Just Another Blo… Oooh Shiny!

12 April 2012 § Leave a comment

“D” is for Distractions of which I have many. I had wanted to do the whole blog “A” to “Z” in April thing cause I thought it would be a great way to get around to being motivated to post on this blog. Well, one thing led to another and it is now the April 12 and I am finally all the way to “D”. Impressive? I wouldn’t say so.

I think one of my major problems is that I can at times be very easily distracted. Sometimes those distractions can come from important things like work, family and friends. And there has been plenty of that type of distraction since we recently passed the Easter holiday. I consider those to be good distractions though. Spending time with my family and friends is important to my overall happiness. Going to work and making money is an important part of being productive and living life.

There has also been a ton of the type of distraction that is not productive, but is totally fun at the time. The Food Network has been a huge problem. I get home from work and turn it on thinking I’ll just watch for a few minutes to unwind before writing and the next thing I know its about 2 am. The other major distraction I’ve been battling is manga/manhwa. I’ve got a friend who keeps recommending good ones that I can’t help but read in one or two days. To anyone who is remotely interested, read “Tower of God” and “The God of High School”. All I have to say is they’re both in color. So cool.

Anyway I’ll just get to the point. Since I’m obviously not going to make it through Blogging “A” to “Z” in April, my new goal will just be Blogging “A” to “Z” period. Who cares about the time frame if I am able to ultimately succeed in the goal, right?

A Cornucopia of Countdowns

6 April 2012 § 2 Comments

Tonight I bring you seven lovely countdown lists because, of course, “C” is for Countdown! Why seven you ask? Well that would be because ten is too many and seven is the number I came up with before running out of ideas. So without further ado:

Top Five Phones I Would Buy (If I Had Any Money to Spend)

  1. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  2. LG Nitro
  3. Samsung Galaxy Note
  4. Samsung Galaxy SII Skyrocket
  5. HTC Rezound

Top Five Reality TV Type Shows I (Pretend Not To) Love

  1. Chopped

I am absolutely addicted to the Food Network, but this show is the worst of them all. Start watching one episode and the next thing you know its three hours later and you don’t know where the time has gone.

2. America’s Next Top Model

I really am not sure why I watch this show season after season. I really love seeing the photographs at the end. If they had a show where they just showed photographs I’m pretty sure I’d watch that instead.

3. Project Runway

In the same way that I like to watch people cook, I also like to watch people sew. It’s amazing to watch the things competitors on this program are able to create.

4. Jersey Shore

Such a freaking waste of life… so addictive. I can’t even explain it. Most definitely my most guilty pleasure.

5. Wipeout

What can I say? Watching people hurt themselves is always amusing. What’s that word?  Schadenfreude.

Top Six Zombie Movies

  1. Død Snø
  2. Zombieland
  3. Shaun of the Dead
  4. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  5. 28 Days Later
  6. Resident Evil

Nine Most Adorable Animals I Would Like to Have as Pets (In Theory)

  1. Pug
  2. Giraffe
  3. Sloth
  4. Micro Piglet
  5. Penguin
  6. Sugar Glider (Flying Squirrel)
  7. Spider Monkey
  8. Donkey
  9. Chimpanzee

My Six Absolute Favorite Foreign Films

  1. I’m a Cyborg and That’s Okay (Ssaibogeujiman Gwaenchanha)
  2. Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)
  4. Pan’s Labrynth (El laberinto del fauno)
  5. Persepolis
  6. Tokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ)
  7. The Host (괴물)

Top Ten Places I Would Like to Visit Before I Die

  1. Anywhere in Egypt
  2. Lofoten, Norway
  3. Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lapland
  4. Xi’an, China
  5. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  6. Machu Picchu, Peru
  7. Krakow, Poland
  8. New Zealand
  9. All of the United Kingdom
  10. Iguazu Waterfalls, Argentina-Brazil Border

Top Nine Anime Worth Watching

  1. One Piece
  2. Fairy Tail
  3. Air Gear
  4. Mononoke
  5. Chobits
  6. Trigun
  7. Soul Eater
  8. Fruits Basket
  9. Elfen Lied

“B” is for Belief (and Why I Don’t Have a Religion Anymore)

3 April 2012 § 2 Comments

Alrighty folks, day two of Blogging “A” to “Z” in April has arrived. As such I am pleased to announce that “B” is for belief (and why I don’t have a religion anymore). 

Once upon a time when I was much younger I was absolutely convinced that God did exist. I went to church every Sunday and participated in Sunday school, vacation bible school, youth group, church camp and eventually my church’s puppet ministry group. It was a great place to be and I made a lot of friends while I was there. All through elementary school and middle school I considered myself to be a Christian and happily so. 

But as it turns out, things happen in life that change who you are and what you believe. Some things happened at my church that made me question God. Our youth minister “resigned” after his addiction to child pornography was discovered. Our church was vandalized because we had a gay choir director who we supported and loved. After the entire congregation stood behind him we found out he had been embezzling money from the church for quite some time. And finally, the couple who were in charge of the church’s puppet ministry program were driven out effectively ending the program and the only thing tying me to that place. 

I really wanted to believe in God. But it was hard and I guess my belief just wasn’t strong enough. I couldn’t believe the things that people who called themselves Christians were doing at my church. The things going on didn’t seem like they fit into what good Christians portrayed themselves as being. I felt like it was hypocritical and like being there was almost toxic to me. 

So I stopped going to church and my beliefs were firmly shaken. In high school I was absolutely sure that there was no God. I got angry when people brought up religion and it made me uncomfortable to walk into a church. I’m glad that I’ve moved past that phase now.

In college I decided to adopt a different viewpoint. I’m not religious, but I don’t disbelieve in God. At this point I like to think that I’m open to the possibility. Not only of a Christian God, but the possibility that there is some sort of higher power looking down on us and guiding our lives. Or not. Who knows? 

9 Apps to Happiness!

1 April 2012 § Leave a comment

So in an attempt to get back into blogging I do believe I am going to try to do the Blogging from “A” to “Z” in April Challenge. That being said, today’s topic is one that should start with “A” I suppose. So without further ado, A is for Applications!

Being an employee in the mobile department of a big blue box store, I spend a lot of time talking to people about phones and the applications (more easily referred to as apps) that go with them. After all who wants to pay an absurdly large amount of money for something they won’t be able to use to do the things they want and need.

I could write a blog about awesome apps that everyone should have, but really I think that’s almost impossible to do. An app that one person adores uses on a regular basis may be completely useless to someone else. Because of this I am going to talk about the one thing I know for sure. This is my list of the top 9 apps I think you should consider downloading because they make me happy and are generally pretty neat. (Note to readers they may or may not be specific to Android because that is what I like most.)

1. TED

This app is the most addictive yet educational experience I have ever encountered. Basically what you have is a collection of videos of extremely interesting people who are outstanding in their field speaking on different topics. I never thought I’d be able to sit through a lecture on sustainable fish and fish farming methods, but after listening to a talk by Dan Barber about how he fell in love with a fish my mind is changed. There are so many different talks about an incredible array of topics that it’s hard to imagine someone not finding something they are interested in.

2. Cookie Dozer

So this is probably one of the most pointless games ever. That being said I can’t get enough of it. The point: drop cookies onto a runway in order to push other cookies off which you can then use to push more cookies into the abyss. It’s based off of the coin drop games that they’ve got in arcades which as it turns out are my favorite arcade game ever.

3. Zedge

Don’t like the ringtones that came pre-installed on your phone? Me either. Zedge is a really great place to get free ringtones, notification sounds, and high quality wallpapers for your phone. And we all know that free is the right price for everyone.

4. Retro Camera

iPhone people have Instagram, so as an Android person I’ve compensated with the Retro Camera app. Basically it makes your pictures look like they’ve been taken by different types of retro cameras. It’s actually pretty cool and almost makes your phone snapshots look artsy!

5. GO SMS Pro

GO SMS Pro is basically a more beautiful replacement for the messaging app that comes preinstalled on your phone. I found this one while trying to fix a problem for a customer, but fell so in love with it that I ended up downloading it for myself. So far I’ve found it works a lot better for me that that original messaging app did anyways.

6. Swift Key

I hate the stock android keyboard that comes preinstalled on phones. What I hate even more is how crappy the predictive text on that keyboard is. Swift Key has the best predictive text I’ve ever seen and can be displayed through a few different styles of keyboard. Spiffy!

7. Words with Friends

I’m sure you’ve all heard of this. Many of you have probably played as well. But I love it, therefore it makes the list. I’m terrible at making words out of the tiles given, but it sure is fun.

8. Fruit Ninja

This is another extremely stupid yet addicting game. The point is to use your finger to slice up fruit which is tossed in the air. Everyone in my family now plays this game because of me. I’d like to continue sharing the fun.

9. Wallpapers HD

I’ve got sort of an addiction to beautiful wallpapers. There are lots of high quality and beautifully made wallpapers here.

So that’s the list! See you next time!

Is It Me?

7 February 2012 § Leave a comment

Its been such a long time since I’ve gotten around to posting anything on this blog. I started my new job and everything got really busy being that it is a job in sales and we’ve just gone through the holiday season. Here’s to hoping that you all had a wonderful holiday season regardless of how you celebrate. I hope also that things are going well for you in this new year.

I really liked the new job. It was stressful when I first started but what new job isn’t? You have to take the time to learn the ropes. I needed to learn sales techniques, learn products, and learn the tools we used to get everything done. It was fun learning. I got to take a trip for a week to Denver, CO and stay in a hotel while learning basic sales techniques. Then it was back to the store for a month of practical experience to learn products and systems before Black Friday hit. I was excited to go into work so that I could learn more about what was expected of me and learn more about how to do my job and do it well.

Being a shy person in sales is hard. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort coming out of my shell to be able to talk to customers confidently. Looking at where I was when I started and where I am now I feel like I’ve come really far. I enjoy the customer aspect of my job. Since mobile phones always take a long time to get activated and everything I get to spend anywhere from a half hour to a few hours talking to my customers. I build a bond and really enjoy getting to talk to so many different people. The sales aspect is still hard for me. I’m able to push harder than I was at first, but I still don’t want to force people to buy things that they don’t want or need.

Work is becoming more and more stressful of late because I can’t seem to make enough sales to keep my manager happy and when I do make sales they’re not as profitable as she’d like them to be. Instead of focusing on something I did well and then telling me what I can improve on all I get is “Oh, why didn’t you attach that?”. I feel proud of myself for making progress and then get ripped down for everything that I haven’t made enough progress on. I feel anxious even thinking about going to work tomorrow  because I know that whatever I do won’t be good enough and when I see my manager next she’ll be asking why I didn’t sell this or that on a transaction.

I’d like to find a job that would be low stress for me but I don’t even know where to start. The idea of looking for a new job is stressful because I’ve got no idea what I should do. Anyone with any ideas of a good low stress job to look for openings in would be super appreciated if they’d share.

The Anxiety of Change

22 October 2011 § Leave a comment

Starting a new job is one of the scariest and most stressful things I can think of right now. A great majority of the reason behind this probably comes from the fact that I am in the process of switching jobs right now. I’m one of those people who likes plans and knowing what’s going to come. I don’t like change or the unknown. Yet somehow I’ve managed to get myself to a point in my life where I’ve got no plan and it has landed me smack dab in the middle of unfamiliar territory. I hate it. There’s a little part of me that wants to hide under the blankets until everything in my life is figured out and I once again have a great plan for the future. It’s impossible to do, but the thought is tempting… so very tempting.

I realize of course that change is necessary. Especially when working 40 hours a week at the local McDonald’s has been leading towards a long and harrowing road of depression and anxiety. I wanted to leave McDoh’s with a career type job. One with a salary and regular hours which would allow me to move out of my parent’s house again. But rather than that I managed to land a part time job selling cell phones at an electronics store despite the fact that I know next to nothing about mobile phones. You’d think it would have come up during the interviews (yes plural, there were three) but for some reason it did not. I suppose training exists for just that reason. I’m super excited for the new job and I think I’m going to really love it there, but I’m freaking out at the same time. Change is scary and I just don’t ever do well with the unknown.

I hope that this ends up being a good change. I suppose working someplace with higher pay where I’ll be treated like a human being is going to be a better place for me to stay while I continue looking for something to utilize my degree. Leaving my old job is hard because while I mostly hate it I’m going to miss some of the people I work with. But in the end working with some fantastic people just couldn’t overshadow the bad parts of the job. Now that I’ve had my say I am going to try with all my might to put all of my nervous energy into flourishing in this new position. Here’s to hoping that I catch on fast and get to a better place in my life!

I’m Sorry, NaNoWriWha?

11 October 2011 § 2 Comments

This November seems like its going to be an interesting one for sure. Some little part of my mind decided that this year is the year to do NaNoWriMo. The more sensible part of my mind resisted for a while. “It’s so much writing for someone who doesn’t write very often” I told myself. “You’ll never finish because you aren’t capable of writing creatively. Look at your blog, you can’t even keep up with that so how could you do NaNo? Your strength is in research writing and you should stick to that.” But the little part of my brain that thought it could has now taken over the larger more realistic portion of my poor brain and now I’m convinced that it’s a good idea… mostly.

For anyone who may be reading this who doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is then let me stop for a moment and explain. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a competition where writers try to complete a 50,000 or more word novel in November. That’s thirty days folks. Novels cannot be started prior to November 1st though plots can be planned and writers can make in depth outlines. NaNo isn’t a competition between writers, but rather a competition between the writer and themselves to see if they can make the deadline. Anyone can win as long as they write 50,000 words and validate them by November 30th.

I’m definitely not expecting to have a finished product by the end of November. In fact I’ll be completely thrilled if I can even make it to the 50,000 words period. If I write a novel that never gets published then that’s alright by me. I just want to see if I can do it. If I can make the cut I’d be so proud of myself. Should I not make the deadline then I will still be proud of myself for just stepping out of my comfort zone and giving it a shot.

Now that it is October though, I feel like I should do some planning to get ready for the insane month that is going to be November. I’ve brainstormed several plots all of which I really like. Yet every time I sit down to pick one and start outlining I just keep thinking of more. I’m holding out hope that one will stick eventually and I’ll be able to really get into it. There’s still a lot of time left so I’ll do my best not to panic… too much that is.

I’m interested in hearing other people’s stories about NaNoWriMo though. Has anyone reading this competed? Do you plan to compete this year? Perhaps this year is your first year as well. Maybe you have some advice for newbies like little old me. Feel free to share your stories good people of the internet. I’m always glad to read them.

Who’s that girl?

6 October 2011 § 2 Comments

There have been so many new shows coming out this season I can hardly believe it. Many of them have been great so far, but one definitely stands out to me as being a bit better than the rest of the shows that have premiered. New Girl is just about the most fantastic show I’ve seen in a long time. The season is only three episodes in, but I was already completely hooked halfway through the pilot.

The show stars Zooey Deschanel as Jess, a young woman who moves in with three single guys after she breaks up with her boyfriend in the pilot. She’s so quirky and adorable that it’s hard not to fall in love with the character right away. The show is really well written not only in terms of characters but also the dialogue. The relationship between Jess and her new roommates is fantastic as they all think seem to think she’s insane, but they all love her anyways.

I was excited for this show just because of the fact that it was going to star Zooey Deschanel. She’s been so fantastic in many of the roles I’ve seen her in. I’ve loved her since seeing her in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I even loved her in 500 Days of Summer despite the fact that I hated the character she played with a fiery passion. She seems to bring a certain amount of quirkiness to the characters she plays which is why I adore her.

According to Wikipedia after the first few episodes aired another eleven episodes were aadded to the original thirteen that were supposed to be made. For those of you who don’t feel like doing the math that means that the season is going to be twenty four episodes long. I couldn’t be happier. It just means more adorable quirky awkwardness for me. Tuesdays are officially my favorite day of the week.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch any of the episodes of New Girl yet then I highly suggest you should. The show plays on Fox Tuesday nights at 9/8 central. Take a half an hour to sit back, relax, and have a good laugh.

Is Happiness As Elusive As It Feels To Be?

5 October 2011 § Leave a comment

So I was having a conversation at work earlier with one of my coworkers about what we want for ourselves in the future. He was telling me how he wanted to find a great job, fall in love with someone amazing, and be happy. When he asked me what my goals for my future were all I could say was that I wanted to be happy.  If I fall in love and it makes me happy then that’s fantastic. If I end up getting my dream job from when I was a kid then that’s good for me. But ultimately I don’t have grand plans for my life to fulfill before I can be happy. I felt so weird admitting that I didn’t have a big plan for the future. Or really any plan at all. For the first time in my life I don’t have one and its scary. Scary and weird but oddly liberating I guess.

The whole conversation made me think though. So many people spend their whole lives working towards certain goals for the future so that they can be happy. I know that I’ve done it in the past. You think that if you get a certain job, fall in love, or do a specific thing then your life will be better and you will be happier. You are so convinced that if you achieve those things you will be happy. Eventually you become so focused on the completion of a goal or goals that they ultimately become a necessity for your happiness. But what happens if you are unable to make things happen like you wanted? What happens if you do achieve your goals and once you make it find out that what you thought would be good for you just wasn’t a great fit?

I spent a long time thinking that if I was just able to get my undergraduate degree then I’d be able to find a fantastic job in archaeology and it would make me so happy.  Or at least that I could find a good job in the field and work towards my masters and then find my dream job. But now that I’ve graduated and received my degree I’ve discovered that things aren’t as easy as I once thought they were. Just after graduation I also realized that what I thought would be my dream job just doesn’t seem as interesting to me as it once was. I know, great timing right? So I’m back to square one working my dead end fast food job, living at home and generally hating where I am in life. This time I’m choosing to leave things open. Perhaps happiness will be easier to obtain if I have less expectations of what it would take to find it.

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

            -Barbara de Angelis

Nerd Rock at its Finest

13 August 2011 § Leave a comment

In high school and my first few years of college I used to go to quite a few concerts. Honestly I don’t know why considering the fact that I have major issues with people being in my personal space. There’s something about having complete strangers smushing up against you so you can feel their sweat transferring to your clothes that I just don’t dig. But I’m in love with music and concerts are a part of that so I guess sometimes it’s necessary to soldier up and deal. Shows are fun and I enjoy seeing everyone in the audience sort of interacting with the bands when they’re on stage. Music + people watching? I’m sold.

Unfortunately up until last night I hadn’t been to a concert in over a year. I was under the impression that my concert-going days were coming to an end. But somehow I ended up at a concert last night standing near the front of one of the smallest venues I’ve ever been to. I’d never heard of two of the three bands playing, and had only heard one song from the third. Boy am I glad I allowed myself to be talked into going. The three bands I had the pleasure of seeing? A Million Pieces, Bop Skizzum, and I Fight Dragons. Honestly I’d put it in the top two concerts I’ve ever seen.

A Million Pieces

I’ll start off by talking about A Million Pieces. My least favorite band of the night. Some bands are great live and some just fall a bit short. Unfortunately for me A Million Pieces sort of falls into the second category. Now that I’ve had a chance to do a bit of research and listen to some of their songs online I really don’t think they’re all that bad. I’m sure its hard as a lead singer to make yourself heard over the instruments and crowd when performing live. I think that some singers manage to do so well, while others seem strained and their sound suffers because of that. I’d suggest giving ’em a listen though. You can watch their music video for their song Laserbeams here.

Bop Skizzum

Bop Skizzum was next up. They’re a funk/rock/soul band from Denver, Colorado. I’ve never been hugely into funk but their set was enough to make me reconsider. I was really had to admire their stage presence. I’ve seen a lot of bands telling their audience when to jump and such. The band gave so much energy to the crowd that they didn’t have to ask to get just as much energy and excitement back. They are so so much fun. If you feel so inclined you can check them out here.

I Fight Dragons

Last but not least was I Fight Dragons. I’d heard one of their songs on the radio a while back and thought it was pretty good. Dunno why I never explored it more but now I really regret  that I didn’t. IFD fuses pop/rock music with chiptune which is basically music produced using sound chips from old gaming systems.  Think along the lines of the old Nintendo music. They bring this into their show by using all sorts of different controllers to trigger the chiptune sounds. They’ve got guitar hero guitars, super nintendo controllers, a power pad and more. There is something so exciting about having a group of extremely passionate people running around on stage playing fantastic music with such a great amount of showmanship to boot. If you ever get a chance to see this band live then go. Even if you don’t know any of their songs. The show itsself is worth the money. Enjoy!