I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 9

I went into this post thinking I knew what I was going to write. Then I went back and reread my inspiration email and realized I must have read something completely different. The post today is supposed to talk about what you do when you’re not writing. For anyone who’s read my posts so far, you already know. I read when I’m not writing or working or any number of adulting activities. Today I’d rather talk about a friend who has triggered me to write today and ironically enough it has to deal with the daily prompt. If you ever need daily inspiration, that’s a great place to start; writing a prompt around a word.

So I have this friend. I want to say I use the term friend loosely because half the time I never know where we stand. You know how you have those people you consider friends and then you have the ones that are more acquaintances than anything? This friend falls somewhere in between. He started as my boss. Hired me at my first job out of college way back in 2011 when I had been unemployed for 4 months. I remember thinking he was such a nice person; always upbeat and happy. I worked this job for about 8 months and then I got an internship so I went away for  months. When I came back, I was back in the unemployed boat. I was unemployed for about month when my friend reached out to me again through Facebook and offered to cancel all his interviews if I would come work for him again. So I did. He ended up transferring to a different location and I didn’t think too much of it again.

Fast forward two and a half years and he’s working for a different company and, at that time, I was looking for a full time job. I was tired of working multiple part time jobs 50+ hours a week. I wanted a regular schedule. He offered me a full time position at the new company he’s working at and, again, I accepted. We’ve developed a pattern at this point. We made a great team so it was only natural that where he went, I followed because I automatically knew it would be a great working relationship. Everything I ever learned about being a manager, good and bad, I learned from him.

Series of events later and he and I are no longer working together. I left the job for various reasons. Unfortunately, one of those reasons was him. It’s amazing how power can change a person. I decided he no longer had my best interests at heart, as my friend, and it showed. Anybody that knows me, knows that I try really hard to fix a friendship if I feel its worthy enough. I didn’t want to leave the job on a rocky note so I met with my friend and we had a heart to heart about the events that led up to my decision to not only better my life for my long term goals but also so that we could stay friends. I cared about him a lot and it didn’t sit right to have a job come between us.

Fast forward to today and we still talk on occasion. His life though is not so great. He’s almost what you call a people pleaser. He tries very hard to make everyone happy without any regards to himself and his true feelings. Needless to say, I’ve seen it burn some bridges in his life. It also doesn’t help that his health is steadily declining. The most recent scenario in his life involves him saving his brother from losing his house by moving in and paying his mortgage for him. The time has come where my friend feels that his brother should sell him the house. Naturally, that makes the most sense especially since his brother’s credit score has been prospering because of him. The house gets reviewed and a price put upon it. The brother is not satisfied and demands more money… from his own flesh and blood…. who’s saved him all this time…. Family mean nothing?

I had a lot of things to say about this. I won’t go into detail but you can imagine where my thoughts went. One of my main points was he should move and get his own house and wash his hands of this ridiculousness. He’s torn because even though he agrees with me he still feels he should help even though he literally can’t afford it. Instead of letting his brother accept defeat, they sit in this limbo where he’s still paying this mortgage and his brother isn’t budging on his terms.

I just don’t understand. Sometimes the best way to get to a better outcome is to accept defeat. There’s that phrase that failure is not an option but sometimes it’s the only option. I believe my friend needs to evaluate his life and focus on the things that matter the most; specifically his health. He’s letting other people’s words, emotions and actions drive his decisions and they usually don’t end up in his favor along with working himself to death. His coping mechanism for problems is to bury himself in work instead of face them head on.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I don’t know.

 

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 7

Let’s talk about Twitter.

My inspiration for today is supposed to come from specific Twitter posts. I’ll get to that eventually but first I want to talk about how I got into Twitter.

Back in the day, MySpace was the social media option of choice. I had MySpace. I didn’t use it very often because back in those days everyone was all about chat rooms (remember AIM?!). MySpace was this awesome piece of the internet that you could make as creative as you wanted. If you wanted a glitter page there was a theme for that. If you wanted the site to change every time you refreshed, there was a theme for that too. You could even set your favorite song to play when someone visited your site! It was kind of a blog, but not really. Everybody had these super long profile biographies that went into detail about every little thing in their life. So if you were perusing to try a pick up someone, chances are their MySpace profile told you everything you needed to know. From what I remember, there wasn’t really a type of news feed or status update type of system to see other people’s stuff. You had to physically go view(creep) and individual’s page every time.

Then around my college years, Facebook came along. If I remember correctly, you had to have an invitation to join Facebook first. At first I wasn’t interested. I was content with my Myspace and it worked well enough. But then I kept hearing about how “sophisticated” and “clean” Facebook was in comparison to MySpace. Naturally, as time went on, and all my friends migrated to Facebook, so did I. I remember Facebook being a basic platform that didn’t have ads or sponsored pages and you just talked and shared with friends and family. As popularity of the platform grew, so did everything else; friends of friends, ads, messenger, etc. I still use Facebook today, mostly for family but unfortunately its a lot of browsing through the bullshit and reading everyone’s political opinions but not commenting because they’re your friends.

Enter Twitter! Oh Twitter. Just as before, I didn’t want to get into another social platform. I thought Twitter was dumb because I didn’t understand hashtags and 140 characters was not enough to say anything. My husband took the plunge first and then told me I had to join because Twitter was the best. I started to notice that a lot of my favorites tweeted a lot more than they shared statuses on Facebook. I even realized that half the things that appeared on Twitter, didn’t appear on Facebook at all so I ended up missing out great information; and by great information I mean book giveaways and live Q&As. So I took the plunge.

I now have two Twitter accounts. My personal one and the one for this blog. I absolutely love Twitter. I follow my favorite authors and a couple of them actually follow me back! I don’t have to wade through garbage to see good content. As you can see from the pictures, I follow a variety of different things that interest me. Its nice because I don’t have to worry about the negativity which is the main reason why I’ve been staying away from Facebook. I see what I want to see. Things that make me happy or encourage me to explore more. I don’t have to see the videos of angry people who are pissed about one thing or another and vandalizing properties. I don’t have to see the thousands of people dying from whatever label society has put on them to deem them dangerous. I don’t have to see the arrogance of the people who feel their opinions are superior to all. On Twitter, I just don’t get all of that. I get to see what my authors are up to, what’s going to be released on Netflix (s?) from US to Ireland and whats new in the Android world. I get to see releases for books, music, movies and TV shows. I get to see reviews from some of the best eateries and exotic locations of the world I want to add to my bucket list! Majority of my followers on Twitter aren’t people I’m related to and it’s glorious!

I don’t actually have an inspired Twitter post to start writing from and none of the ones in the email really got me thinking about writing. However, the simple act of talking about Twitter seemed to do the trick don’t you think?

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 6

Where do you write?

….asks my inspiration email. Currently, I am writing from my sofa. The room I’m in is addition off of our little cape. When were were house hunting we didn’t want a cape but we came across this one and fell in love. All the houses on our street, and really in this whole neighborhood, look the same. Little cookie cutter houses built by WWII soldiers so they had something to do and places to live. Ours is slightly different because of the addition. The room is an ugly beige color that I want to paint over but that my husband likes (😩). It’s really neat because it has these wooden beams going across the ceiling with storm window blocks lining each side of the beams. My cats like to chase the rainbow lights and shadows that appear on the  a walls when it’s sunny out. The previous owners also installed a little, vintage wood burning stove on one side of the room.

I don’t always write from here. Majority of the time I write at work; thanks to the WordPress app making it easy. Of all the posts I’ve written so far, maybe 3 of them were in this room. The bulk of my time in this room is spent, you guessed it, reading. And my laptop sits in here as well so there’s usually background internet noise.

Now, it would be great if someone inspired me to conquer that of which I keep purposely distracting myself from doing; cleaning. This room, and the whole house really needs some straightening up. I wish I had a clone that could do all the adulting things for me so I can just sit in this room and do what I prefer to do.

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.

Eat in or Eat Out?

Since we’ve managed to make it past Valentine’s Day I wanted to take a second to see who did what. I’ve asked plenty of my co-workers, friends, my family, and some of my customers what their plans were for the day. I obviously got a wide range of answers from “we don’t celebrate” to “I got flowers, jewelry,  and we’re going out for a fancy dinner”. My true question is this: whether you celebrated yesterday, you are today, or you plan to on any other day: eat in or eat out?

The cashier at Drug Mart definitely said “eat out”! It’s a special day for her and she didn’t want to be spending it in the kitchen or cleaning up the mess. Whether you went to Olive Garden or Morton’s, I hope you enjoyed whatever you ordered and the service you received, if you in fact opted to “eat out”.

My boyfriend and I decided to “eat in”. Let me break down my decision for you so you can see my side of things a little clearer. On the menu for our Valentine’s dinner were the following:

Veal rib chops – marinated and grilled to perfection by the master griller/my boyfriend. ($45 for two at our local fine foods grocer.)

Lobster tails – buttered and (also) grilled to mouthwatering goodness. (Let’s say we paid $5 each for these – CostCo special so who really knows.)

Broccoli florets – baked with olive oil, garlic, and onion powder to give them a nice crunchy zing to tickle your taste buds. (Free because the master griller also owns a produce company.)

Butter and garlic wild rice – it is what it sounds like, and it was delicious. ($1.50 a pack at whatever grocery you shop from.)

Pinot Noir – A smooth red from Sonoma county that took the edge off the real world. ($20 wherever you can buy some good wine.)

Chocolate covered strawberries – an entire pack of juicy red California strawberries with milk chocolate drizzle to end the night. (Free strawberries and $2.50 for the melting chocolate – pick your store.)

With that being said – if you total up the rough amount that we spent for our Valentine’s meal it’s somewhere between $75-$80. That’s on the high side because we usually buy things on sale. If you were to order that exact meal at a fine restaurant you’re easily looking to spend $200 after tip.

So, what’s my ultimate suggestion for your Valentine’s dinner for next year, your mom’s birthday, your fiancées big accomplishment…? Learn to freakin’ cook! Get some garlic, good olive oil, onion powder, a nice red wine and some balsamic vinegar and go to town! Save some money, look through some blogs for good recipes, and get down to impressing the people you care about the most!

Good Read or not Good Read: Frustrations of a Book Nerd

We all know the platform Goodreads. (At least I hope you do! Shame if you don’t!)

I have been stuck in a bit of a book rut. Usually when one book finishes, I have another book lined up. My latest read was Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones. If you haven’t read the Charley Davidson series, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. I promise you’ll laugh, cry, sweat, curse and everything in between. Anyway, after coming down from my Darynda Jones high, I look to Goodreads for recommendations. We have our lists. Kind of like a Netflix queue of sorts. Shows your read books, currently-reading books and to-read books. Based off any books in your lists, you can gain recommendations based off the Goodreads algorithm that determines what you would like or dislike. Sometimes the recommendations are spot on. Sometimes they aren’t. The problem is when you have certain expectations. For example, I usually don’t look at a book if its rated 4 stars or less. My rule doesn’t apply to pilot books in a series. Why? I have no idea. Usually when you don’t like the pilot of a show you’re highly unlikely to continue watching right? For books it’s a little different especially when it comes to a series. You have to establish a feel for the writing style, get a good understanding of the world building and see how plot lines are handled. In that sense, you are giving the pilot of chance.

When exploring new authors, sometimes its good to look at the reviews and other times you probably shouldn’t. I personally skim through the reviews. Goodreads is great in that you can look at reviews without spoilers. If an individual leaves a review, they have to specify if there are spoilers in the review or not. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of bot that will remove reviews if there are spoilers. I skim the star ratings to see what people say or if it was added to the DNF (did not finish) pile. The problem is how to decipher actual, GOOD, reviews from bandwagon reviews. If you want to know what I mean by “bandwagon” reviews, just look up Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve explored many books this way but so far I’ve experienced one and dones. All of these were pilot books to 8+ book series’ and they weren’t bad, they just weren’t good…. I think my expectations are set too high because I’m constantly comparing new stories and writing styles to stories written by authors I love. How do you turn that instinct off? It’s not necessarily a bad thing (you like what you like) but it narrows your reading genre down significantly; makes you close-minded of sorts. That’s no fun.

As you can see from my picture, I have found something to read for now. I confess it’s just a pilot book for a different series from an author I already love but cross your fingers my next book will be something new! I have a 100 book 2017 Goodreads challenge and I intend to reach this goal!