A third journal of personal musings
My life always continues to change and it only stands to reason that with each change, there should be a journal dedicated to it.
|It's a thing I believe we can all come together and agree on: 2020 has sucked major ass.
I thought this year would be better for me creatively. It had started out that way and then things happened. Matt got sick the day after our anniversary. He was immensely sick for three weeks. We assumed—at the time—that it was the flu. He hadn't gotten his flu shot and I had. I had gotten sick half way through his illness, but mine was incredibly mild. I could still go to work, I just had congestion, a cough, and felt like shit warmed over. Then came my cat's vet appointments, which almost didn't happen thanks to my one cat flipping his absolute shit about getting into his carrier. I will totally blame that on me. I normally kept them in storage (our apartment is tiny and we have very little room to keep things) and I would usually bring them inside a couple of days before the appointment so they're warm and smell like the house (their appointments are usually always in January/February). This time I had forgotten them and brought them in the morning of. Chance basically went feral. I'd never seen him act like this before. He wouldn't let me get near him, he was snarling, hissing, striking out, pooping and peeing. I felt awful because he was freaking out. I finally tossed one of my large towels on him and was able to grab him. I made the appointment, even though a bit late. I had called ahead and explained.
Then Covid hit the following month. I work at Costco and I'm sure many of you heard/saw/witnessed how insane Costco was during the early stages of the Covid panic. We were no exception.
So, all of that has just straight up killed my creativity. All of it. For writing, coloring even!, drawing, Photoshop, everything. I finally got something in the mid to late summer, which was why I was doing the journal entries. It was a little bit, but not enough to work on anything. Then September hit and I was feeling it a bit. Then it was gone again.
I've gotten really frustrated because I WANT TO WRITE. I have ideas! But I sit there and nothing comes out. Everything I write feels stupid. I even tried in October to do the Upgraded members contest the official one by WdC. I had an IDEA and I merged it with a short story idea I've had for YEARS. I even had the twist! I got a few paragraphs in and I just couldn't. do. it.
I didn't end up even doing the contest. I knew I wasn't going to do NaNo this year, but I miss doing it. I want to do it just because of the frustration I've felt this year for not being able to write. Hell, I've tried to write variations of this journal entry and it's been hard to form...my ideas and what I want to say into words on a screen.
Anyone else feel this way?
I wish I had been lucky to have had to work from home, maybe I could've gotten a lot of writing in. It hasn't helped either that I've been seeing the statistics and especially this month and last month seeing everything SHOOT up and Indiana has been no exception. Our governor has been awful in dealing with this pandemic. He basically opened everything back up and everyone (or nearly) has assumed life is back to normal. We've just hit over 8k cases in ONE DAY. We've had quite a few cases at work even, one working in the same department I did. I went and got tested (even though I showed no symptoms) and it was negative. I've been wondering, the more I've learned about Covid, that Matt probably had Covid back in the very end of January, early February. He had a lot of the same symptoms, including no sense of smell or taste. It had kicked his ass even AFTER he was "better". I've also been stressed at the thought that it's only a matter of when, not if, of contracting Covid and all of this is always on my mind, even when I try not to let it.
Never mind that this is the time when everything happened with my dad and then my mom. October through January 5. So all of that is on my mind too, even if I'm not actively thinking about it.
I'm going to try and fiddle around with my 13 Curves WIP and see if I can at least fiddle around with some backstory, since I didn't really finish much of that before. I have some ideas there and I want to work on them a bit. Maybe I'll get some satisfaction there.
I hope everyone else is doing okay.
|“Sometimes when everything seems at its worst when all conspires and gnaws and the hours, days, weeks and years seem wasted – stretched there upon my bed in the dark looking upward at the ceiling I get what many will consider an obnoxious thought: it’s still nice to be myself" ― Charles Bukowski
Your thoughts on Bulowski's comment? Do you think it's obnoxious to be ourselves?
I think it's funny that we joke about liking to be ourselves is obnoxious. It's something I've always fought with myself for nearly as long as I've been alive. I've been obnoxiously shy which didn't really start until like the end of fifth and into sixth grade? Not that I was Miss. Extrovert or anything, but like I think I noticed that cliques started and not everyone was your friend. I'd probably even say fourth grade, which was kind of when my life changed a lot. My parents went bankrupt and I had to move out of my house that I'd grown up in and loved. The yard was my favorite part and I had secret places that only I'd hang out in. We had to live with friends for 3-4 months before we got our own place. I think I changed a lot then and I think I only remember my shyness really standing out in those years.
High school was awful with having to stand up in front of the glass and going over some report I had to write. I hated it. I literally would stutter and my knees would shake. I had awful social anxiety. Like AWFUL. I remember the beginning of seventh grade, we had home coming and I went because yknow, why not. A guy wanted to dance with me and I LEGIT didn't know what to do. I walked out of the school and found some secluded spot outside.
Anxiety has also been something I've had to deal with too. Not a wonderful combo by any means. I never realized how long I've had it until really recently. I know it's something I've always dealt with, but it kind of hit me the symptoms and stuff and how I'd feel those things as early as middle school and I had always just assumed it was because I was shy.
So dealing with self-esteem issues, shyness, and anxiety has made me hate myself for a long time. It's probably since my parents passed the end of 2012 and the first month of 2013, where something switched in my brain. And not that I still don't fight those issues, but I've realized how much I've learned to like myself. I'll find different qualities within myself and I like them. So that has been new for me, to not just hate myself, but to like myself too.
This quote actually made me laugh a bit because I had this thought a few months ago. Where I was laying in bed, in the dark, and I realized that I was glad that I was myself.
|Prompt: Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
As best stories sometimes come out of their authors’ fears, what do you say for writing about one thing that scares you every day? For example, what scares you today?
It's a few degrees off I think the point of this question, but I am currently working on a full-on fantasy story. Fantasy writing has always terrified me and it's funny because I always get that it's the easiest to write. Maybe so. Maybe it is the easiest, but you need a strong foundation of your world and the people in it for it to be successful. I don't mean like financially successful, but successful to your readers. It needs to be believable. It needs to have some kind of something for the readers to feel as concrete so they can accept the rest. There has to be rules, just like there are in real life. I've never had to create the rules before. Always just based everything on what everybody already knows.
Now it has been fun, but it has toyed with my anxiety. I don't want to be cliche, not fully anyway. I don't want the story to be boring. I want to have an arch that is interesting and grabs hold of the reader.
Why, might you ask, am I writing something that has terrified me? Well, firstly, it's been an idea that has been stuck inside my head FOR YEARS. Like literally right after I moved to Indiana, it started as a story I'd tell myself to fall asleep. It started out as kind of two stories that I eventually merged into one and it's just kind of nagged at me. I finally decided to start world building, character creating. I even purchased some Fantasy stories to read and get inspired by. It might still be awhile before I actually fully focus on working on it. I've got some other stories to work on anyway, so it's for the better, but I am at least working with it.
It also feels...good to work on something that is different than my usual. Plus I've been pulling in inspiration from mythology. All kinds of mythology. I've always found it exciting and fun, so it's been fun to pull from that and use it in different spots in my ever evolving plot. And since I'm here on this topic, maybe anyone who is reading this who is a fantasy lover or writer, if you could point out some good authors or give me some good points OR if anyone knows where I could go to get some good points for writing fantasy, that would be awesome too. I'll probably be poking around somewhere here eventually.
|I was going to make an entry yesterday, but I decided to do it today because I figured it might make more sense in the grand scheme of things. For me, anyway. So, I always make a new journal when there's been change in my life or there's been time enough since my last entry in my previous one, which usually just means there's shit going on in my life. Anyway, since this one is still young and new it's kind of perfect for the newest change in my life: a new position at work. It isn't a promotion, though many of my co-workers believe so! But I moved from the Front End, where I was a cashier assistant (where I basically do anything and everything. Technically, I am helping out the cashier. I help unload carts, let the cashier know if there are any items still in the cart and under the cart that they need to scan, then reload the cart. I also take items back or go get items.) to the floor as a morning merchant. Which means I get up at 3 am to be to work at 4am. I am not a morning person, though at certain points in my life, I've more or less become one. Not that I am my father, because that will never happen ever (he was one of those I am AWAKE as soon as they open their eyes and you want to punch them in the face), but I can do it and I almost prefer it, because I'm out of work earlier. I'm excited for the position change because I get to have a life again. I can cook dinner, I can go do things after work and not miss time at home. I can see Matt. I mean, I have seen more of him simply because he's been working from home mostly (though he has to go on site because he's part of Eli Lilly's Covid project), so like on my day's off or maybe before I go into work. But I worked until 7:30/8 sometimes or like the last month, they've tossed me on some shitty late shifts and I didn't see him at all, because of course those days he had to be into work so he was gone before I got up and in bed when I got home.
Now, I'll be out of work at 12:30.
Today was my first day. I work in what we call Department 19. Which is basically just where you can buy the brick cheeses, soups, quick meals, etc. Usually stuff you'd find in a deli area at the supermarket. It's a bit challenging, mostly because I'm new and getting used to what boxes look like and how things operate, but I really like it so far. The day literally flew by. After I have my lunch, I do help out the Front End, but it's like 3 hours. So, I'm okay with that.
But I am really happy and I'm hoping that I can get back to things I've once enjoyed and haven't really been able to because of the hours I was working. Plus when it comes to my writing, I'm hoping it will be helpful too. Obviously, a lot of it has been this Covid stuff and with the way it's been at work, it has been mentally draining and has literally just put a stop to my writing. More recently, I've had some itches to write, but again, that has come to time, so with this new position change, I'm hoping that it will help.
Anyway, I'm going to end this so that I can COOK DINNER. Because yknow, I want to and not because I'm tired af.
|On this day in history, North America had what is thought to have been the worst power outage. The weather channel is projecting record heat days above normal for the vast part of North America. Do you think we're better able to handle the demand for power? Your thoughts? How do you handle power outages in general? Some of us have experience from hurricanes, tornadoes,or winter storms that might have suggestions for those unfamiliar.
I remember I was at my sister, Cathie's, house when it happened. I was sixteen years old, getting ready to head into my senior year in less than a month. It wasn't a big deal at first, because I don't think any of us realized how widespread the outage was until like the next day? It was kinda still "the old days" back then when it came to the news getting out and the Internet not really being a place to spread stuff or to even look to to find out about things.
I remember they tried/attempted/succeeded? at fixing whatever the issue was, then. So it's entirely possible that we might be better able to handle the demand for power, but we're also in a very weird spot than we were 17 years ago. Then again, maybe some of the places (offices/restaurants/factories, etc) that are working less or closed all together, offset those who are home working or home without a job. I also won't even pretend to act as if I understand how our grid system works or even how they might've changed it. Like it's there in the back of my mind, but not enough that I can grasp at something to bring it back even fully enough for me to feel confident in it.
I think there are also a lot more people who are using green energy sources, especially solar, these days. That might also help alleviate the strain on the grid system.
Matt and I handle power outages pretty well. We haven't had anything in which it lasted any long stretch of time. The longest I ever didn't have power was waay back in 2004, the end of winter, around late March into early April? I remember the time only because March Madness was going on and Syracuse won it. And thanks to my sister, Cathie, and her husband, we had a generator that could power our TV so that we could watch the Championship game. We had a small battery operated black and white TV that we managed to watch like one game earlier on in the tournament, but the batteries didn't last long and we didn't have many. We used the rest for the radio in the kitchen and listened to the tournament on there.
BUT, back to how we handled it. It was an ice storm and we still had a lot of snow left (in Central NY, where I lived, snow could last into May sometimes. Giant snow banks could last into June). It ended up being incredibly helpful for us. We didn't have to worry about food as most people, and my parents (dad especially as he did the shopping) were no exception, to shopping for things they needed to last them a week or two weeks, sometimes a month, depending on how they shopped and probably how many kids they had. We always had food on hand that we, a family of four, could've survived without going to the store, for like two weeks, probably more with the way my dad could cook. He could make giant gallon jugs full of soup and tons of pasta sauce that could last us awhile easily (He had five kids in his first marriage, also was a chef apprentice in the Navy so he always cooked as if feeding a battalion.).
We had gas, so we were able to cook food and it helped heat the house a bit. We also melted ice and snow and used it to flush the toilet. We didn't shower. Though I guess we could've boiled water like in the old days and bathed, but that would've been a tremendous amount of work considering our only source of water was the snow and ice outside.
We had flash lights and a bunch of candles on hand. I think we spent a lot of time playing games/cards/reading/listening to the radio. My mom couldn't go to work as there were downed power lines one way and a downed tree on the other way, so we were essentially stuck. School had been cancelled. I think it was a week? Ten days? Something like that before the power came back on. We were lucky though. I couldn't imagine those who have gone through tornadoes or hurricanes and how they have to handle things.
Matt and I haven't had to deal with much power loss and only a few hours when we have. We would be fine for a couple of days I think. Depending on the spread of the power outage as we have an electrical stove here, so we would be screwed. Though I definitely plan on having a generator when we get a house as back up. Though I also do plan on having a gas stove then too.
|Prompt: At the end of the play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus blinds himself possibly out of guilt as he realizes he is the one who has bought ruin to Thebes. What do you think makes people punish themselves, knowingly or unknowingly? Is it always out of guilt feelings?
I'll say that I doubt it is always about guilt feelings. There are people that do it either out of needing attention, they're just incredibly dramatic anyway and it's just how they are, or some other weirdly selfish reason. But, I think a lot of people do it because of some level of anxiety or depression. Goodness knows I apologize over real dumb shit because of mine. I'm often criticizing myself a lot harsher than anyone else could and a lot of times over things not even worth worrying about. It's a complex and ridiculous thing I deal with.
Originally, I took a break from here because life had gotten stressful at home. It ruined my creativity and at the time I was a moderator. I was the youngest moderator. I was made a moderator before there was the requirement of being 18+. I took it very seriously. I was proud of the fact that people could come to me for assistance and I could help them. I tried to make myself as approachable as possible because I know what it's like to be shy and awkward. So when everything happened at home, it made it hard for me to be present here in the way that I had always wanted to be and my creativity was shot. I eventually had my modship removed because of it and even though I agree and understand why, it was very hard for me. I ended up taking another long leave because of it, because I felt like I had failed. I had failed SM and SMs, I had failed the site for not being there. I was really rough on myself.
There was a lot of other things that had happened during both breaks. Of which I will save for another entry. It's a lot of drama and heartbreak that would just derail this entry.
Anyway, it is a guilt that makes people do it. Whether it's real guilt is a whole 'nother story. Again with depression and anxiety being factors, whether or not someone is actually propelled by real guilt of something or an imagined guilt of an imagined thing they perceive to have done, they will react with it to punish themselves in some way, Especially if you just continue to think about it and let yourself brew in your self pity. It kind of builds. Which can be easy to do if you aren't in the best of places mentally or physically. You lose a job, your relationship goes bad, you lose someone close to you, etc.
It can be hard to pull yourself out of it. It's taken me a long time to have the freedom to work on myself. There was stress from my job. My living situations. My lack of financial gains. I tried to go back to school, realized the place I went to school was an idiotic place to go to school and then I also got screwed on the major I was going for and I blamed myself for that. I also had to file for bankruptcy thanks to someone else. So I can only imagine how it feels for others who are in worse situations than I was or people that suffer from anxiety or depression that was worse than mine. The lack of proper mental health care in this country (and I'm sure other places as well) don't help either.
|Okay so the 21st was my first day of vacation and I just realized that I had completely forgotten about writing in my journal. I wish I could just say that I was excited about playing The Ghost of Tsushima. Which I was, but even when I was working and incredibly tired, I'd write an entry. Or a couple of times I'd just write two the next day. I utterly and completely forgot that this or much less anything else that I "require" myself to do normally on a daily or somewhat daily basis since Tuesday. It's kind of like how I trained myself to forget work stuff once I leave work. It was something I did at Walmart when I worked there so that I didn't stress myself out or bring it home with me. Though at the end, I started to, which was why I was incredibly desperate to leave and thank everything holy that Costco was opening.
Anyway, I still do it and I think I must've done something similar once I was on vacation. It's just unfortunate that my journal writing (and my world building stuff for my fantasy story) was also included.
I haven't been online actively since my vacation started. I've watched Youtube and Twitch, Google searched stuff. But not on any kind of social media. I did have a Pampered Chef FB party and my niece's daughter had a birthday party, in which I obviously cannot attend thanks to living here in Indiana, but I wanted to send her things and they had updates and such in a group.
One day, some day, I might not be such a mess.
Until then though, I guess I'll just have to deal with it.
|Besides writing, tell us about a hobby you have. How did you discover it? How long have you been doing it?
Aside from writing, I've always loved arts and crafts. I've done some cross-stitching, I made a friend of mine some button art for her baby when he was born (spelled his name on 4 separate canvases covered with fabric with the buttons sewn on in the shape of the individual letters), I have a cricut and I've made some window clings, some birthday cards, I made a mobile for my niece's first baby shower, some food labels, again for my niece's first baby shower. I also made a pretty (simple) wall art using a star fish that my boyfriend has had for years, it reminds him of his dog that he loved and grew up with. I have it hanging in our bathroom and it's lasted 4 years already.
It is relaxing for me to do things with my hands. I've actually thought of getting some kind of cross-stitching thing to work on. I also want to learn to crochet. I'd love to learn needle point at some point too. So we will see. I'll probably start with crochet first tho, just because it seems like a mindless thing once you learn it and I'd love to have something like that while I watch something or heck, read something on my kindle. I just have to set some time aside and do that.
As far as discovering it, I have always loved to be creative since I was young. It's tied in with my love for stories (reading and writing). I remember creating a little picture book when I was probably six or seven and I remember "reading" it multiple times with different stories each time. I also remember being in sixth grade and using green printer paper that my parents had left over from something and I'd take it with me to class and I'd make like outdoor settings in 3 dimensions, like I'd crinkle up a ball of paper to make a bush. Maybe curl a small strip of paper to make a wooden bench, etc. I'd do them during class, during a lesson. I got really good grades so I didn't ever get in trouble for it or talked to. Plus my sixth grade teacher was pretty liberal in general, so... (I was a weird kid, ok! )
I've inherited it from my dad, I think. He was very creative. He could draw pretty decently, at least from what I can remember as a kid. Which I don't mean to cheapen it, but that when I got older his vision went (macular degeneration), so he barely wrote, much less drew. But I remember it being very good. He drew animals, much as I remember. I often wish I had kept them. He was a wonderful cook and could take all kinds of things and make a meal out of it. There were off-shoot meals that he made that friends of mine loved. He made some kind of pasta salad with some left over spaghetti, some black olives, parmesan cheese, some onion, and some vinaigrette dressing (probably some other stuff, but it was really basic pasta salad) and one of my friends still talks about it to this day. My dad made this amazing stew, he happened to just call zucchini stew, which he made from some left over pasta sauce my mom made, then he added some cut up yellow squash, zucchini, green peppers, and italian sausage. It was a m a z i n g. He made it for our graduation parties (from high school) and my college graduation party. It was always gone in a flash and my dad (who grilled the burgers and hot dogs) never got to enjoy any when he got to sit down. My older sister always had friends who heard about it, bought all the ingredients, and had my dad make it for them. I actually literally just gave the recipe to my cousin to texted me to ask about it. She was talking about it with her dad, my uncle, and her mom, my aunt, (I feel weird for doing that, since that seems obvious!) and they were both excited that I had the recipe for it. So yknow, it still exists.
But anyway, yeah he was very creative. Even in a white trashy, sort of recycling things, kinda way. He was born in 1933, so he also had that kind of mentality. Like we got him one of those round charcoal grills (I forget the name of them!) for his birthday or father's day I can't remember. Probably father's day, because I think it was warm out? His birthday was in January and while it's still possible we could've gotten for him then and he would've used it then, in the dead ass middle of Central NY winter, but I'm pretty sure it was warm out in my memory of it. Anyway, the legs rotted out from the snow. He had an old ass wooden casing for an old gas grill that had finally died on him (hence why we got him the charcoal one) and he removed the grill part from the wooden casing and just set the round grill part from the broken metal legs and wallah, a whole new grill.
|Have you ever boycotted a company or product? If so, tell us the story. If not, what would a company have to do for you to boycott its products?
Chick-fil-A for one. I have a lot of LGBTQ friends and I believe that people are who they are. They love who they love. I don't give a dingus how good their food is or how swiftly efficient their drive-thru is, I ain't eating their shit and supporting them. Fuck 'em.
Hobby Lobby is another. Just aside from the fact that they are fucking looney "Jesus speaks through the missus" toons and the whole birth control thing, the way they treated their employees during this whole Covid thing AND how they are with literal priceless artifacts. Ugh. They're garbage people.
Jimmy Johns. I loved their bread and their sandwiches were pretty decent. They were just a nice sandwich that wasn't super fancy or tried to be anything that it wasn't. Their owner is a giant douche who hunts large animals for sport and then poses fucking weirdly with them??
I would boycott Facebook as they're horrible as hell, but it's literally the only way I am able to stay in contact with my family in NY. As it is, I've been trying to stay off it as much as possible just because I need to keep what little sanity I have intact.
|NEOWISE comet: “Enjoy it while you can. The frozen ball of ice won’t return to the inner solar system for 6,800 years.” Talk about it! https://www.nytimes.com/article/neowise-comet.html
One day I will have a telescope. I've always been curious about getting to see space from wherever you are. Now, the concept of being in space terrifies me—I much love how gravity works—but I've always loved that there was more to life than just us, just Earth. It's also why I feel that there has to be other life out there somewhere. The probability of it anyway.
Now, I've been keeping a loose eye on this story just because I could see it without having a telescope and I live in the suburbs. Usually I can't see stuff because I never happen to live in the area where there is a good viewing spot or because I live in the suburbs and the sky is polluted by light. Things I didn't have to deal with so much when I lived in NY, though sometimes the viewing spot in NY was slightly better but would be best if you had a telescope. Of which I didn't ever have.
SO, I am hoping that I'll be able to get a view of it and especially since I'll be on vacation then (so I can't use the fact that I am tired or was doing things because I was at work).
Also, I'm going to try and make sure I don't forget about it. *makes note and also tells Mathew*
|Describe your sense of humor. Is it dark, sarcastic, slapstick, silly, or something else? Do you have any favorite comedians? What always makes you laugh?
I have a really weird sense of humor thanks to my parents, like I enjoy pervy humor, I also love punny humor (like if it's done cleverly), I like silly stuff (thanks to my mom) where okay, for example years ago my sister lived in the country and she had a mud puddle where a poor raccoon got stuck in it and drowned. She called me to tell me and I don't know why I found it funny, because it isn't funny at all (I'm an animal lover too and I will stop on the road to make sure I don't hit a squirrel ), but it was like the imagery in my head just kept making me giggle and my sister got mad at me.
So sometimes it's just how things are pictured in my brain and I just giggle. vv
Things that always make me laugh? Something that Matt always does, where he jokes about being smug/cocky, like tossing something in a weird way and catching it and it backfires. Always hilarious. Also randomness. Again with Mathew, he was sitting on the floor and he had a cup of water sitting above him on a cabinet. I don't even remember how it happened, but his cup of water literally somersaulted through the air. It was just incredibly random and it happened really fast and it just hit me I guess and I guffawed like an idiot for like five full minutes.
So there you go. I'm a giant weirdo.
|If you won a free trip to any foreign country, all expenses paid in your own private jet and had the time to go (and there were no travel restrictions due to a global pandemic ), what is the first foreign country you would visit? Who would you bring with you? What would you spend your time doing?
So, going on the fact that it might be the only chance I get to go to Europe, I'd love to go to France and well maybe Spain. For the sole purpose of my last name. Originally, it's French, although they left and went to England. From what my dad and grandfather figured out, our last name is Roncevaux in French, although there is also a Spanish village by the name of Roncevalles and a mountain pass through the Pyrenees called the Roncevaux Pass (Roncevalles Pass) (there was also a Battle of the Roncevaux Pass in 778 AD ). I've just always been massively interested in the historical relevance of my surname and the path it would go on. I guess maybe I should include England?
I'm probably breaking all of the rules by having three countries instead of one. But it's all Europe though, right?
Anyway, It's probably because my dad and, although I never got to meet him as he passed a couple of years before I was born, so was my grandfather. My dad was always incredibly interested in where we came from. They had a whole family tree esque thing done in the 1970s and both Matt and I got the 23 & Me and the Ancestry DNA thing done and it was incredibly accurate as far as our make up. Ancestry DNA was more enlightening that way though. So it continues to keep me intrigued and I'd love to see it. I'd have to find someone that knows Spanish more than I do. At my best I knew a handful of words and could count to 100. Then I was incredibly close (still am but we live in different states ) with a Puerto Rican and a Mexican, which I learned a lot from them as so far as Spanish, but like anything else there is a big difference in lingo and such with Spain. I would be lost, but it would be really fun.
Am I a boring nerd? Yeah, probably. I mean I'm getting a free all-expense paid trip to anywhere in the world on a free personal jet and instead of going somewhere fabulous, I want to go into rural Spain and into the Pyrenees, possibly France and possibly England. And probably none of the really fun and wonderful places that people would want to go see. I mean who goes to France and doesn't even go to Paris or at least the tropical getaway in southern France?
P.S. I would bring Matt because he is a historical nerd and would probably enjoy this about as much as I would.
|Write about your favorite summer activity.
When I was a kid, it was going to the beach. Now, I lived 20 minutes from Lake Ontario, so there were tons of places to go. There was one beach that a lot of people went to, but it was a State park, therefore you had to pay to get in. Ended up finding an alternate beach that was free and was just down a bit from where the State park was. Used to go with some friends, but often went with my mom and younger sister. It was really fun for myself, though my sister, just like my mom, was terrified of the water. Often my sister would sit at the edge of the beach and play in the wet sand while the water hit her feet. So I was often left on my own to find things to do, which I did, since my imagination just never. shuts. up. There were lots of times where the water was "cleaning itself" as everyone used to say, and therefore seaweed would be in abundance and sometimes we'd swim even though just because it was like a 30-35 minute drive and we didn't want it to be for naught. That just meant mom picking seaweed out of our long hair for like hours.
Now, we don't really do a whole lot. Sometimes though, under normal circumstances, we'd go downtown and walk the canal (Indianapolis at one point tried to turn the White River into a trading thing by turning it into a canal, but it wasn't deep enough. lol So, basically you can go canoeing/kayaking on it, they have some pedal boats, etc that you can use on it, but that's it), grab some food. Sometimes we would go see the local Indy Indians games or we tried to make the Indiana State Fair a thing, but neither of us really found it all that interesting. Sometimes we'd go play some mini golf. Haven't really found a favorite, but trying to find some things for us to do. I'd like for us to do more things and had some ideas planned, but this year will have to take some time off. Might go to some parks and walk around though, but will probably end up spending most of it writing or playing video games. Though I really do want to get some parks in, just so I can feel normal next to some trees and other greenery and shrubbery.
|Before I begin, I just want to say that I will never not hate when we have what we call "E-blocks" at work, where it's a weekend of trying to get people to upgrade to our executive memberships. While I totally understand why we do it and I do think it's cool when people who didn't realize they could get more out of their membership and could actually pay for their membership entirely ($120/yr) and then some, but I am often used as a floater (someone who comes to the cashier and either does the spiel plus gives their prorated upgrade fee (membership is $60 and another $60 is the full year cost, but it prorates $5/mo less for each month they are into their membership)) and it just tires me out because I have to people way more than I normally do (or like ) We have to do it for 4 days in a row for 8 hours a day and it totally might've been why I couldn't even be bothered to try and work out a blog entry for yesterday. Goodness knows I thought about it multiple times last night.
When did you first start blogging? (anywhere, not necessarily on WDC) Why? What did you blog about? (subjects, topics, personal news, etc.) Has your blogging style changed since you began?
I started blogging when I was in high school, the early 2000s when it wasn't a blog, but a journal. A la Livejournal, Deadjournal, etc. I had a livejournal (which I only recently found out that it somehow still exists because I had to change my password for it and it goes all the way back to like 2004 when I was nineteen years old and after like a year or so I would try to "rant" about things.) which I started out with and then used all of the Livejournal ripoffs to skirt around my high school's firewall. Which I only did because of a friend of mine who would find all kinds of off shoots. There is part of me that is curious, but I am honestly glad they have been lost to time. I can only imagine how embarrassing it would be now to read. Oh boy.
Anyway, most of what I blogged about would be me ranting off of things at the time. Whether it was things happening locally, in general, or stuff about in the news, or just generalized topics like homosexuality or the fact that my friend that I mentioned, who is gay, tried to donate blood in high school because he was 18 and found out he couldn't because he was gay and therefore must obviously have HIV/AIDS.
I eventually went to an offline blog to start, then ended up uploading it (I think just in .txt format I think? Because my boyfriend wanted to read it. It's a weird thing to think of now I guess, but we were long distant at the time and it's often difficult for me to talk about things in person. I can write really well and the brain to hand connection is top notch, but when it comes to brain to mouth, that is a whole nother story. So, he wanted to know how I felt about things in general and know me. I did that for a little while and I think I stopped only because he went into college. So I continued to write for myself, I just didn't upload it any longer.
I think I might've stopped after that. Other than here. This is my third journal on WDC and they usually stop because there was a long absence and just a different change in my life usually. These are sometimes personal or sometimes just generic like this one is. It kinda depends. Mine haven't really been that super popular, so I often do them more for myself than I do for anyone else.
I feel like my style overall has changed, mostly just because I've matured a lot. I talk about things in general or certain topics, but I cover them (or try to) in a totally different manner. Maybe I'll go back to my "rants" but do them in a more sophisticated way.
|Imagine what the world would be like today if humans had never discovered/invented _________ (fill in the blank).
What if we had never invented the Internet? Or maybe I guess I should reword it in a sense that might be a bit more realistic, what if the world wide web never came into existence? What if it stayed with the Department of Defense? Or what if it was only used for research or professionals? What if it was never made for the general consumption of what we know of the Internet today.
It makes you wonder how different life would be. How our phone technology would be today. Our watch technology even. I mean, the only reason I have facebook (other than being in a CHONKY cat group of course) account is because I can stay in contact with family from NY, which would just be more difficult without it. My whole introverted life is so much easier since the Internet has come into my life, as-so-far as doing my bills, setting up doctors appointments (or cancelling them!), reapplying for based-on-income help for my student loans, MY WRITING, shopping!, health stuff for my cats, etc. I could probably go on for ever, but I'll stop.
It does even more for a lot more people. Aside from there being a bunch of idiots and drama and false news/imagery/memes that people take for granted no matter how easy it is to create false stuff and say it's true. Or whatever the heck. Aside from all of that, there is a lot of good. A lot of information that has helped people in all kinds of ways. And not just information, but up-to-date information at that. You don't have to wait a day, a week, a month, a year for that kind of information.
E-books! Now, I will always prefer my books, but e-books have grown on me. They're very convenient. I can rent books from the library straight to my kindle! I can read them at night, at work, wherever. I don't have to worry about how I'm going to get a book somewhere and not worry about damaging it somehow. I can only imagine how easy it is for those who find it difficult to get to places or even those who have very limited vision since you can increase the font size in an e-reader.
How would school have been for kids at the end of this last school year with Covid?
Imagine trying to find a way to sign people up for unemployment/food stamps/financial services to anybody during Covid.
Hell, I wouldn't be able to write this or any journal entry if we didn't have it. As I mentioned earlier, my writing. I wouldn't be halfway as good as I am now if I didn't have this site. I know I'm not nearly as active as I used to be. I haven't really had the time to fully dedicate to writing, but I'm only the way I am with my writing because of how it was with this place. Reviews I've received and friends that I've made have gotten me to look at things from different perspectives.
So uh, thanks for that.
Be interesting to hear what other people think if we never had the Internet and how drastically their life would be different.
|Go somewhere outside or where you can observe the happenings of the world beyond the walls of your home (looking out a window is fine). Spend at least five minutes watching and listening. What do you see, hear, and smell? Where does your mind wander when you sit quietly?
It's always such a bizarre mix of seeing/hearing/smells in my apartment complex. I'm right next door to a strip mall that has a Kroger, a CSL (a plasma donating facility), a hair place, and a few other small shops. There's also a McDonalds, an Arbys, and a Donatos (a pizza place) in the same area. So we often see the headlights of those going through the drive-thrus and people exiting and coming into the strip mall. A lot of times though, it's pretty quiet. Like, we're maybe 1000ft from the road (a pretty decently busy road that can take you all the way to Indy, so usually during morning and afternoon rush hour it's pretty busy. BUT, I can go outside in front of my apartment and not really hear it at all. I can hear birds and the sounds of trees going through the leaves. You'll see some squirrels hopping about. The smell has been ozone and yet fresh dirt after a rain kinda smell, with the way the rainstorms have been the last few days.
So this country girl can still have a relatively nice enjoyment outside of our apartment.
|Write about the last time you did something nice for yourself.
Man, it's been awhile. There's a few things I was going to toss up, like buying a new laptop or clothes, but I just really needed them and had been putting them off for so long that it was just necessary. I'd love a massage or do something to my hair, but with the Covid going around, I'm not going to for awhile.
I mean, I guess treating myself to lunch? But I do that often enough, a couple of times a month, tho less than that now because of Covid, that I don't know if that qualifies?
Man. I had to have done something nice for myself?
I suppose I could mention that I bought myself plants. We have a bare spot out in front of our apartment. Bushes used to grow there, but I think thanks to dog's urinating on them, they died and were removed. Nothing has been planted and so I decided, last year, to plant some bulbs. They were probably garbage ones, because they never grew and when I bought plants this year, I couldn't even find them in the dirt.
Anyway, I planted a peony bush and a white azalea bush. The peony bush I bought mostly because it was one of my mom's favorite bushes and something that just made me happy to think about. I also think they're beautiful in their delicateness. It's been fun for me to watch them grow and I look forward to planting them when Matt and I get our own place. I park in front of them when I get home from work or whatever and they make me happy when I look at them. So, a couple of months ago then, I did something nice for myself.
|What historical events, besides your own birth, occurred on your birthday in the year you were born?
Apparently, nothing happened on the 20th of September in the year of our lord 1985.
Except for (hold onto your pants!):
Curtis Strong is convicted for selling cocaine to pro baseball players
The capital gains tax is introduced to Australia.
WDW's 200-millonth guest
Money For Nothing by the Dire Straights was the number one song on my birthday.
|What do you do when you are out of inspiration or ideas?
What I am doing right now actually, or trying to do. World building and character building. It's actually incredibly fun and relaxing for me to do. I'm working on a story that is my first foray into Fantasy. I'm absolutely terrified, mostly because I don't want to make it cliche or boring or typical (which I don't like in anything I write anyway) and plus I'm wanting to use different mythical elements in it, so I've been working that out as well. So, it's really a lot more effort than I've put into anything else I've written, in the sense that it's a lot of unknowns I want to make sure I get right and also correspond with the vision I have in my head. It's a story I've been floating around in my head for quite a few years, but I didn't know how to work it to make it interesting or an actual story. I now have a rough timeline in my head and a twist that I like, well a couple of them. Also using mythical stuff too, thanks to my bf. He's like an encyclopedia of things. I wish I had his brain (), because he can read things and always seemingly remember tiny details! So he's been great to bounce ideas off for this (and often for a lot of my work).
When I get stressed my brain seemingly locks up and all creative juices just disappear. It's been like that x1000 right now and since March. Which was especially frustrating after it had just come back to me after all of the holiday mess. Doing the world building stuff has been really cathartic for me and I've been feeling accomplished. I've been working on the plot timeline and working out areas that have been shadowy for me. I've been playing around with characters, adding some, changing others around. I started an inspiration photo album which I don't know why I've never thought to before and that has been helping as-so-far as just being organized. I have my binder full of just inspirational research and it's ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. And it's driving me crazy. Professor Q showed me a website called World Anvil, which was, probably, designed originally for those who play D&D, but it's also used for writers as well, with a giant organizational thing for world and character building and it's EXACTLY what I need to know what I have and what I don't. Something I'll be playing around a bit with that today, finally.
Even under other circumstances, I like to work on this stuff even with whatever I am currently working on as a way for inspiration. Sometimes I'll just work with characters or maybe even locations I've put in my story. It gives me insight that I might not have thought of before, a chance to work "outside the box". Something I would usually only get from talking with someone about it and getting ideas from them.
|Is there such a thing as “unbiased reporting?” (Consider not just journalism, but storytelling - is it possible to tell a story without bias?)
Hmm, so I'm going to focus on storytelling, just because I feel like that's a very interesting avenue to take and think about (and because I feel like when it comes to journalism, the answer is yes, but it depends on where and most of the time what we consume as news is really just opinion pieces half the time, at least when it comes to mostly anything on TV).
I would have to say that yes, I do feel so, but I think it often depends because sometimes the story is based on bias. I'll use Stephen King as an example only because it was when I was older that I realized as a person, when it came to politics, that he was left leaning, which had surprised me. As someone who is from a small town (incredibly small town), I was enamored with how he wrote about them and the people who inhabit them, because it felt so real. Like, the real kind of small town, not the rosy tinted glasses view that a lot of people like to think it is (and often how small towns want to be portrayed!). I enjoyed the drama, the white-trashy glaze, the dirty and grimy film that he used, but in a good way? (Maybe this is answering a question in a way I wasn't expecting!) It felt like a realistic portrayal to me, without feeling like he was shitting on them. There was covering the very overly patriotic people, the "I hate government" folks, living in trailer parks, then there's the older folks, the "we know everybody" folks, those who talk in a heavy accent (I've always kinda felt the more country you are, regardless of where you are from, have more of an area-based accent than those who live in city/suburban areas), etc.
And why I say that it is possible for him to create that place and the people in it in a nearly non-bias way, there will be ways in which things are said or done in a way that might use that bias to construe whatever.
I'm sure there are probably much better examples. I wish I could think of more off of the top of my head.
Most, obviously, bias in storytelling to set the atmosphere for whatever they're trying to portray or to set the plot. So I don't mind it, for the most part. There are times when it's put on a little thick and whether I am pro or anti-bias, it's not what I want. So ones with a lack of bias or similar is something that I'd like, obviously if done well. Sometimes, I could imagine, might come up a little dry otherwise. Come across as an essay or book report.
Now I am going to be thinking of some stories with lack of bias. Maybe I'll come back to this and add or just create another entry and finish talking about it.