Let’s Talk Politics: “Not My President”

I’d like to take a moment to briefly reflect on my interpretation of “Not My President.”

Imagine your place of work, whether it’s an office, a kitchen, a retail shop, anything. You’re entry level, but make far more than any other entry level positions in town and have a lot of potential for growth if you continue at your job. Someone walks in, either to make a purchase, as an investor, or for an interview. You notice they’re wearing a cross around their neck. Out of his office, bursts your manager/boss. He screams at the man yelling that white Christians are not allowed in the store/office, pointing at the door and yelling at him to leave. He does this every time he sees someone with a cross. When the man asks why, he continues screaming, calling the man a murderer and telling him that his faith is wrong. He says that the man must be evil, citing the crusades in his tirade about violence. Now, you cannot leave your job, because if you did, you’d have no way to pay your rent or put food on your table for you and your child. You’ve considered leaving, but nowhere else in town is hiring or they cannot offer you as much as you’re getting now, and you’re barely getting by on your current salary, not to mention that you love your job, aside from your boss. Every time your boss does something like this, your respect for him gets less and less until you need a way to express that 1. You cannot respect him and 2. His views do not represent how you think or feel. You begin to say to yourself that he’s not the boss of you, shortening it to “Not My Boss” which you use in quiet retaliation.

With most people I have talked to that say “Not My President” they are not denying the fact that Mr. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, nor that they are a resident of the United States. Instead, they are trying to make a statement that his words do not define or represent them.

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Garlic and Onion Help Make a Speedy Cold Recovery!

$R2WWSDV.jpgWe all know that colds in the summer suck. On Monday afternoon, I began showing cold symptoms (runny/stuffy nose) by that night I was in full-on sick mode with fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, trouble breathing, you name it. I felt too “sick brained” to drive all the way home (I work about 30 miles from home) and this amazingly sweet guy I’ve been seeing lives smack dab between my house and my work. He offered to take care of me for the night. Worried I’d get him sick, I asked if he was sure, about 30 minutes later I was at his house and he was almost done making me a bowl of soup!

My average cold lasts somewhere between 1 and 3 weeks. My typical ways to treat a cold are as follows:

  • Take zinc tablets, usually Zicam (for a speedy cold recovery)
  • Drink water until I can’t anymore (to re-hydrate from cold sweats and to help the body fight the sickness)
  • Take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) (helps to lower fevers)
  • Take the maximum allowed dose of day/night quill (to generally help calm the cold symptoms)
  • Mucinex (for that gross cough and sniffles)
  • pGNC1-2332293dt.jpgLive off of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup (as chicken noodle soup in general – not just Progresso brand, has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, soothes the throat when warm, and helps to clear nasal congestion. It’s also very healthy)
  • Drink “Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat” herbal tea with about 1.5 tsp honey (helps soothe sore throats and tastes pretty good)
  • Go through a box of tissues (getting it out of the system by gently blowing the nose seems to help get better faster – presumably because you are helping get the virus out of your system rather than letting it continue through your body)

This time, I was able to feel better in about a week (I have a very mild cough now after barely being able to breathe the past few days)

  • Had about a half a bowl of soup with freshly chopped garlic, chili peppers, and fresh onion. (I’ve never thought of putting garlic, chili, or onion in the soup, and I really didn’t think it would help but I’ll be doing this every time I get a cold.)
    • Garlic – Research suggests that garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiviral (among other things). For example, the guy I was with ate a bunch of garlic while taking care of me, and he barely got sick at all after about 48 hours of direct contact with me being sick.
    • Onions – As a rich dietary source of quercitin (a powerful antioxidant) onions were once used as a homeopathic remedy – and I can see why.
    • Chili Pepper – Although I knew Cayenne pepper is very healthy, I would have never guessed that chili pepper would do anything. Honestly I’m not sure if all it did was help clear my sinuses as hot food often does, it still made me feel a heck of a lot better!

the-amazing-benefits-of-honey1.jpgAlthough I also took Tylenol (Acetaminophen), cough drops, drank herbal tea with honey, and went through a box of tissues, I didn’t have my usual tea, nor did I take any over the counter medications, I still got over my cold faster than I can ever remember.

Rant: To the Man Driving the White Lincoln

 

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Just because your car is nicer than mine, does not mean you should drive me off the road. Those curved dotted lines in an intersection indicate which lane you’re supposed to turn into. It’s not a suggestion. When there’s two or more turn lanes, you have to follow your lane, especially when there’s a car next to you! You almost hit me 3 times! If you want to turn left into the far left lane… don’t do it from the right lane! Seriously! Not only did I have to swerve out of my lane so you wouldn’t hit me. You kept trying to encroach in where I had to swerve to! I mean I drive a civic, but it’s red! No way you couldn’t see me! I don’t appreciate you trying to nudge me into oncoming intersection-with-multiple-lanes-narrowing-into-fewer-lanestraffic, running me out of the lane I was supposed to be in, almost making me hit another car in doing so, blocking me from getting back into the lane I was supposed to turn into in the first place, then almost hitting me again as if you didn’t see me at all.

And I know I was driving in Los Angeles, and people don’t really understand what a blinker is here… but let me explain something really simple. That lever on the left side of your steering wheel is used to tell other drivers if you’re trying to turn or change lanes. Nobody can read your frikin’ mind (nor would we want to). Using this nifty little device is not only the law, but its to help accidents, that I’m quite sure you’ve caused in the past. And to, ya know, not be an ass.

I’m so incredibly sick of arrogant assholes like you thinking they’re above the law because they’ve learned they can buy their way out. The world owes you no favors. Stop acting like an entitled fuck and learn some common decency. Thank you.

My Thoughts on Happiness

coverMy sophomore year of college, after I turned in an assignment where I “defined happiness,” Professor Ellis told me that I had the most profound grip on “true happiness” of anyone she’d ever met. Before I re-read that paper, which I was able to dig up on dust covered file in my laptop’s hard drive, I wanted to describe what I think of happiness now. I’ll attach my old paper at the end, to see how much my views have changed in the past 5 years. The moment she told me, however, is something I will never forget.

thanksgiving-turkey-clip-art-569466I’ve been told that I’m “too happy” more times than I can count. People have even asked me what was wrong simply because I wasn’t smiling! I’ve been accused of being fake, pretending to be happy when I’m not, but anyone who really gets to know me, and knows me long enough, knows the truth (even though some of them probably do think I’m just too happy). I’m a genuinely happy person. Randomly funny story: when a good friend of mine’s dad met me for the first time (this past Thanksgiving), he told her that he thought I was a fake person because I was too happy. The next time he met me was on a less joyous occasion, a memorial service. The next day, he talked to my friend and told her how amazed he was that I was actually just that happy of a person. Later that day when she called me and told me about it, my face hurt from laughing, even though it was a relief to hear.

hedonic-treadmillSo, why am I so happy? If you read my last post, it’s definitely not because everything in my life is stress free and easy. I’d say I live a pretty average life, not terrible, but I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. The way I like to explain it is that happiness is a lifestyle choice. We can’t all be happy all the time, but we can choose how happy, or not so happy, a memory is. Everything in life is a learning experience. Failures are one of the best ways to improve, but only if you let them be. In one of my psychology classes, we were taught about the Hedonic Treadmill. What I go from this is that there is no one thing that will make you happy forever, no matter how badly you want it. People, for the most part, have a stable level of happiness, really crappy and really amazing things will only affect your happiness for a relatively short while.

happiness-1I wondered if I could increase my “base” happiness. I thought of all the things that regularly upset me. Things like: worrying about what others thought of me, stressing about failure, or things that haven’t happened yet, but might. I even considered why I had such negative thoughts and feelings about old friendships or relationships that had long since ended. I realized that I, like many people, tended to focus on the things that were going wrong. We’re conditioned to end conversations when we ask someone how they’re doing and they reply, “good.” On the flip side, if someone replies, “oh, not so great,” we’re curious. Then I started to think about things that made me happy. At first it was a lot of superficial things: Money, good food, new technology. Then it progressed to the simple things like going out with friends, smiling at others, holding the door for strangers. I made it a goal to make at least one other person smile every day and learned happiness really is contagious.

choiceBut we’re getting a little far from the topic of happiness as a choice. One of the best examples of a choice I had to create a good memory or taint old memories with a bitter flavor, was when a great friend of mine decided he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. It sucked. I wrote poems, cried, wrote more poems, cried more, cried to my friends while crying. The easy thing would have been to blame him; convince myself that he was a rude person who had it out to hurt me all along, but I didn’t, and still don’t believe that. Instead, I remembered all the great memories and amazing times we shared. I think of him whenever I say “it takes two” because he’d always say that when we were up chatting until dawn. I missed him, I still miss him. It was what I needed at the time though. I still try to convince myself it was for the best that we went our separate ways, and maybe sometime in the future our paths may cross again, or maybe not. What I do know is that I’ll always be grateful of the effort I took to keep my memories as good ones

Silver LiningTo an extent, I’m doing this every day; making an effort to focus on the positive things in my day, week, month, rather than the negative. Some days it works better than others. We can’t always be happy. There are other emotions that are important to help us learn, grow, and be human. But as long as we can believe there is a silver lining with the bad, some lesson to be learned or someone new to grow closer with. If we can hold onto that silver thread, it’s my belief that we can use it to better embrace, appreciate, and enjoy the happy moments when they arrive. Or maybe, help us to see the happy moments we would have missed before.

happiness

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the-immortal-life1As promised, here’s my old essay! I just read it and I do remember that in this assignment we were required to tie in our “common read book” which was a book that the entire campus was supposed to read. My sophomore year, it was a book called “The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks.” It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I did know some who liked it.

9/8/2010

Define Happiness

            Happiness can be defined differently for everybody. I think that’s why I want to write about it. For some happiness is related to religion, for others its family. Some find happiness in things I will never understand. Maybe where I find happiness will not make sense to some people, but that’s what makes it special. It is important to me to find happiness in the little things life gives, if you ignore them, or dwell on the bad, how can you be happy? I danced around the apartment when I found out my internet worked after a week of none. Or when I finally beat a game I’d been working at for a while. It seems weather its waking up to Mario alarms or finishing a 1000 piece puzzle, I realized if I focus on the little things that make me smile, my whole day seems just that much brighter.

But can little things alone bring true happiness?  I don’t want to say no, but I think without reaching some longtime goals, the excitement of the little things would begin to dry out. Maybe not all at once, simple everyday positive events may not bring as much joy as they would before. So what brings me happiness in the long run? To me happiness is my stories. I love writing fiction stories. I don’t think much could make me happier than to get one of my stories published. Currently I am working on a 400 (approximate) page story and I hope to be finished with it by Christmas time. Once it is completely written I know I will be more than just excited, it will be the first step on a journey I hope will last me the rest of my life. Not the one story, I hope I am completely finished with that within the next few years, but I hope this may kick-start a career in writing. I will be very excited once it is edited the first time, hopefully that will be finished by the end of 2011 then I get to search for a publishing company. If it gets published I think the first thing I would do is go to a bookstore and look at it on a shelf and that would be true happiness for me.

In a way I guess to me happiness is dreaming. Something that I hope may happen that possibly never will. I hope to get a book published, I hope to have a book signing, and I hope at that book signing multiple people show up. I think happiness to me would be maybe sitting at a bus stop next to a person reading a book and just having a conversation with them about it. Maybe they wouldn’t know who I was and I would get a truly honest opinion of the story. That would be very exciting.

What exactly is happiness? It’s anything that makes you want to smile, anything that gives you that funny feeling in your stomach that fills you with excitement.  Whatever makes you want to dance in the rain, whatever makes you want to give a stranger a hug. Happiness is not something you can measure, but it is contagious. If you are happy it is more likely for the people around you to be happy. For some wealth brings them happiness, however one can be penniless and happy, so money is not happiness.

To me, there is little in life more important than happiness. Why hold back being happy when happiness comes your way? If you only live life once, why not make the best of it? Why not make it a happy experience. You cannot expect everything to fall on your lap and for everything to automatically go your way, but if something nice happens to come your way, why not let it? And if you don’t ever have fun in this life, how would you expect to have fun in the next, if there is a next. Or how would you expect to be happy when happiness comes your way if you just look the other way and ignore its offers? Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way to some, but to me, it’s how I want to see it. It’s how I feel my life is better lived, smiling at everything that makes me want to smile. And laugh when I find something funny.

In contrast to happiness we look into the Lacks family. They are a family that has few things to be happy about. Henrietta Lacks was tortured and killed for her cells to further scientific studies and make scientists a lot of money, yet they were very poor and never saw a penny of it. Even still, members of the Lacks family feel pride for what Henrietta did for science. I think the only spot in this story with real happiness is for the scientists. They benefited a lot from what happened to Henrietta Lacks and the survival for her cells. The created vaccines, found out how cells would react in space and overall saved a lot of lives. Peoples whose lives were saved are too many to be mentioned within the pages of the book. I believe all of those people in a way are thankful for the research and happy that they were able to survive. The idea of happiness is everywhere, but sometimes it isn’t positive. Sometimes it is the lack of happiness that a story revolves around. In fact, for some reason it seems most ‘good’ stories are ones that the majority of the story is chasing happiness.

Henrietta Lacks’ story is one where she was unable to find much happiness. She was taken advantage of by doctors and scientists. They destroyed her life and gave her family no compensation. However, how can you really compensate someone for destroying the life of a loved one? I would say that the least the scientific community could do for the Lacks family is allow them to afford to see a doctor. In the prologue, a member of the family states that they do not understand how although their mom has done so much for the scientific community, they cannot afford a doctor. Henrietta Lacks and her family’s story seem to have an extreme lack of happiness to their story. They do not have money, they grew up without a mother, when they did have a mother she was being tortured by medical professionals, and they were being tested by medical professionals without knowing why. There are more reasons their story is one of sorrow and unhappiness, however I have not read enough of the book yet to know exactly what else went bad with this family.

 

Hmm, looks like my overall idea on happiness hasn’t changed much!

16 Ways to Better Myself in 2016 (A.K.A. My New Year’s Resolution)

  1. Get a better job.
  2. Dress for the job I want, not the job I have.
  3. Write daily.
  4. Blog post weekly.
  5. Declutter my life (starting with my bedroom).
  6. Create healthier eating habits for myself (eat only when I’m hungry and learn to cook/make home-cooked meals).
  7. Be more active (go to the gym at least 4 times per week).
  8. Drink at least 64oz of water per day.
  9. Fit comfortably into a size 6 dress/pants (a size 4 if I’m ambitious).
  10. Keep in touch with friends/reconnect with old friends.
  11. Make less excuses for myself.
  12. Travel to Seattle.
  13. Take a minute to picture a situation from someone else’s perspective, especially when angry or irritated.
  14. Talk less/listen more.
  15. You have a dream journal, use it.
  16. Find a reason to smile every day (and actually smile every day)!

Happy Thursday! TGIF!

Thursday Image obtained from: http://www.alan.com

Happy Thursday!

…is what I would say if it were still Thursday… clearly I’m fairly incapable of actually sticking to a schedule or being on time. Not that this is actually news to me, but I feel like it’s important to say.Anyway, before I go on, I should probably explain what I have planned for the future of this blog. Hopefully if I publish it, then I will feel more obligated to follow through.

2015-calendarAs we all know, there are about 4 weeks in a month, however, that’s really just counting the full weeks as there are 7 days in a week, making 28 days in a month and leaving most months with 2 or 3 extra days per month (excluding this month, February) which is about ~ 1/3 of a week. Why is this important to you? It’s probably not. But it is relevant with what I have to say next!

I PLAN to update my blog every week… every Thursday to be precise. Unfortunately, as this Thursday is now Friday, I’m off to a fairly rocky start, but, as that cliché goes… if at first you don’t succeed…

So here’s the breakdown of what my posts will be about.

First Thursday of the month: Writing Exercises
–  I’m bringing them back ‘cause we all know I need to do them too!

Second Thursday of the month: Reviews
–  So I wanted to start doing reviews of… well, everything I’m interested in. It will range from books, to movies, to TV shows (if I ever decide to watch TV) to Video Games, Restaurants… just want to write about the good, the not so good, and the overall feel!

image obtained from: thedailyenlightenment.com

Third Thursday of the month: Dream Log
–  So this is the third “Thursday” of the month so in theory I should be sharing one of my recent dreams with you, but as I’ve been sick lately and haven’t had any of my usually cool, weird, or just plain scary dreams… I figured I’d just post on “future plans” this time around

Fourth Thursday of the month: Story of my Life
–  So, most of my blog so far has been me ranting or talking or just sharing my every-day life experiences, and I love that! But rather than post weekly on something interesting, cause let’s face it, there’s no way I can just magically make something interesting occur for me each week, I’ll limit these blurbs about my life to about once a month

Fifth Thursday of the month: And the Kitchen Sink
–  Yep, the 5th Thursday! Remember the weird math thing I was doing earlier in the post? Well this is why. Some months (January, April, July, October, and December this year) have 5 Thursdays… so I needed to figure out something that I could periodically post. I figured this category lets me post about anything and everything (you know the old phrase “… everything but the kitchen sink.”) Well I decided to let myself talk about everything, even the kitchen sink if I so desire! (I guess that means this post goes into the  5th Thursday category…)

Image from: 4.bp.blogspot.com

Well, I think that about sums it up. So let’s pretend that this was posted on Thursday instead of Friday… but TGIF! Hope you all have fabulous weekends and tell me what you have planned if there’s something fun (or daunting) on the to-do list!