It Doesn’t Grow on Trees

635903823637141751179747902_money.jpg

I have money.

Not a lot, but I have enough to pay for the bills I have. I don’t gather a lot of expenses that require payment, and I am even able to treat myself with little gifts every now and again if I see something I really want but don’t necessarily need. Right now, I’ve found something I am of interest to purchase very soon.

I need/want to buy a new iPod as my old one is cracked and dying the slowest and most painful of deaths.

Unfortunately, the purchase will not happen right now.

It’s not because I don’t have the funds to fund my unnecessary purchase. There is more than enough money in my bank account to buy a few of what I want to buy, and it won’t make a huge dent in my finances. I even have money saved up for the extravagant purchase. Hell, my birthday is coming up, and my parents even offered to give me money for it. Still, I have not purchased this musical device as of yet for one specific reason.

I’m cheap.

I am really cheap.

Money isn’ really a big problem for me these day, but I wasn’t always so thrifty. I blew my  first paycheck from my first job and never really thought about the money I had. I had money. I spent the money. I had no concept of what it meant to have expenses and wasted any dime that came my way.

Then, I learned how to better manage my money a little too well.

Once you graduate college, money becomes more really. You start to seek out jobs that could earn you money, and at first, you think you will be able to spend it on what you want.  Then, reality and its expenses hit you in the face. You need money for gas, for rent, for food, and you have to pay back all of your college loans. You have money, but you never really have money for you.

I try to be efficient about my money.

 

Frugality rules each and every purchase I make.

I was taught very well in terms of coupons and sales when making purchases. Never buy anything that is not on sale. This way, I could get what I needed and still have money to pay for the things I wanted.

Even with coupons, discounts, and sales,  I am hesitant to make big purchases.

Maybe, I’m just afraid something bad will happen, and I will need my money in case of emergency.

Paranoia aside, I’m getting a new iPod because my iPod is dying a slow death.

Luckily, I can sell back some old Apple devices and get a $100 dollar gift card towards my new music player. Thank God, I have an old iPad 2 that is still in decent condition. It’s a win-win in my book. I get rid of an old clunker that is just taking up space in my house, and I can get the music player I need at a price that doesn’t hurt my wallet.

Because I really need a new iPod.

Where I Lay My Head

shutterstock_249549703.0.0.jpg

I am tired.

I woke up tired. I am tired. I will likely go to bed tired.

I am tired.

There wasn’t a moment I experienced moments of damn near falling asleep at my desk today.  Even after multiple cups of tea and food, nothing seem to ignite any sort of fire in me to wake me up and get me going. Every other breath that escaped my mouth today was a yawn. I could not stop yawning no matter how much I tried. All I wanted to do was lay my head down on my desk and take a quick nap to alleviate my fatigue just for a second. Sadly, that isn’t usually acceptable to do at your place of employment. They tend to fire you over things like that.

Being exhausted is a waking nightmare, especially when there is so much you have to do in your day to day life. Work, social, and personal obligations draw out your energy so much during your waking hours that you need sleep to recharge your batteries. Unfortunately, sleep isn’t always universally good. Sometimes, you don’t sleep well due to a number of different circumstances. This terrible sleep leads to fatigue which leads to poor productivity which leads to you scrambling to finish every task, and this gets in the way of good sleep. It’s a horribly exhausting cycle.

It’s sad because I really love sleep, and I really love doing things.

Sure, the most obvious and logical step I could take to combat my fatigue would be to take the appropriate measures. I could make better use of my time and make sure all of my obligations are taken care of by day’s end. I could make sure I get the correct amount of sleep needed for my body to wake up rested and ready to start to the day. I could do all of this.

Who has time for that and everything else they have to do in life?

So, to avoid slamming my head against my work desk keyboard due my body passing out from lack of sleep, I have found a solution that is best suited for someone who cannot find time to get the best amount of sleep needed to have enough energy to start my day.

Coffee.

My coffee addiction started when I was in high school. Every single morning, I would pay a dollar to pour at least six different sugar packets down store bought coffee to start my day. It was terrible coffee, but I drank it just the same.

Then, it got bad.

Getting coffee to get through my day extended to my work day. It started on nights that i had to work later in order to make it through the late night. Then, every shift required a cup of coffee to get through the day. I chose to get my energy from this beverage rather than just sleeping better.

Now, my day revolved around when I could obtain my morning cup of wake-up.

 

Until Midnight

old_tv_by_stock7000.jpg

I am in love.

This is a love that is totally my type. It’s a love that satisfies any and all fantasies my mind can devise. This love captures my heart and stimulates my mind. It’s been a good long while since I have experienced a love quite like this.

Midnight, Texas.

Ok so my new love is a television show. Judge me if you will, but it’s damn good show. Based on the books by the same author who wrote the books the show TrueBlood was based on, this show helped me fall in love again with all things weird or different. Like TrueBlood, it gave me small town feel with otherworldly charm. It appeals to me in a way other shows just don’t.

Television is and has always been a great love of mine.

I make absolutely no secret that I hold a great passion and love for the stories told on the big screen. I plan my life and schedule around when my favorite television shows are on.  Not having the greatest amount of friends, having some place to go every day for an hour or two or three is great. Television gives me a world to fall in love with that is far more incredible than anything I could possibly try to find in the real world.

Reality may be stranger than fiction, but fiction will always be more entertaining

However, I don’t love all of the fictional worlds that grace my screen.

 

Not all television shows are created equal. Some are excellent, and some are completely terrible. That is for certain, and favorite television shows are a matter of opinion. I could give you a list of the various aspects that make a television show attractive to an eccentric weirdo like myself. I could list every character type and narrative trait that a show can have that will make a show attractive to me. I could provide arguments on why some shows deserve to be on the air and some shows should be cancelled before the end of the first episode. I know what normally catches my fancy, but sometimes, it doesn’t matter if a television show looks appealing on paper. Sometimes, you just click with a show. Sometimes, you don’t.

It’s just like having chemistry with another person, but the chemistry is with an entire world and the people who live in it flickering across your television screen.

I could watch a television show that checks all of the boxes on what I believe makes an excellent television show and still not be satisfied.  I could watch a show that checks no boxes and become completely enthralled in the story unfolding. I know what I think I want, but sometimes there are television shows that come out of the blue that grab us and pull us into their world and won’t let go. It just happens.

I just love what I love.

There isn’t much more satisfying entertainment than a show that captures your attention without you even realizing it.

So Bad, It’s Good.

grease-2-1982-03-g.jpg

Grease 2 is better than the original Grease.

There, I said it.

Am I aware that the movie is cheesy and half the songs are just sexual puns and the plot is just the opposite of the original in order to cash in on original’s success and popularity?

Yes, of course I am, but that only makes me love it more.

Grease 2, with all of its cheese and awfulness, has more personality than its predecessor. Sure, the story in the original is more coherent, but we’ve seen the clean cut “Romeo and Juliet” type story countless times before. While the plot just switches a few details up, it still manages to craft an entirely different type of movie. I am so aware that the movie isn’t anywhere close to being polished like the first one. I know it is what most people would consider a bad movie, and it is a bad movie, but I hold it so much higher in esteem than the other.

Bad movies are often better than the good ones.

As I type this, the fifth installment of the Sharknado film franchise is once again taking the world by storm (Pun not intended). People from all over are gathering together, either in-person or online, to indulge in the newest movie in Syfy channel’s most unexpected success story. These films, like many of the other films of the week that this channel produces, feature forgotten actors of the past in impossibly weird scenarios fighting off strange animal-monster-machine-other animal hybrids. Most of them become forgotten after a while or are never recognized in the first place. However, with the release of the first Sharknado film, something changed. The absurdity of the film wasn’t much different than films like Sharktopus and Ghost Shark. The film still employed forgotten actors. It should have been no different, but it instead created a buzz like no other. People just embraced the terrible of this movie and ate it up when the movie just got more and more ridiculous.

People just really love bad movies.

It isn’t exactly clear why some of us are attracted to movies that are subpar in terms of acting, cinematography, and other cinematic elements that win other movies Oscar gold. Some studies say that liking bad movies is a sign of intelligence, but it still doesn’t explain  why intelligent people love terrible movies and television shows.

Bad movies just draw people in.

I can’t speak for other lovers of horrible cinema, but I know why I love the worst the movie industry. Bad movies ignore the standards of the industry and just create films as they see fit. Bad movies, especially like Sharknado and its sequels,  often start to embrace how cheesy and ridiculous they are and seek out to become more terrible and ridiculous.  Whether the films seek out to be bad or don’t realize how ridiculous they are, there is an audience for them.

It’s like the movies are so bad, they’re good.

Grease 2 isn’t a beloved movie of mine because it’s good.

It’s beloved because it’s bad.

Five More Minutes

chevron-bed.jpg

“Five more minutes,” I mutter sleepily to the alarm on my phone. I roll over and snuggle tightly to the multiple blankets

The alarm sounds off again, and I repeat the same cycle of begging for more time at rest.

By the time the third alarm goes off, I am scrambling to throw on my makeup and get out   the door to get to work on time. While I scrambled to make sure I look human as I walked into my office building, I don’t regret staying in bed as long as I did.

I really love sleep.

Funny thing is, sleep is something I didn’t appreciate when I was little. My mom would put me down for a nap, and I would crawl off of my bed as soon as the door is shut and just play with my toys. One time when I was little more than a toddler, my mom put me to bed for a nap and went for a dip in our pool. She looked up at my bedroom window and saw me standing up at the window from my crib. I just never wanted to nap because I thought I would miss something important.  Sleep got in the way of doing other and more important things I need to do or see.

Now, after college/grad school and a full time job, I know how precious sleep is.

Mind you, even in high school I started to understand how vital and precious sleep time really was. As you enter ninth grade, or whatever grade is the start of the last years of obligatory schooling, the work you are asked to do becomes so much harder.  Gone are the days where schoolwork was completed within the span of an hour. Once you reach the last four years or so of high school, the work gets more advanced. Each course asks you to devote at the very least an hour to study and composition, and that’s only if it’s a normal day. If there is a project, tack on another two hours to make it just right so you can earn the best grades to get to a higher place of learning.

Oh, college.

College was a whole other animal.

Sleep is something a college student searches for but rarely finds. It doesn’t matter what else is going on with your life; you are expected to complete your work within a few days of it being assigned. When special projects come up, good luck trying to schedule more than an hour of sleep. One time, I had to work on a thirty page project and bought every coffee, soda, or energy drink I could find to pull off an all nighter to complete the project. I don’t remember the grade I received for that project, but I do remember walking around like a zombie for the day from lack of a good night sleep.

Then, there is grad school.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What’s sleep?

I thought I made the right decision going to grad school online.  I could do my studies online at my own pace. I was working a part-time job and searching for a full-time job. I also wanted to have some sort of life, so I though pursuing a higher level of education online would be ideal and relaxing.

Wow, was I ever wrong.

Deciding to proceed with graduate school is basically a declaration to revoke a good night sleep. Once your neck-deep in three thousand word papers to compose by Sunday, you say goodbye to any sort of goodnight sleep. You are a typing machine.

I miss sleep.

Even when you end school and begin working full time, a good night sleep is something that isn’s a true possibility. Every morning I go to work from eight o’clock in the morning to about five o’clock in the evening. Having my time devoted to performing a hopefully good job, I get home to hopefully take care of whatever I need to take care of for the day. I eat. I blog. I exercise.

I *try to* sleep.

Relaxing with a Recipe

fn_baking-tools-thinkstock_s4x3.jpg

I cooked a lot of food today.

As soon as I opened the door of my home with a bag of groceries, the oven was turned on, the burners were on, and bowls and measuring cups were set out. I went to work almost immediately and combined my various food purchases into a variety of snacks, soups, and meals that I could consume whenever a craving passed. Over the span of about two hours, I mixed, baked, seasoned, and stirred. Finally, when all of the timers went off, my food was ready to consume for nourishment and pleasure.

There’s just one problem.

I barely ate any of my culinary creations.

Having the house to myself, I decided to make our kitchen my recipe laboratory. Without anyone else home, I could cook anything and everything I could without interrupting their daily routines or stinking up the house with various scents from the combination of the ingredients I used. I got to experiment with whatever type of food I wanted to without disrupting anyone. Once my parents left for vacation, I set to work.

Step one of my recipe to cook recipes? Shopping.

It started with, not one, but two trips to the grocery store to acquire the various ingredients in the recipes I wanted to try. One of the worst parts about going to a grocery store is going when you are hungry, and I am always hungry. Having a small list of ingredients, I always end up with a few items that appeal to my immediate craving when I enter the store. Armed with my needed ingredients and a few extras that I had not planned for, I head home to begin my culinary goals.

Next, once I reach my house, I gathered up the recipes to follow.

Some of the recipes I’ve tried before and was eager to indulge in once again. Most of my common recipes are soups, cookies, or small salads that I can devour quickly. Common ingredients in these recipes are usually easy to find foods like pumpkin, coconut milk, or tofu. Occasionally, I get a bit brave and try out new recipes and ingredients like roasted chickpeas. Since going vegan, I’ve tried to venture outside my food comfort zone and try new foods so I had more I could eat.

I wanted to have lots of snacks to eat, but I honestly just wanted to keep my hands busy.

Originally, when I started to cook for myself, it was more out of necessity. I went vegan about seven years ago, and while it’s become normal now, it wasn’t the case at the beginning. Family and friends had no idea what I could and couldn’t eat, and it left me eating french fries and garden salads for a long time. Fed up, I began to buy vegan cookbooks and started to learn to cook for myself. Loved ones have since learned how to cook for a vegan, but it hasn’t extinguished the love of cooking I had as it also satisfies another aspect of myself.

Cooking also is a great anxiety reducer.

Composing culinary concoctions is incredibly relaxing. During the time you are making your food, you are focused on combing the right ingredients, in the right order, and a time. Nothing else matters.

Live and eat well, my friends.

Wait of the World

An_A_train_in_Broad_Channel.jpg

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Well, here we are again. It’s the end of the work week. Then the weekend comes, and we are able to enjoy three nights and two days of stress free living before restarting the work week once again once Monday comes back to drag us back into routine. Depending on how your week was, the weekend can be a welcome distraction or a needless delay to the start of the work week.

This week wasn’t good or bad. It just was.

Everything went exactly the same.

…And that’s what’s bothering me.

Friends, I am in the stickiest of ruts. Every day, I wake up, put on my make-up, drive to work, work, go home, eat dinner, workout, blog, shower, and go to bed. Then the next day, I do it again. While the weekend leads to some variation, I always end of following some sort of routine even when I don’t have to set one. Nothing ever changes or shakes things up. It’s always the same old same old. It’s like washing your hair: lather, rinse, repeat. Nothing different, nothing new, just the same old same old.

Repetition is exhausting and depressing.

Routines can be great when you need stability.  I have anxiety. My mind can go in a hundred different directions in the span of a minute. Having structure, things that will never change no matter what, is vital to my survival. If I remain on the tracks, it leaves little possibility for me to get derailed. I am safe if I just follow the outline as it is written. However, staying on track will never lead me to new adventures or possibilities.

As the saying goes, ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.

I have a great fear of the unknown. Like I said, an anxious mind needs a certain level of structure in order to survive. I don’t much like to venture outside of my known world because I can never guarantee that I will experience some sort of success. My routine, while boring, keeps me from completely falling apart. I don’t like letting go of my predictable security blanket.

Now, I’m ready to move on.

Last year, I earned my Master’s degree, and I’m ready to use it. I like the job I have now, but I think I like it more for its structure, repetition, and for my co-workers. I want to see the world and use the skills I went to college for to further my career. Instead of my Pennsylvania normal, I want to see a London or San Francisco new.  I may be fearful of letting go, but holding on is doing me absolutely no good.

I now have to be brave.

Bravery is scary.  It’s throwing yourself at the unknown, despite any sort of potential risk. I have no idea what will happen if I actually make my way across the country or the globe, but I know that staying on track will get me nowhere.

Time for my train to take a detour.