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.

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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.

May is almost over and I’m stressed again.

I think you guys should check out this blog:

http://aregularcupofjo.wordpress.com/

He left some very nice comments on some of my posts so I went to have a look at his blog, and he writes well and his posts are interesting. If you would like something new to read, check it out.

Luckily I’m only having the average level of stress about work right now. I’ve done all that anyone expected from me for monthly goals, and I’m getting a pretty good start on June, even if it isn’t quite as much as I had hoped. The commute is still awful. It just takes too long, and therefore cuts into either my sleep or my morning routine time.

What I’m really stressed about is (surprise!) money. When the Press hired me full time, and I calculated how much money I would make every month, I completely forgot that I would be taking home far less because now they would actually take taxes out. Which means I won’t be able to catch up on my debt sources nearly as fast as I thought I would.

In addition, I got one of those “you own us taxes” notices, which, DUH. The IRS, I swear, is a collective idiot. But the problem, really, is that I set up an automatic debit to pay in installments at the same time as filing my taxes, and it said that it was accepted, and I got a mailing a bit later that said to wait to contact them about it because sometimes it doesn’t process the first month. The first month it was set to pay was this month, around the twentieth or so, I think. As far as I can tell it didn’t come out. Obviously they want their money. But they should have a damn system that shows them who already was responsible enough to set up payments and therefore shouldn’t be bothered with extra stupid things in the mail.

This reminds me of trying to figure out the financial side of studying abroad. When they didn’t have a payment by a certain date, they don’t send you a first notice saying “send this payment immediately” or anything like that. No, they sent something called a “Termination Notice” (meaning from the study abroad program). Of course, I panicked and called my mom, and it got sorted out and I went abroad. But then I was pissed off, because I thought their method was horrible. College students tend to be pretty stressed out, often depressed, and even more often lacking in money. And you think it’s a good idea to send them a letter saying their plans for next semester are just about to fall apart? Honestly, it seems pretty sick to me.

Even though it’s not something I really want to do, I’m kind of feeling an urge to go live on a hippie commune where everything is done on the barter system and I can trade spontaneous poetry for a backrub (or, something).

Time and Money, the Worst Things In the World

Ok, I know there’s a reason for the calendar to be the way it is, and it has to do with freaking SCIENCE – physics, calculations, earth’s rotations and revolutions. Nevermind that leap year thing, this is probably as close as they can get. But I can’t help feeling like they did it wrong, leaving us with a distinct lack of time to get anything done.

I mean, think about it. Wouldn’t it be great to have eight-day weeks–three-day weekends every single time–and five-week months? An extra weekend day to make trips and projects more doable. Another week’s pay before you have to shell out for all those bills. Yes. YES. What a glorious idea. It would make life so much easier. We can all relax now.

But it wouldn’t solve anything, really. The bills would just cost more, and the deadlines would be moved up, and we’d all be clamoring for FOUR-day weekends because those three days were spent on Netflix and we just need ONE MORE DAY and we’ll actually use it to get things done. Or so we say.

It’s not the calendar guys’ fault. It’s whoever decided that people should be constantly doing or paying for something. We should all just calm the hell down.

Just an Update.

Well then. One full week of November later, and I’m thus far supremely undedicated in my N0-NaNoWriMo exploits. I’ve written a single short story – very short, in fact, it was flash fiction – and haven’t worked on any of my outstanding projects that were on the list. I feel, once again, like a bad writer —

not because the writing I do is bad

because I just fail to actually do the writing. I intend to gather my concentration and write more this week than one could reasonably expect. Then I can say I’m a good writer again.

The story I did write was a horror story, written to submit to a site called MicroHorror, which published horror stories under 666 words. It’s not exactly a typical subject for me, nor is it really my best writing, but it’s still relatively well-written, interesting, and creepy. I am 99% positive that there were no grammar mistakes, at least.  I have submitted it and should know fairly soon whether they will put my story on the site.

When I finally manage to do the work I’ve been meaning to do for weeks, I’ll have a nice list of submissions to wait to hear back from. (I’ve been trying to work the end of that sentence so that it both makes sense and doesn’t end in a preposition, but somehow it just didn’t happen. Suggestion, without rewriting the entire sentence?)

 

For those of you who are interested in aspects of my life: I now have a job! Not officially yet, until I do the orientation tomorrow and Wednesday. Then they’ll have me in their system and I can get paid money. This job has nothing to do with writing, but that’s all right. It’s money, and it won’t sap all my creative energy – always a danger in the type of job I truly want. Some days, I might even be free to work on writing (mentally developing, that is, not the actual writing). Either way, I’m certainly looking forward to making money again. I’ve been unemployed – aside from the one, glorious freelance job completed in August, paid in October – for 5 months.