the rest of this year’s vacation time for Christmas. Side note, I still think employers should allot more vacation time per year than just two weeks, although I’d be fine with them limiting how much time you can take off consecutively.

4) A complete rewiring of my brain. I am about to use the word “wire” a lot, and I know there aren’t wires in brains, but it’s like a metaphor or something. Shut up.

I feel a lot of the time like the wire that is supposed to connect the part of my brain that has ideas to the part that executes them is not connected, or was eaten through by mice (brain mice) or somehow got blocked. I just need that wire to work again and I can start getting stuff done.

5) Absolute power over time and space. This would allow me to write when the ideas and creativity and words are actively flowing, when the mood has struck, rather than forcing me to try to call them up again when I finally do have time (this is one of the reasons I use google docs–not that my notes have helped that much so far). I would really like to be able to drop everything and write when that mood does strike, without ignoring my daily obligations and therefore fucking up my life. Inspiration still happens to me, bafflingly enough, but pretty much never when writing is possible.

Oh, I know what a terrible excuse that is. It doesn’t make it less true…

On the plus side, this post has really made me feel like writing. Maybe I’ll actually get something done this weekend?

All of my fingers and toes are crossed.

Five Things Friday: September 27, 2013

Five things I didn’t do this week:

Eat lots of vegetables (only ate some vegetables)

Read most of the two books I started last weekend (read almost nothing).

Work on organizing my room (not even a little bit).

Write (thought about it, then went back to hulu).

Come up with an interesting FTF post topic/list.

 

Will I ever get myself back on track? It seems doubtful. But right now I’m in a hotel room in Vermont, on a break from life, and I don’t even care.

No Things Friday

I couldn’t think of five things today if my very existence depended on it. Today was one of those days that I suppose wasn’t actually bad, but it was certainly the opposite of good. At this point, I’m trying to get ready to go out for dinner (because I thought I’d leave early, to get myself out of the house) and I don’t feel good about anything I put on. I wish I could get from my apartment to the area I’m going without anyone looking at me.

The only way I could think of a full list would be five things I hate about my life. While ranting does have its place in life (not least on the internet!), that place is not here.  So I’ll just skip it this week, perhaps take my new INSANE spiked hobo bag out for a test run (it’s kind of heavy), and try to feel slightly better about life.

I’d be happy to take suggestions for my Five Things Friday posts. I’ve already begun to regret it, because usually after the first three things I sit there wondering what I could possibly write next until I manage to pull something out of my ass. (Not literally. Why are you SO disgusting?) It’s harder than you might think to do these posts, so if you have a concept, I’d be happy to hear it.

(Please leave suggestions in the wordpress comments, rather than on facebook or anything other site linking the post, because I seriously hate that…)

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).