Outliers; Outlander

You ever have that moment where you can’t decide if you want to write about one thing or something else? That’s me, right now. So instead of picking one, I’m going to write about both and I apologize in advance if it’s too messy for you to follow along,

The daily prompt word today is outlier. An outlier is a person or thing situated or detached from the main body or system.

Now I’m reading this and thinking to myself that aren’t we all outliers in some form or fashion? I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase “take a walk in someone else’s shoes” which is usually in regard to someone saying something completely ignorant about a topic in conversation. In the nicest way possible I say this, the phrase is dumb. I mean that in a sense that you never really can walk in someone else’s shoes. We try to understand a situation from someone else’s perspective and then compare it to our own and automatically find some fault in why that person is wrong. Like deep down there’s no way that there is not a simple answer or solution to this situation. Asking ourselves why can’t this person see that? Why don’t they understand me? Am I the outlier today or you? Then it just comes down to changing the subject to more neutral ground or silence and pretend neither body said any of what they just said. Agree to disagree right? What else can you do? I have my reasons why you’ll never know what my shoes feel like just like I will never know what your shoes feel like. And maybe that’s for the best? Who knows.

Let’s talk about Outlander (see what I did there?).

Seriously though. Have you SEEN this show??? I watched it when it first aired and then for one reason or another it got put on the back burner. Around that time I had read the first and second book as well. Then I gave up after that because that second book dragged forever. It was good, but it dragged. I think there’s 9 books in the series? I can’t remember. Here’s my general synopsis of this show. It’s the year 1945ish and you have a woman, Claire, who is newlywed to a man, Frank and they’re starting their new life together. I should mention here that this airs on Starz so if you are not a fan of nudity and some graphic content, this isn’t the show for you. Anyway, Claire and Frank are those really happy couple, living in their new house, having lots of sex and just generally being happily married. Frank decides to look into his history and comes across records of Red Coat ancestor. He’s quite intrigued and decides to dig a little deeper and all these nuggets of information he stumbles upon along the way he shares with Claire. One day they go to visit a site where an important battle took place. The name of the battle escapes at the moment but his ancestor was said to be at this battle. At the site there are these stones that really don’t represent anyway but Claire gets drawn to one of them and the minute she touches one she gets transported back in time 200 years! She’s super confused and starts walking in a certain direction and encounters the very ancestor that Frank was discussing in the future, Black Jack Randall. Naturally, they’re spitting images of each other and Claire mistakes Black Jack for Frank. Well Black Jack is NOTHING like Frank. He’s actually a very cruel man. Enter Jamie Fraser who saves her from basically being brutalized by Black Jack because she’s English and they’re in Scotland and England and Scotland didn’t get along well at that time. Jamie ends up taking a huge liking to Claire and decides he wants this “sassenach”. That’s basically the derogatory term for the English but he turns it sexy. (He’s so gorgeous with his accent and his red hair and his eyes and his kilt and his everything…..!) Claire having no idea how or when she’ll ever get back to 1945 ends up adapting to 1745 and falls in love with Jamie. The show basically progresses with her being conflicted about her feelings constantly because she’s in love with two men in two different times and dealing with Frank’s ancestor which sort of changes her view on the future Frank and then let’s throw in a suspected witch for good measure and you have a freaking phenomenal show!

I started it last Saturday. I’m obsessed. I try not to binge especially for shows with episodes that are 60 minutes long each but I can’t stop! I’m in season 2 now and the only reason I took a break is because I received an ARC and had to read and review it ASAP. I cannot wait to finish this season because I know the new one is coming up in a few months here. I’ve contemplated going back and continuing the books but we’ll see. It takes some serious stamina to read a 800+ page book you know?

 

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Secure

These two are my security: my husband and my best friend.
There comes a moment in your life where you go through everything you’ve been through in your life and examine the constants. Sure you have your parents, if you’re lucky enough, but there are those people you talk to every single day who you can always count on for anything and everything. My husband and my best friend have been my constants. You hear about unconditional love and you automatically think of your pets. I have pets, and yes, they love me unconditionally but I can 100% say with all my heart that these two people love me unconditionally. We’ve been through some good, bad, and really ugly times. I can think of a few times where even I didn’t want to be friends with me anymore but these two don’t give up and I love them for that. I can conquer the world as long as I have these two with me.

10 years and counting.

 

I Did It: Day 20

Twenty days ago, I signed up for the WordPress blogging university course: Everyday Inspiration. Everyday I received an email to write a prompt about something ranging from lists, quotes, maps and pictures. Everyday I also took it a step further and incorporated the daily prompt somehow into each post.

I have to say it’s been about five years since I’ve taken any type of course. And this is a course I wasn’t required to do but chose to do to challenge myself. I usually don’t sign on for any type of challenge unless I know for certain I can finish it. So far this year I’ve tried to do many different workout challenges found on YouTube and still make it past Day 2. Currently the only challenge I’ve been a religiously sticking to is my Goodreads reading challenge.

Makes me wonder why challenges are so hard to adhere to. In my opinion, it has to do with two things. One, to successfully be able to finish a challenge, I have to genuinely enjoy it. If I feel that I’m bored in any way it’s highly likely I’ll throw that challenge out the window. Secondly​, it can’t feel like another job. I work enough as it is at my 9-5 and at home doing housework. I don’t need another stressor.

This writing challenge fits in the first category. I genuinely enjoyed doing this. I learned that there is a vast audience out there that loves to write beautiful pieces that inspire them. I learned that one piece of writing can make a person’s day no matter the subject matter. I learned that it’s okay to write whatever pops into your head; that you don’t need a specific direction. You can go with the flow and write whatever comes to mind.

The end goal is to share but I believe it is also to try and get a reaction. I realized that half the time I got a reaction out of myself more than anyone else. When I read over some of my posts I say to myself, “Wow! I didn’t know I had that in me” and I feel proud, confident and it encourages me to want to write further. Even now, I didn’t expect to write this much but there’s a burst of thoughts in my head waiting to crash onto this screen and if I pause for even a second I’ll miss that perfect stroke and be back at a blank canvas.

From now on, I’m curious to see what types of content I come up with. I began this challenge saying I’m not a writer, I’m a reader but I guess I have the capacity to do both.

Misadventures in the Shower: Day 18

Let me take you back in time to 2012. I’m on the island of Maui about to start working my internship. The first day I got there I was allowed to sleep because the travel time and the time change between Ohio and Hawaii definitely screwed me up. Pro tip, if you ever take a visit to a different time zone, make sure you try to coordinate your flights so that if you leave in the morning you arrive at nighttime or vice versa. It takes a lot less toll on the body than leaving at night and arriving at night or leaving in the morning and arriving in the morning.

The first day was just a lot of sleeping. Didn’t even have the energy to shower. It was just one of those shed clothes and bed moments. I woke up and wanted to be clean so I gathered my things together to go take a shower. The shower was this tiny stall with blue tile. No tub, just a standing shower, nothing fancy. I turn the water on and let it run to the temperature I like best; hot. While its doing that, I pee, brush my teeth, wash my face; you know the small things you do before climbing in the shower. Then I climb in and its instant relief. I love showering especially when there’s no time limit on the hot water. So I’m doing my thing, sudsing up and what not and I happened to look up.

Bad idea. Very bad idea.

Instead of keeping my eyes closed and singing and being I happy, I just had to look up. There in the corner was the biggest, hairiest, OMFG, spider. It was staring at me. You know that feeling where you feel like there’s eyes on you? Well that thing probably had like 15 eyes on me! All I kept thinking was please, PLEASE don’t move. I still need to wash my hair so we’ll be in here together at least another 15 minutes! Now that I know he’s there my eyes stay trained on mister like a laser.

For at least the next 5 minutes Mr. Spider doesn’t move. Well all of sudden he decides to move. Oh no! OH NO! DO NOT CRAWL THIS WAY! Of course he starts to crawl down. Then he stops. My heart is beating a mile a minute okay. Now i’m thinking he’s gonna shoot that silk thread out of his butt and just come surfing down and land in my hair or on me in general. What if it bites me?? What if it’s a poisonous spider??? I’m trying to calm myself down because if I make any fast moves I could slip and fall and crack my skull open. Well Mr. Spider did the boot shoot and I lost it. I hauled ass out of the shower so fast! Now I’m soapy and naked and spider has the shower alone. What I did next made me feel slightly guilty later but in the moment I didn’t care. I took that shower head and aimed it at Mr. Spider as much as possible. He got a one way ticket down the drain and I was able to finish my shower in relative peace.

The day before yesterday I had a similar experience in my Ohio shower. The spider wasn’t quite so big but literally it was the same situation where I just happened to look up and there sitting in the corner was a spider. I figured this one was dead until it started moving! I was prepared this time. Yes, I’m naked and vulnerable but you see this shower nozzle is detachable and this is your passport to a watery grave buddy! At least that’s what I told it in my head. This spider was so active! He crawled across the ceiling to the air vent and disappeared. I breathed a sigh a relief that I didn’t have another episode but then when I got out of the shower he came crawling back out. It was like one of those “joke’s on you” moments! The bastard was probably laughing at me with his little spider mouth. I had the last laugh though because I got a chair this time and captured this one. I didn’t wash him down the drain but I did throw him out the window. See? I’m not always a spider murderer.

They Can Keep It: Day 16

I was perusing Facebook last night when I came across a video by Tech Insider describing the ocean depths. Having only been near an ocean a handful of times in my life, the video was quite intriguing:

I didn’t realize, or likely didn’t really think about, the ocean being this deep. I knew the Titanic was down there and I knew about a couple of the fish species like the fangtooth and dumbo octopus. I did not know if you tipped Mt. Everest upside down it still wouldn’t reach 35,700 ft marker. Holy cow! At the end of the video they’ve estimated that humans have explored only about 5-10% of the the Earth’s oceans. That’s a literal drop in a ginormous bucket. They’ve also estimated that there are at least 10,000 species of sea and plant life yet to be discovered.

A few years back I had the privilege of getting to spend 7 months on the island of Maui for internship purposes. I am absolutely, positively in LOVE with sea turtles. It stemmed for having my pet painted turtle and just grew. I think they are the coolest creatures. When I went to Hawaii, that was essentially my first time near an ocean let alone going into one. Let it also be known, I can’t swim. I’m fairly certain I’d sink. But I was in Hawaii! I had to go in the ocean. Was I afraid? Hell yes. The waters were clear though so it made it a little easier to face that particular fear. Once I got my “sea legs”, which basically meant being strapped to every flotation device possible, I conquered the ocean! Now it was a true conquer, I’ll admit, because if I freaked out my feet could still touch the bottom but then I got it into my head that I wanted to see a sea turtle. In order to do this, I would have to swim (float) further out. So again, I had my boogie board, my flipper fins, my floaty noodle and strapped myself to another human being who could swim like a fish and we went further out.

I wasn’t ready. You see there’s a certain point in the ocean you come to, past the the beautiful coral shelf, where land just drops away. Like literally drops and you see nothing but dark waters. That is SO scary if you don’t know it’s coming. So we’re swimming along and the ocean floor is just gone. Like what just happened! Where did the floor go! We need to go back! And then you look back and just see this massive wall and literally wondering how is this physically possible! Before I could completely lose my mind, a sea turtle came swimming past in those darker waters. I got SO excited! It was so beautiful! I couldn’t help but think that I was that uninvited guest invading this beautiful animal’s territory. So I took in the moment, committed it to memory and then I was done and wanted to go back to where there was sand under my feet.

Human discovery is great. It often leads to great technological advances or cures for diseases. I can’t help but think though that some things should just be left to nature. The deep depths of the ocean and the 10,000 species down there probably don’t want to be bothered. I don’t need to know what dwells that deep. We can let them be.

What do you think?

Fortune Favors… Day 15

I’ve scoured my phone looking for fortune cookie fortunes I saved. I only found two…. which is odd considering the amount of Asian food I eat. I usually try to take a picture of the awe inspiring quotes that are supposed to solve world peace. Ever notice that whenever you read those fortunes they always, somehow relate to your life in some way? That maybe that’s what you needed to read in that exact moment? Like this little piece of paper is the elixir to solving all your problems!

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but it’s always a bit of fun and gives me an excuse to eat more Asian cuisine.

 

Tea Talk. I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 11

If we were having tea (or coffee if that’s what you prefer) right now, I would tell you all about how much I love this Beauty and the Beast reboot!

Last night I saw the film for the second time and I absolutely can’t get enough. I usually hate remakes, especially Disney remakes. Somehow they always fall short for me. I watched Snow White and the Huntsmen and then regretted that. I didn’t bother watching Cinderella and I was hesitant to watch The Jungle Book. However, Now that it’s on Netflix, I may just give it a chance because everyone I know who’s seen it says it’s really good. There’s actually a live action version of Jungle Book that was made in 1994. That was actually a great remake even though it’s not widely known. I am not a huge fan of clay animation. Sounds weird right? Toy Story was decent but not really watch over and over again type of film for me. The two exceptions to the clay animation genre is Finding Nemo and Kubo and the Two Strings (not Disney but still).

There are quite a few films that I consider Disney that aren’t actually Disney. Anastasia, The Road to El Dorado and The Indian in the Cupboard are a few of those films. Fantastic movies just under a different production umbrella; Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia Pictures and Dreamworks.

Anyway, back to Beauty and the Beast. Wow! I went into the film having all kinds of expectations. I admit I didn’t think the film would be that amazing. I’m always biased when it comes to reboots. Sometimes they are pulled off fantastically but majority of the time they flop. I’ve seen the original Beauty and the Beast (and it’s sequels) I don’t know how many times and it never gets old. I’ve listened to the soundtrack I don’t know how many times and it never gets old! I’ve even seen the old 1987 television show and that was pretty alright! I’m obsessed, I know. Just look at my VHS Disney movie collection.

The only cast I knew about was Emma Watson playing Belle and Luke Evans playing Gaston. I didn’t research any other characters because I wanted to be surprised. It’s like reading a book and imagining the characters a certain way and then when you see them later you cross your fingers and hope the cast matches your imagination.

I can’t put into words how amazing this movie is besides telling everyone they need to see it. It’s not your ordinary Disney remake. One of the things I did not expect was the amount of black actors and actresses in the film. They even showed interracial relationships! I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this but it’s pretty rare to see a mixed race film. The fact they pulled it off so flawlessly in a Disney film was astonishing! I also liked that along with singing the original songs, they threw in a couple of their own. We also got to see a little back story on why Maurice raised Belle alone and why Beast grew up in a hardhearted situation that trickled into his adult life and led to him being cursed.

Have you seen this movie? Thoughts?

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 8

Dear person driving in front of me,

I get it. I do. We both have places to be. I’m trying to go to work and you’re trying to go wherever. That doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is how often you are hitting your brakes. I just don’t understand. I can see the road ahead of you for miles. What are you braking for??? You have to understand. I drive manual transmission and I have to shift gears to accommodate your unbelievable driving skills. I promise it’s driving me crazy.

You know what? It’s okay. There are two lanes now. I’ll just get over in this lane and go around you. See my turn signal? I’m just going to ease to the right in the passing lane since you’re​ riding the fast lane.

What are you doing? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! You’re swerving into my lane. Fantastic. You know my car was trying to tell your car something, right? I guess your turn signal is broken. That’s fine. I’ll just slam on my brakes just for you. Asshole. You don’t know it but right now I’m wishing I was Cyclops and could shoot laser fire out of my eyes and blow your car out of my way.

I just want to get to work with minimal headache. If you could go the speed limit that would be amazing. No? Not something you’re interested in? That’s fine. There’s an exit coming up. I’ll take a different route.

Of course you’re going this way too. I can’t get away from you! What are the fucking odds?

Oh! Your turn signal does work! Thank God. Hurry up and turn so I can continue my drive.

Yes! I’m free!!! The road is open! No one in front of me! I’ll be on time!

No! Don’t do it! Don’t you fucking turn in front of me! Fuck! Here we go again…

Sincerely,

The driver behind you having road rage inside her car

(Day 8’s email. Write a letter)

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 1

I got this idea in my head that I should join one of these Blogging University courses. If you haven’t heard of it, its really easy to find. There are a bunch of different courses you can sign up for ranging from basic to photography to advanced authors. Since I feel like I have the basics of writing and customizing the blog theme down ( I literally went through about 50 themes in a month before settling), I chose the everyday inspiration course. The premise of this course is for the WordPress gods to send prompts to your inbox and your job is to respond to the prompts by sitting and writing for 15-30 minutes straight without stopping. Sounds easy right?

The first prompt I received is to answer the question, “Why do you write?”

Why do I write? Normally, I don’t. I’m not a writer, I’m a reader. I spend every free moment, sometimes stolen moments at work, reading. Actually, that’s a lie. I spend about 90% of my free minutes reading and the other 10% is usually devoted to Netflix. I have a binge watching problem. Damn you, Netflix! I really love immersing myself in other people’s stories. Now I say other people’s like individuals but its a broad term for me. I have my favorite books and television shows whose worlds I can’t imagine living without and I even get upset with myself for not discovering some of these worlds sooner. I’m also a very emotional person; specifically when it comes to television. Easy crier that I am, I love inflicting emotional torture on myself. Have you ever watched Grey’s Anatomy? That is literally the most full emotional spectrum show I watch. In its increasingly far fetched drama and cheesy episodes, I am so beyond riveted it’s pitiful. I need my sad tears, angry tears, happy tears fix.

I decided to write because I love connecting. I try to be social with every person in my world because I want them to know that I care. It’s quite funny that the person I am now is not the person I was. I had a healthy dose of shy in my younger years  (I say younger years because I’m pushing 30). I wouldn’t say I was insecure, just unaware. I didn’t care too much to be social with people. I had childhood friends and it wasn’t like we moved a lot. It was more so I was just not interested. All I cared about was getting good grades in school, reading and my dog. I can’t exactly pinpoint it but at some point in my life, maybe my college years, the shy went away. It was like a switch in my head that said stop holding back, let it all hang out, be honest with the world. Either they’ll like you or they won’t and if they don’t, don’t let it bother you. So here I am. I’m brutally honest most of the time. I’m that person that says what everyone is thinking and then I take it and go beyond. It’s probably inappropriate half the time but I can’t help myself. It sounds like I don’t have restraint but I promise I do when it counts. I’ve also developed a healthy dose of care. Before I could care less. Now I probably care too much but I try very hard not to let it show unless I want it show. There’s that niggling thought in that back of your mind that you’re probably going to be used because a little of your naivety is showing but sometimes it’s worth the risk.

The basis behind this blog is so M and I can share our different days with the world. We come from different backgrounds, different lifestyles but we met through work. The very first book I shared with her was the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She had never read the Harry Potter series because her parents wouldn’t allow it. She was also raised to believe that if you had free time and you spent it reading you were not productive with your life. That is one of the most insane things I’ve ever heard but that’s just my opinion. She read and love the books and from there it continued. I would bring her another book in my collection to read, and another, and another. We still do this today. I relive my books through her! It gives me great joy when she shares her feelings with me about the characters and the world in which they live in. It inspires me to keep reading and finding more books to love for the express purpose of sharing them with her.

So this is what I got for day one. 817 words. I apologize if it reads all over the place but that’s how my brain operates (plus I’m the worst at endings).

We’ll see what Day 2’s inspiration brings.