Silly Nostaliga

It’s all happening I suppose.

Tomorrow my mom and I and a few others are having a garage sale. The idea is for me to be able to get rid of all of my stuff. That includes the desk on which the computer sits from which I write this entry.

I”m on my desk top, and I realized that this is probably going to be the last time I use it before I go to the UK. Probably not until I get back, and we’ll see if it still works at that point. I Really like this keyboard, and I really like this computer. I’m sad I didn’t put it to more use.

The things we leave behind to move forward.

Why Readers Read Blogs

I’ve been wondering why I’m doing this, keeping to this blog. Any of my followers know that I’m not the most…scheduled of bloggers. I kind of write when I have time and motivation, and when those align is few and far between.

However, while I was working the Sunday market with the girl who is going to take over for me when I leave, she asked if she could follow my blog. I of course was flattered, but followed with, “It’s not very interesting. I’m not really sure why I have it.” Again, any of my followers know somewhere in them that this is the truth. I only started this thing becuase on my first day with an advisor at Whatocom Community College he told me I needed to start a blog if I wanted to be a writer.

So here I am.

Then our market neighbor, Denise (man I hope I’m spelling that right), piped up, and explained that the whole reason people follow blogs is becuase the blogger is doing something that the reader is not, and it’s an interesting peer into another person’s life, which Valarie, the girl I was working with, agreed with.

I was surprised. I’m so used to following blogs becuase they have information that I need. I completely forgot the personal touch, the sort of written TV show that these can be. I just don’t feel like my life is anything really worth writing about (which I’m sure is an awful thing for a writer to say, but then again, that’s why I write fiction). While I felt inspired in that moment to stick to my blog a bit more, try and get more enteries more often (how many times have you seen me say that?), I also felt guilty. I haven’t been doing that. I haven’t been letting the reader into my life. I’ve been keeping everyone at a several yards distance. I think that’s in part due to my ex, who was around when I started this blog, and said he hated it when I mentioned him or the video production company.

However, I suppose more personal things could be filled within these digital pages. More rants, more rages. Though, when I rant, I like to make sure that I’m making sense, I’m not just spouting steam, that I’m actually releasing a message rather than a temper. I should muse more in here, though I’m so protective of my musing lest they turn into….memories of musings? I donk’t know.

So perhaps I will write more, you will get more garbage out of me. But then again, as mentioned before, this isn’t the first time I’ve promised more writing. I’m sure I can do it. It’s just a matter of being able to schedule my tiem wisely.

But then again, things are now getting a little more heated up as far as my activites go. BUt perhaps more on that in a later entry.

The Pokémon Effect

I gave in. I downloaded PokémonGo. I’ve had it for about ten days now. There are a few things to keep in mind before I go on about my experience:

The majority of the reason that I have a smartphone to begin with is so that I can keep on top of work/school/blogging related things. I don’t really listen to music (though I’m huge on podcasts), and I really, really don’t play games. I don’t play games on my phone, computer, or even own a console of any type. Games are just not my thing.

As far as Pokémon goes, I remember when it first came out in the US twenty years ago. I was far more into pogs than I was Pokémon. I didn’t (and for the most part, still don’t) like animé, and thus really had no interest in this ridiculous thing with silly words attached to it (like “jigglypuff” and “rattata”). I thought that it was just another fad that would fade away, like the giga pets so sadly did. Clearly pogs were far more superior.

Well, that just goes to show how my prediction for trends goes (but you know, I was also nine years old).

Now, that being said, when I started hearing about PokémonGo, I had no interest, and tuned it out like I do the rest of the game fads. Again, I don’t really play video games, or any games aside from poker or chess. But when my friend asked if I wanted to go for a walk with him while he hunted Pokémon, and insisted that I do the same, I gave in to see what the hype is about.

It’s not that great of a game.

You catch these things and they go in a digital ball. Sometimes you can battle. Blah blah blah. It’s not that great.

Except that it’s awesome.

I’m on team Mystic, and level ten at this point. I just catch the dumb things because that’s what I should be doing. But really, I’m in it for the PokéStops, because maybe they’ll give me an egg that I can put in an incubator, which will give me reason to walk 2-10 kilometers. I want to hatch the eggs because it tells me how far I’ve walked, and then I get a prize.

Sure, I can walk without that. I can get a pedometer to let me know how far I’ve walked. No problem. However, having the goal helps. But what helps even more is having the direction.

There have been a great many times when I think that I’d like to go out and do something, go for a walk or whatever. I don’t do it because I don’t know where to go. Washington State, and Bellingham, especially, is phenomenal for forestry, beaches, mountains, and all the trails that go along wit it. It attracts so many out-doorsy people. However, I don’t want to be one of those people, and I get intimidated by people who are. It’s not that I don’t like the woods–I freaking love the woods. But I want to go into the woods to get away from people, not have to worry about getting out of the way of cyclists and watching out for joggers and other peoples’ dogs. I simply want to go and relax and breathe in. Plus, the parking is insane at all the trail heads.

So because of this, I often find myself not going out and not going for walks because I have no direction. Now, PokémonGo does not get me out into the woods. But it gives me direction. I can go wherever the most PokéStops are, and just follow those. I walked nearly four miles yesterday, and nearly another three this morning before I came into work–just because I wanted to hatch the eggs and had direction.

What’s more, after I came home yesterday from my long day of Pokémon hunting, I ate some dinner, relaxed for an hour, and then wanted to go back out and keep walking. It’s not the Pokémon I want, I simply wanted the movement.

That, right there, is why I fully endorse PokémonGo. It’s gotten me off my ass and hooked on the exercise.

And I feel fantastic!

Usually, after working at the farmers market on Saturdays and Sundays, involving 100 miles of driving each day, plus setting up and packing up, loading and unloading, as well as the general drain of customer service, I’m exhausted. But both days I went out and went walking around. Saturday I went to beautiful Boulivard Park and discovered that there’s free live music on Saturdays. I heard a fantastic mamba band and discovered some trails leading to the park that I didn’t know existed.

Yesterday a friend of mine tried to walk from down town to this same park, using a trail I hadn’t been on in six years. We ended up taking the wrong trail which took us through the trees, and we discovered veils of vines dangling from trees in a beautiful display of intermingling life and death. We also discovered a homeless camp, which was fine. We tried not to disturb anyone there. The trail ended up dumping us out on the train tracks. I was mostly certain of where we were, but not 100%. After following the tracks, I figured it out pretty quick.

We discovered that every quarter moon, there is an Astronomy Enthusiast group which meets up and brings a giant telescope out so that people can look at the moon up close. We discovered people playing a Viking game in the park. I have been finding pieces of art that I didn’t even know existed. I have been looking at buildings differently, seeing the graffiti, and realizing that these are pieces of Bellingham that I have been neglecting over the last seven years that I’ve living here.

PokémonGo has brought forth a new awareness of myself and my surroundings that I am very grateful for. No, I don’t battle my Pokémon. No, I don’t evolve them. But I do get outside. I do walk–enough that right now my ass and calves are hurting–and I am remembering why Bellingham is so amazing.

On Monday, a friend and I are talking about hunting around Seattle, and seeing what other fun destinations we can find. It’s giving me something to do this summer. What’s more, I think that when I get to Durham, it’ll be a fantastic way for me to get out and explore my new surroundings.

One of the selling points for me, before I agreed to try it (or rather, what made me decide to try it rather than rebel against my friend and say that I would just walk with him minus the app), was that I had heard of its effects against depression. I go through my bouts, and have my ways to deter it, however, I thought that it might act as another tool. Now that I’ve had it for over a week, I realized that I was depressed and didn’t even know it. Getting out, getting those endorphin from movement–it’s all elevated my mood entirely.

Another fun fact about it, my dad, who’s about to be 70 next month (shh, I didn’t tell you that), is even participating in it–and is not that many levels behind me. I’m looking forward to going to see him in Palm Springs in September so we can go out hunting together (I never thought I’d say I was looking forward to hunting).

Yep. PokémonGo is truly amazing.

Making Independence Day About Me: A Writer’s Declaration

With all my time off, I’ve been able to focus on my writing, which has been a really productive thing. I’ve been participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, setting my own goal to be 50,000 words in July, and writing 15,000 in two days.

And today, as it is Independence Day, I’d like to celebrate not by chugging beer and barbecuing things and causing things to explode, but rather by focusing on my writing and celebrating my own Independence.

When I decided to go back to school, it was because I was tired of being laid off from jobs because I was disposable or the business flat out died. I also wanted to get out of video production, since that was just not my passion. I wanted a job that revolved around what I love: writing. So I disguised my education as something thoughtful and smart: a very useful and versatile English degree. But really, I just want to write, and have something to help me get my foot in the door of a publisher.

For two years I worked hard in school and took on two jobs outside of school. All my time went to studying and working. Sure, I wrote, and tried to participate in any of the NaNoWriMo events. But it was an activity divided between other obligations and distractions. As soon as I graduated from the community college in December, I picked up a job as well as kept my other two jobs, giving a grand total of 70 hour work weeks, leaving me too exhausted to even contemplate writing of any form.

Now I am down to two jobs again, one giving my only 4 hours a week while the other job is just on weekends. This has left me with ample time to think and discover what it is I really want. The answer to that is simple: to write.

And I have so much time to do it!

So this is my writing Independence Day. It is the day that I know my life needs to revolve around writing to get to be where I want to be. It’s the day I make sure to schedule time for my writing every day. It’s the day that I know that it is what is important for me to grow and to put that growth first. It is the day that I separate myself from the working world and the obsessive manner to which I participated in it. I am a writer, and thus my life will be about writing, from here on out.

Escapism

We all practice it, which is the sad truth – whether we make a conscious effort around it or not. I know I have indulged in it – during my break-up over the summer i required the herbal assistance of a sleep aide and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
so that I wouldn’t dwell.
For many people it’s alcohol, pot, drugs, or it can been as seemingly innocent as an abundance of television or even reading.
Escapism is the art of distracting the self so that processing of things which are difficult to process is neglected. This, if done right, can be beneficial, but it is an intricate balancing act. Without fully knowing the self, it can be one slightly wobbly step from disaster.
This is how alcoholism happens, stuck addictions, laziness – unhealthy habits in all areas of life – can develop.
It was Scarlett O’Hara that inspired my escapism –

“I won’t think of that now, I’ll think of it later when I can bare it”

Without allowing herself the emotional strife of losing her parents, the loss of the comfort of Southern living, she would not have been able to be the support her family needed, would not have been able to get her plantation working again. However, it is seen later on in the book when her second husband, Frank Kennedy dies and she refuses to process her guilt, and does turn to alcohol as her method of escapism, and developed it no a vice.
I use school as my escapism. I focus on that because it is something that I have control over. Now I don’t have it, not for another three weeks. I’m too broke for drinking all the time or doing drugs, or engaging in some other means of distraction, so I’m faced with processing things.
Processing is reflecting and coming to terms with an event. We do do it all the time. Dreams are your brains way of processing the events from the day. Sometimes if you look closely at a dream, you seem elements of the day, and know that it was weird that a bunny turned into lasagna when you let it in your dream, but it just appeared that way because during the day you were eating lasagna when you saw a road kill bunny on the street outside.
The stress of not allowing yourself to process things can result in mental problems as well as physical problems, like any forms of stress. It can alter the functionality of your digestive system, which can lead to weight gain, parasites, candida, foul breath and body odor, and so on; it can diminish your sex drive; it can effect your comprehension of tasks in daily life; it can have strong effects on your moods; and of course cause sleep problems as well.
Do yourself a favor – don’t engage in escapism. It’s not worth it. No matter how difficult it is to process, give yourself the chance to do so. You’ll be able to grow from it and be happier and healthier for it.

The Reality of Humanism

This is a piece I have been working on examining the evolution of the idea of Humanism through British Literature. The question first began being asked during the the Middle Ages, and has continued on to the evolution of questioning Reality in its place. This is the journey of how that question went from what it meant to simply being human to what is consciousness and how does it apply to the outside world.

“The question of Humanism has slowly evolved through time, or rather, the different viewpoints have been analyzed. From the understanding that life is short, and adopting the Carpe Diem mentality of not allowing time or moments or experiences go to waste; to the belief that it was Reason that was the key to greatness and the defeat of ignorance; to the realization of the vastness beyond the human self, and being humbled by the sublime; we have pulled together pieces of the puzzle to attempt to create an answer.”

Read more of The Reality of Humanism

Sudden Stop with a Sudden Drop

study

As per usual for the end of quarters, or even during the mid terms – There was a lot of frantic rushing to get things done. I spent 15 hours in one day working on my final essay for my British Literature class, which turned out to be 14 pages of pure rubbish (Well, I consider it rubbish – I didn’t get a lot of my ideas that I wanted into it. At the end of the day though, it was only supposed to be 3 pages so….who knows), spent a great many hours studying for my math Final (the worry of which you can read about here), as well as verbal rehearsal for my French Final. The last few days have been all go and all adrenaline, and then when it was over…It was over.

My last final was French, which finished at 10:30 in the morning, and afterwhich I was free. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I told myself I had all these goals and yet, I couldn’t focus on any one of them. For a while, I opted for writing, though only got 300 words in before I realized I really didn’t know what I was writing about. I went home for a good long nap – very much needed after the 8 hours of sleep spread out through three days.

After…I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I had adjusted to the level of stress. I had adjusted to the luxury of lounging since I knew I had to take it when I could due to the amount of to-do on my plate. I am so used to having tasks to do, ready at hand, that I can pick from any one of them, and then last night, I had nothing. Today, I have nothing.

Just over 24 hours out of the quarter and I’m already bored! How can that be???

So, to treat myself, I went to breakfast at my favorite place in Bellingham, the Old Town Cafe, where I could have vegetarian biscuits and gravy with a side of tofu (so beautiful), then meandered to visit my friend at the Stone Moon, an occult/pagan shop, and ended up staying there for a couple hours.

Then I headed back to the college.

I know how it sounds. But it’s not like that…not entirely like that. I went because I could finally sell back my math book (that’s a good sign, it means I still some how managed to get an A in that class, a rant I will rant about later). I’ve had that book for three quarters – I’m not going to lie, I’m a little attached to it. It functioned as my math 97, 98 and 99 book, which was lovely, and now It’s gone. I never used the activation code in there that allowed me to get to the videos, so that should have worked towards its return value. However, I got $23 for it. There’s not a whole lot of money in returned math books. I probably should have sold it online.

So now I sit, in the library at the college, writing, wondering just what on earth to do with myself. It’s so peaceful, so quiet. I really do enjoy this library. It’s funny, when I was a Running Start Student, the library here intimidated the hell out of me. I don’t know why, but it did. I think it’s because I thought that all books were only allowed in the library, and you couldn’t check any out for more than a couple hours. Though that only pertains to text books.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do for the next five weeks. I’m kind of nervous to be honest.