I need a break

So life is overwhelming me a little at the moment. This is the first day since September that I haven’t been working at least a little bit since The second week of October. I have been recently gained a lot of new responsibilities at work which is exciting but also I still have my old work to do and because of hiring freezes I can’t get the official promotion and pay raise.

I feel like it has just been a lot to keep up with deadlines and responsibilities in a reasonable time frame. Plus, my home and relationships and everything else that needs time and attention.

There aren’t enough hours in the day or mental capacity in a human being. So I am taking a break from work and from our apartment. We are going up to visit my partners family for three days. To step away from the internet and people and the apartment.

I know when we get back there is going to be even more to do, but it feels necessary. I don’t know if I can keep running this marathon like a sprint.


Top 10 West Wing Episodes

West Wing is my favorite show of all time. I genuinely picked my major in college based off of this show. There are so many good episodes, in fact a majority of them are good. Here is my list of my 10 favorite episodes, because this was a hard choice I included some honorable mentions. If you’ve seen the show let me know your favorites. 

Honorable Mentions:

  • The DebateSeason 7 Episode 7
  • La PalabraSeason 6 Episode 18
  • In the Shadow of Two Gunmen Part 1 +2” Season 2 Episode 1 &2
  • Dead Irish WritersSeason Season 3 Episode 15
  • 20 Hours in America Part 1 + 2Season 4 Episode 1 & 2

The Final Countdown:

10. “Celestial NavigationSeason 1 Episode 15 — I really enjoy the formatting of the episodes where it is narrated in present and flashbacks. It has a lot of great humor with an emergency dental surgery and one of my favorite Toby moments with Mendoza.

 9. “LiftoffSeason 6 Episode 4 — CJ’s first day. This was an episode where I felt empowered and felt like I was in it with her. Also, the introduction of a one Congressman Santos (aka America’s favorite Jimmy Smits)  

 8. “EllieSeason 2 Episode 15 — One thing that really works about West Wing is that characters and administrations are not wholly good. Ellie highlights President Bartlett and the Bartlett administration’s flaws. I love this episode it is so heartfelt and highlights wonderful political issues from decimalization of marijuana, Social Security, censorship, and a family in the spotlight.  

 7. “Angel Maintenance”  Season 4 Episode 19 — This is one of the only Will focused episodes I liked. It’s such a tight episode and I loved the humor of episode. It’s so tight and we got to explore dynamics like CJ and Will that we don’t normally get to see. 

 6. Jefferson Lives” Season 5 Episode 3 – This was the episode that I knew Elizabeth Moss was going to have a long career. All the Bartlets’ and Charlie’s performances were wonderful. It was also such an interesting transition for our West Wing with Russell’s introduction and Donna becoming unsatisfied in her job. It stands out because it mixes the lingering effects of the kidnapping with the high stress of finding a VP. 

 5. “Election Night” Season 4 Episode 7 — This is such a funny and charming episode. As Bartlet is elected for a second term, Donna goes on a crusade for principal. A lot of Sam’s relationships are explored as he doesn’t want to admit a promise he had made. This was before we were stuck with Will forever and was still likable. 

 4. “In Excelsis DeoSeason 1 Episode 10 — This episode has some many wonderful shining moments. I think it highlights the heart of each character. Toby with the homeless vets. CJ and Danny. Sam and Josh breaking the lines for Leo. It defines the moral compass for a lot of our central characters in addition to the holidays. 

 3.  “Two Cathedrals” Season 2 Episode 22 –  Bartlett has told America the truth and we work our way to one of the best finales. It is a wonderful episode with Jed becoming Jed as a teen with the help of Mrs. Landingham. As well as one of the finest speeches in series with Bartlet’s rail to heavens. 

 2. “Memorial Day” Season 5 Episode 22 — Donna is my favorite character. I love the panic of one timeline mixed in with Donna’s trip to Gaza as she becomes more confident and comfortable with her new position. The information of what is really going on in Gaza versus the debates after catastrophe.  I think I just like dual timeline episodes.  Plus, Leo and Jed’s dynamic in this episode is *chef’s kiss*. 

 1. “RequiemSeason 7 Episode 18 —  This is probably one of the most wonderful series finale episodes of all time (even though it’s 5 episodes before the end). Due to the funeral all the characters are brought completely together one last time to reflect. It’s a start contrast to see where everyone has ended up, but a beautiful performance by the full cast full of laughter and sorrow.

On Moving

We are moving! Surprise, we don’t move for 4 more weeks but we are starting to figure out packing and logistics. It is really interesting figuring out a move with my partner for a couple reasons:

1) last time we were moving from two different states in with each other after being long distant for a year and it was a bring what you can take from your parents and go. Believe me we did and it was glorious, but now we are figuring out how to move together and not as individuals.

2) Not including college/internship dorms and apartments, our current apartment is the 10th place I have lived. Not including my college years, this is my partner’s second EVER. Isn’t that wild! However, it made it hard for them to consider a new place not home but a place to live for a while.

As you may have ascertained from the many moves and if you include college we are at 15 I believe, I am kind of veteran of moving. I have been through the paces quite a few time. The worst time in a move is the week before. Not just because you are boxing up your life but often when you need things they are already in a box and you can’t remember which one. Also, where you live is just where you live, anywhere can be home.

Some tips and tricks we will be using in the next month:

  • Using paper plates and utensils the week leading up to the move so we can pack our kitchen with less stress.
  • Using clothing/bedding as padding for fragile objects. It saves money and reduces space to create in boxes and other storage.
  • Save your boxes for things that can’t be moved in luggage, laundry hamper, bags. You need a lot fewer than you think.
  • Take pictures of the apartment as you move out as well as move-in. This will help with any damage claims from future and previous landlords.
  • Agree to a system of packing before you start.
  • If you can set aside some money to order food for the overlap days in-between places or at least the last and first day in each place.

Wish us luck on the big move!

The one movie I don’t want to watch again

I have seen a lot of movies in my lifetime. A lot of this because movies are my dad’s truest passion in life. But either way I have seen a lot of movies, some are great, some are garbage fires, and some are purely an acquired taste. There is one movie I truly consider to be the funniest film I have ever seen: Ponyo from Miyazaki. It is also the one movie I am most afraid to watch again.

The first time I watched Ponyo I was 14. I was a freshman in high school. It was spring break. It was less than a week after our house caught fire.

It had happened on a Tuesday and our city was having like 6 different conventions and we were staying in a hotel that was 45 minutes out of the city and away from our schools. For spring break, we had planned on going on vacation out in Western Maryland and because we were going to have to switch hotels again. We still went. It was a sandwich hotel, from a temporary one and before a longer sabbatical at the next place. One a vacation from a home that was full of soot.

Anyways, Ponyo was our first night on vacation and it was the only full family moving appropriate playing (my sister was 7). It was so funny. Ponyo looked like a chicken when she transformed. The ocean was alive. It was hilarious. Honestly, I was in hysterics and I think my siblings were too but I was laughing so hard I couldn’t totally see them the whole time.

My partner and I have been watching the whole Miyazaki catalog with our HBO Max. I have redirected away from Ponyo every time. I have such a wonderful memory of it. It is a memory of light and relief in the middle of a really distressing time. I worry so much that no matter what it isn’t going to be good the second time around. If I don’t watch it again it can stay a favorite.

Maybe I’ll get around to it one day. Wish me luck!

What has been happening

Everything I do or post feels frivolous or at the very least performative. The world has been a really rough for a while for a lot of people. None of the problems going around are totally new except the pandemic. Though a lot has been brought to light.

The Gist: Black Lives Matter! Breonna Taylor’s murders have STILL not been arrested and only one has been fired. Elijah Cumming’s murder has come to light. As well as many additional events of police brutality, where the information is finally been released to the public and the public is demanding real response from their government. Also, for Black lives to matter to institutions like police and the U.S. Government.

What’s up with police: Police are allowed to keep their jobs/be rehired with records of excessive force and violence . Police are not qualified for the work they are being asked to do. They are not social workers, experts on addition or mental health, or housing authorities. The way that we have criminalized the world does not mean the correct way to handle it is with the current police system. If you really don’t understand what is going on in the space I recommend starting with The Stanford Prison experiment.

What can you do: The most important thing is that you register to vote. Elected officials set the budget for police offices and public schools in addition many counties and states also elect judges. Please make sure you can vote by registering and then going to the polls, voting early, or voting by mail. Talk to your friends and family as well to make sure they also registered.

Some other ways you can make a change are going to protests, making calls, or making change in whatever way you can. A good way to start is by talking to your family, friends, and coworkers and getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to talking about race and inequality. For more ideas and ways to educate yourself please use the link below.


On Sleep or lack thereof

So I have always had a pretty bad relationship with sleep. When I was young (3-7) I had terrible night terrors. Night Terrors are essentially nightmares except your brain won’t wake you up. I also had bad sleep apnea for many years, to the point where my tonsils were taken out at the age of 6 so I didn’t stop breathing for too long in my sleep. So basically sleep time was a cause of emotional and physical distress for years.

I remember for a couple years in the middle I had worry dolls, which, I hid before sleep and then I was supposed to think about where I hid them instead of worrying. As I got older this was replaced with books and YouTube. I remember in high school when I was stressed and couldn’t sleep I would watch the same Netflix show over and over, so no one could tell how much I had been watching.

Now over my many years of sucking at sleeping. There have been many nights sleepless, weeks running on 10 hours or less, times where even on hardcore medication where I felt awake all night. I have learned an incredibly important thing from this. Humans are endurance creatures. If you need to get through something, you can. Our bodies will stretch themselves to the limits to get us where we need to go.

During this pandemic, I have definitely noticed this getting worse and worse. I am lucky enough that I don’t have to leave home and panic that I wouldn’t be rested enough to drive to work. (DO NOT DRIVE TIRED!). I can work from home, that is nice. But in additional to the million of other factors that go into sleep, my work space and my relax space have now been combined; which I have found to have a big influence on my ability to get to a point of rest.

Anyways, sleep is really hard to catch-up on. It seems like there is not a complete reset button. It’s not like when you finally get a good night of sleep you feel refreshed you body just switches out of survival mode and into “I-need-more-rest” mode. When taking sleeping medication it feels so much like you are just gonna be tired but alive the next day.

I feel like naps may be the great detractor of sleep long-term and I hate when people recommend naps when I tell them that I have struggles sleeping. First, I work all day. I do not currently have a schedule that lets me nap. Secondly, napping when sleep deprived doesn’t not give the boost of energy I wish it would by itself. (I will say having a cup of coffee and then a 10 minute nap is the most awake you will ever feel). Thirdly, my sleeping sucks regularly and I don’t want to shift my sleep cycle even more than I have to.

Wish me luck getting a good night of rest.


Building a Kitchen: Essential Herbs and Spices

So I think the most important thing is making simple foods taste really good is seasoning. However, spices and herbs are expensive. For me, and the cooking that I know here is a basic starter kit for any new kitchen.

  1. Salt: Obviously – everything and everyone needs this. Also, technically a mineral but still.
  2. Black Pepper: Again most things need a little pepper. If you can get one with a grinder, you will be better off.
  3. Cinnamon: This is my partner’s favorite flavor but it is very versatile and hard to replicate with other spices.  It’s a sweet and warm spice. Useful in everything from French Toast to curries.
  4. Cilantro: This has a really fresh and citrus-y flavor (if it doesn’t taste like soap to you). It’s great with rice, on top of tacos and burritos, with salad. It’s a really quick and tasty addition to many dishes.
  5. Basil: It is a sweeter herb with a more neutral flavor. Great for all Italian food. It is easy to use and pull in more flavor anywhere.
  6. Rosemary: The definition of herbaceous. It is delightful and woodsy. I love added this to any roast or soup. Also rosemary-lemon cookies are the best thing to be invented.
  7. Mint: Mint should be a requirement. There is no substitute. It is perfect for drinks (alcoholic and non) and desserts. Also to through on top of dishes and fresh into salads.
  8. Oregano: Oregano is featured in a lot of food (Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean) for a reason. It is just a little bitter but really accentuates savory and sweet flavors. Oregano is almost impossible to overuse.
  9. Dill: This might be my most controversial pick but I just think that there is nothing that can replicate this taste. It is earthy and tangy. Great for dips, soups, and sauces.
  10. Cayenne: Really any chili or pepper powder works but I like Cayenne. I think it is really easy for beginners to add layers of heat and spice without a lot of skill.

7 days 70 hours

So last week was CRAZY! I worked 7 days straight leading up to and completing my 2nd project but first large scale event and project at my job. I have had this job for less than a year but for  the past 4 months I have been working hard on making this come into fruition. So last week was a very full and stress-filled five days (regular work week) preparing down to the last detail to make sure that everything was prepared for the event.

Then the event/program itself was 24 hours plus set-up, clean up, and hour and a half travel time each way. So all in all about 30 hours. A full 30 hours of constantly being on and making decisions and working. It really sucked especially after having already worked a full 40-50 hour week. It was really rough.

Now my work does something called flex days where when you work beyond the normal work schedule you can flex that time out of the next weeks schedule. It is supposed to help with burnout but also to avoid any overtime technicalities. However, the burnout this past week was real. Even with my partners care.

He had cleaned the apartment while I was gone and bought me mango White Claws (which were delicious but the way). He took care of everything I had nothing to do but relax and recover. The relaxing was so easy and fun and I just watched the Arrowverse and read romance novels. It was great! But I had such a hard time getting back into work. Even when I was in the office and not working from home it was incredibly hard not to check out.

So anyway, doing well at work just trying to find a more effective way to avoid burnout as I keep moving up.

Wish me luck.

23 favorite movies for 23 years.

So on this day of my birth I wanted to write something about myself . A get to know me a little better post. I think I came up with a great way to do it 23 of my favorite movies over my lifetime. Whether it’s because they are astonishing pieces of film, hilarious, became an obsession, or came into my life at just the right time.

Anyway if you have seen these 23 movies you will understand me as a person on this my 23rd birthday.

1. A Bug’s Life (1998)

2. Annie (1982)

3. The Sound of Music (1965)

4. Madeline (1998)

5. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

6. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

8. Kim Possible: A Stitch in Time (2003)

9. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

11. Aquamarine (2006)

12. Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

13. Noises Off (1992)

14. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

15. Life is Beautiful (1997)

16.  Super 8 (2011)

17. Big Hero 6 (2014)

18. Unforgiven (1992)

19. Tomorrowland (2015)

20. Stardust (2007)

21. Rogue One (2016)

22. The Red Shoes (1948)

23.  The Court Jester (1956)

Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better and/or my favorite movies!

Happy birthday to me!

Stardust versus Stardust

So Stardust, the film directed by Matthew Vaughm, is one of my all-time favorite movies. I loved the romance and adventure and it is truly hilarious. It feels like a mix of a Shakespearean comedy, a beautiful romance, and a buddy road trip film. However, until recently I had never read the book by Neil Gaiman that it is based off of. It’s tagline is a new classic adult fairy tale, which yes sounds up my alley but does not sound anything like how I think of the movie.

I loved the story but I was actually shocked at how faithful and adaption it actually was. There were a few story difference but a lot of tonal differences. The book focused less on the verbs and action sequences they were mentioned in passing. More time was spent on the nouns (people, places, and things). Where as sequences that took up a half a page were long action sequences in the book.

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