Blog Archives

Blaugust 23: Then, A Nap


Although I woke up later than I wanted today, I started off with what should have been plenty of time. Then, I proceeded to waste the rest of the morning and left to do errands around noon. I was gone for several hours and should have started working when I got home.

But I was tired.

So I took a nap.

The nap was only about an hour. But then I checked my email and poked around the evil black hole of Facebook for a while. Before I knew it, it was nearly seven in the evening and I had to make something for dinner.

By the time I finished eating, it was almost seven thirty. I set my plate aside and finally started working. By then, though, I was stuck in an internet loop of Netflix, Facebook notifications, and checking my email every ten minutes. So I’ve only gotten through a little bit of my work today. It’s mainly due to stress, which builds up so much sometimes that actually working becomes nearly impossible. Unfortunately, the deadlines and the bill pay dates don’t change in accordance, so it just causes MORE stress.

And that is how you waste a day being barely productive. I hope this was an informative, instructional post for you.

Advertisements

This Week in Five Things Friday


  1. Rest in peace, David Bowie and Alan Rickman.
  2. I hadn’t expected that I would work at a toy store. I think it will be a nice place to work. At the very least it will be an interesting experiment in leaving the house more often.
  3. I think that a large amount of the stress most people experience is from having to worry about money. This is why everyone wanted to win the powerball. Also, I was reading something about a previous lottery winner and I thought, “Who needs $590 million at 84? It’s not like you have the time to use it. That’s just too much for one person. Even if they’re not that old.” This sounds ageist, I’m sure, but actually it’s more a reaction to the thought of any one person having that much money. You don’t need it, and there are so many people who could do with just a fraction of that. The lottery is wack, yo. (I never say wack or yo, so you know it’s true.)
  4. Everything has been taking me so long these days… except for moments when I’m super productive!
  5. Goodnight.

Monday Madness: Naked Santas and Overspending


First, I want to say that what happened Saturday night was barely a snowstorm. In Boston, it had completely stopped by Sunday. And yet, this morning there were too many stupidly icy sidewalks (hint: one is too many) and ridiculous traffic because no one can ever remember how to drive once there’s the smallest amount of snow. So I give up. If we have another snowstorm, which seems likely, I’m just not going to leave my house until spring. I’ll do that peapod thing to have my groceries delivered and order lots of pizzas.

Now, a quick thank you to everyone who liked my cupcake post. It’s nice to have that validation, since no one I invited over to have some thought it was worth the trip–either for having the cupcakes or for hanging out with me. I mean, that’s a major fail, right? But I realized I hadn’t done a real food post for a while, so there you go. There are still about four cupcakes left, but by now they’re on the stale side, so probably not worth a trip at this point anyway.

Logically I know people are just busy and sort of far away (unfortunate consequence of living in Boston: only friends who live in your neighborhood are actually easy to get to), but emotionally it just feels like everyone’s rejecting me. I started out December being really excited about Christmas, but now I’m kind of depressed.

I’ve been shopping way too much. And then, you know, the second you say “Ok, that’s it. I’m going to be good and not buy all this stuff I don’t need,” that’s when something comes up and you end up spending anyway. Like Christmas presents (I didn’t spend that much, but combined with everything it adds up), or the $20 off a $50 purchase from Sephora with a time limit (how could I pass that up?), so you can get that $34 container of moisturizer without feeling so bad about it. The good news is, that one container is probably going to last me at least six months. I think it might be time to trade in my coins for Real Money. It won’t be that much. Probably somewhere between $10 and $20. But it’ll do me more good in my pocket than sitting in a jar on a shelf.

Ok, I know I’ve been teasing you. You’re wondering about the naked santas, right? Well… Read the rest of this entry

Monday Madness: Untitled


It’s a rainy, but not in a pleasant way, already exhausted, just want to curl up in bed kind of day.

If you have an office job in the U.S., chances are you have today off. Lucky you. I don’t. I have lots of days off in September so I’m not complaining about the TIME per se. The problem is something else. For one, I could be hanging out with friends… maybe… since everyone else has today off.

Then, of course, my usual bus isn’t even running today, so I had to make do with one of the other, more sucky routes to work. And of course I didn’t plan ahead for it, because I think it’s stupid that they stop running certain buses on certain days, or rather, because I forgot entirely that they do that.

Everything about life right now seems uncertain and several degrees less awesome than it could be. I don’t know how to change it.

Also, when two-day shipping was supposed to get me my package on Saturday, and instead I’m getting it tomorrow or Wednesday, that’s not two-day shipping. That’s just regular shipping. As always I blame UPS, not the company I ordered from, because UPS’s policies seem designed to keep my packages away from me, instead of just delivering them.

I want to be clear: I had a good weekend. I enjoyed myself and spent time with people, ate some good food (and some ok food), and of course did a little bit of shopping. I had to. There were so many sales! And this morning, as soon as I had to commute to work, any optimism left over from my good weekend got drained away.

I hate the MBTA.

Monday Madness


I was hometown-bound this weekend for the wedding of an old friend, someone with whom I was very close in my teen years. The wedding was very lovely. The ceremony was outside and, luckily, the weather was perfect. The reception was in a hall, very nicely arranged, good food, fun dancing.

I spent some time with family, puttering around town, having lattes and pizza and such. It was an enjoyable time. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done anyway, I wasn’t worrying about being unproductive, so I was pretty relaxed and unstressed.

Then I got home and all the things I don’t like about my living space were there to greet me. I am so fed up, but I really don’t think there’s anything to do about it…

I’ve been thinking about what I want in life and wondering how to get it. From what I can tell, there are some people who are really good at getting what they want. I don’t understand them at all. I can’t figure it out. If getting what I want requires the cooperation of anyone else but me, it usually doesn’t happen.

Time always seems to be the biggest problem. I need more time in the day that’s open for sleeping, and longer breaks from real life to relax and try to organize my life into schedules or routines that actually make some sense. Instead, everything just piles up until I have no idea how to sort through all the wistful wishes and necessary chores and get anything at all done.

All I can do is rant about it on the internet. How productive and healthy.

Monday Madness: Where does all the money go?


I get paid once a month, at the end/beginning of the month, depending on how you look at it. So I always have plenty of money in my account at the very end of a month and through the first week or two, and it looks great during that time! I can do things! The sky (read: stores and restaurants?) is the limit!

But I know it’s not going to last

Rent check comes out. Transfer to savings account (which is usually transferred back to checking so I can pay my bills) comes out. Tax payment comes out. Credit card and loan payments happen. And throughout all of this, food and other essentials (and, ok, often quite a few non-essentials) are purchased.

This is how incomes and living work. We all know this.

But, because I only get paid once a month, I suffer from end-of-month brokeness.

It gets down to only $100-200 in my account. Granted, that’s more than some people have. But, considering that I have no savings, it’s not enough to deal with any emergency expenses. So those, naturally, would have to go on my credit card. On which I already carry a balance right now.

And then I have to buy my train pass on the 1st of the month. Depending on timing, that might have to go on the credit card.

And I’m having a little party the first weekend in August. It won’t be that many people, but it still requires extra money for the food and drinks I plan to provide.

I desperately hope there isn’t a paycheck delay this month. (So far so good, but it’s not certain…)

Monday Madness: My Head Hurts


Life is madness.

I didn’t even get a chance to post this in the morning. That is how madness it is.

If you read my writing blog, then you probably have some idea how I feel about the 4th of July. Maybe if I went off and had a barbeque and got to watch fireworks without thousands of people pushing in from all sides, I might enjoy it more. However, I didn’t get to do that. Mostly, it was crowded and stressful. As a day off from work it didn’t help me much. I had to work all weekend to get to the point I was aiming for this week. I REALLY don’t want to fall behind my goals at work right now. Catching up is way too difficult.

It’s been very hot lately. Now, I know that there are plenty of areas of the world where it has been in the hundreds, even up to 130 or so, and we’ve only had a high of 95 or so in Boston. ONLY 95, GUYS!!! It’s too much for me. Especially because it’s always so humid. It always feels at least 5 degrees hotter than it is, if not more, and even if you never go outside, and don’t really do anything that active for most of the day, you feel kind of clammy all day long. I’ve been trying to continuously drink water to avoid dehydration, and I think I’m doing well, but I still have a headache right now.

Between frequently staying somewhat late at work, ridiculous heat, attempting to organize the unfortunate piles of stuff in my room, trying without much luck to have a social life, and trying to sort out various other things, I’ve gotten to a point where I feel almost like I don’t have time to breathe. This is, of course, metaphorical, as breathing is an automated process that happens without effort as you’re doing other things. I know, it’s amazing. But what I mean is time to relax, recharge… reduce, reuse, recycle. You know. All those things they tell you to do that begin with “re.”

Damn. I need a massage.

Monday Madness


Weekends are the eternal paradox. Or rather, the two-day paradox. They are an eternal two-day paradox.

Because it can be very difficult to get chores or errands or goals done during the week if you have a full time job (or are a full time student).

So you think, I will have so much time on the weekend.

But what happens when you really need a day to do absolutely nothing? To just lay around and browse the internet or read books or watch videos all day, and only eat food that takes very little time to prepare? Well. There’s nothing wrong with having those days sometimes.

But what if you also had plans during the weekend that leave only one day for the getting stuff done AND the relaxing and lying around? What do you do? I guess it depends on how important the chores etc. are. So you might have one of those weekends with sadly little time to relax and do nothing.

In conclusion, do not let your bedroom get that messy. Cleaning it turns into a week-long project and you know you’ll only have a few hours to work on it.

Last-Day Syndrome


Aaagh, 2 days, seriously? It’s so soon! I am experiencing that thing where it’s the last day before a break so I really don’t want to do anything, but the one important task I need to finish before I leave did not actually get completed yesterday. Why do manuscripts have to be so long? … So I’ve got to get down to business and finish that today, and then do as much of the next manuscript as I can. STRESS. Plus, I really need to clean my room, but I don’t think I’ll have time…

I’m going to have to make SURE I relax and enjoy myself for this vacation, because preparing to go on vacation is so stressful. Does this count as irony? Probably not. But it seems like it should.

I had the last of my leftover tikka masala for breakfast. Hey, if you can have breakfast for dinner, then dinner for breakfast is also acceptable. That’s what I say. Tonight or tomorrow I’ll be putting up a non-recipe post about it. I have some good-ish pictures.

As much as I would like to blog all day, I should really get this work done. So…

Monday Madness


Look to the right. Did your eyes leave the computer screen? You looked too far. I meant just to the right of the post, where there’s a countdown to my vacation. Yes, I have one week of work left before I’m off! I leave on Sunday and return Thursday. I will be at work on Friday, but I’ll be out for almost a whole week.

Which really means that I’m crazily trying to get as much done at work and home as possible before I go, so that I’m not hit with huge piles of stuff to do when I get back from vacation. No one wants that.

They’re supposed to have a sort of cruise-ship version of an internet cafe, so I might be able to do my usual Monday Madness post and maybe update with some pictures along the way, but I won’t guarantee that. So, if you don’t get any madness next Monday, you’ll know why!

I’m going to have to choose my vacation reading soon. …so many books, so little time.

. . .

Now an update from my last Monday Madness–I put my first video on youtube, under the account norecipewriter. It is available for viewing and you can watch it here, if you want to see me introduce myself and my channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko0zG3z01pw

Filming was difficult in the sense that I don’t have a real camera, or a good place to set up my phone, and my phone’s camcorder mode automatically stops at 10 minutes. Which I guess is a good thing, as I’ve clearly gone on too long if I’m still going when it shuts off. Then, of course, the picture quality kind of sucks because my phone camera is not very good.

I was pretty nervous when I sat down to do it. I had written down a list of things I wanted to talk about, but I kept stumbling over my words and I completely lost my momentum when I talked over the 10 minutes my phone gives me and had to start a new video. I did end up with some fabulous outtakes, though, which you might see at some point when I have gotten a little  better at editing. My do-over went much better, as I’d gotten most of the nerves out, and I managed to talk for only about 7 minutes. I just snipped the ends a bit, figuring I would edit more next time, if necessary.

Editing was another problem (of course it was). Ok, just to be clear, I was already aware that editing is difficult. I played around with making a video or two when I was in college, with clips from tv shows of course (because I’m a geek). What I really did not count on was that my computer was unable to open the files I recorded with the usual windows programs I use. I decided to go online to find an editing program I could download. The first one waited until I was at the saving point to tell me that with the free version of the program, they would put a watermark on the video. I tried it anyway, and it turned out to be situated right across my eyes. I tried a second one, which seems to be a little better, and at least didn’t leave a watermark. That is the one that ended up being the final version.

I like that youtube has some editing options right on the site, so you can tweak the video after uploading. That’s a cool feature that I do not remember from my days of making geeky mvs.

I will be playing around with my current equipment and software to try to make cooler videos. I would love to find a reliable editing software that I can get for free or at least that is inexpensive, and I would LOVE some recommendations, as this stuff is all new to me and I don’t know how to tell which programs will be really good. Ideally, I would like to get a real camera (not a super-nice one, just a regular digital camera that actually works is all I’d be expecting) and a nicer computer, but both of those are out of my reach for now.

My aims for now are: keeping my videos under 10 minutes, posting at least 1 video a week, and learning how to edit to make them a little more polished. And maybe coming up with an intro,  but I don’t think I’ll worry too much about that. If I could animate I would have a really cool one, but I can’t animate.

So that’s my experience as I started vlogging. It was very stressful when I thought I wouldn’t be able to edit the videos I had made, and would have to re-record it, but it turned out ok. As I’ve seen some other vloggers mention, you shouldn’t expect your first videos to be great. I’m just going to try my best and hope some people out there find me interesting, or endearing, or fun to make fun of, or something.

%d bloggers like this: