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.

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

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.

Continue reading “Stardust versus Stardust”

Top 18 books of 2018

I read approximately 140 books this past year. It was awesome I was so lucky to get to have the time and access to so much reading! I read some incredible books that I want to share, yes most are fantasy and most are female authored but that’s what I read.

I want to keep this short and sweet so I am going to keep my “Why I FREAKING loved it” to 10 words or less per book.

To be honest some slots have more than one book by the same author (Don’t judge I really like books and it’s hard to pick more) So without further ado here are the best books I read this past year.

18. The Mines of the Minotaur by Julia Golding

  • Complex environmental discussion with mythical beasts. Minotaurs. Mental Stability importance.

17. Kings Cage by Victoria Aveyard

  • So many payoff scenes that I’d been waiting for

16. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

  • Hades/Persephone angst/smut. Lots of growth and recovery.

15. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  • Morally grey. Genius protagonists. So many deaths.

14. The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick and Rachel Kiley

  • Nostalgic LBD. Emotional and mental abuse recovery. Recovery isn’t linear.

13. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

  • Reads like a fairy tale. Morally grey characters. Magical Mystery.

12. The Evertree by Marie Lu

  • End of Spirit Animals series. Heartbreaking. Sweet relationships. Great villains.

11. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

  • Dragons. Napoleonic Wars. The sweetest dragons. Dragons.

10. Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi

  • Religion-based magic system. Nigerian world. Quest to save the world!!!

9. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

  • The ROMANCE! The TRAUMA! Amazing found and discovered families!

8, Trickster’s Duology by Tamora Pierce

  • Gods. Political plots. Spies. Unending love for Aly.

7. The House of Hades or The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

  • My precious, sad children! All the Rick Riordan!

6. The Fatal Throne edited by Candace Fleming

  • Historical fiction. All the Wives! Slightly educational.

5. The Woman Who Rode Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

  • Alanna! My perfect little found family. Also George Cooper.

4. The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irene Brignull

  • Beautiful witch-y writing. Perfectly creepy. Lovely heartbreaking work.

3. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

  • I cried the whole time. Beautiful family novel.

2. Windwitch (all the Witchlands series really) by Susan Denmark

  • Angsty Romance. Political Intrigue. Discovery of unreliable narrator. Owl!

1. Damsel by Elena K. Arnold

  • The most beautiful writing of your life! Dragons! Feminist fantasy.

Recovering from Elections

So last  week was the mid-term elections. Hence why I was too busy to post until then and now why I am still recovering almost two weeks after.

I started working on this election cycle in the second week of January. I went with candidates down to our capitol to register. It was months and months of voter contact and position papers and questionnaires for endorsements. There were weeks at a time where I would be attending some sort of political or community event daily.

This stopped for maybe six weeks during my trip to Alaska and re-positioning in our county campaign hierarchy. Then I was hired by an outside organization for the month leading up to work on the races that needed the most help, especially the sheriff’s race.

In the month leading up to the campaign there was door-knocking or phone banking or begging others to volunteer. Hours on hours a day.

Then it was over, and the results were not in a word great. I felt let down, defeated. I spent 11 months working on these races for them not to go as expected.

The positives: turnout in my county was a record high, more people ran than ever before,  and three seats in the county were flipped to more progressive (none that I worked on) , good did come but…

It’s months of adrenaline and work that just ends. It’s not harder or easier or any work to after, just sitting in it.

Wish me luck.

My first week of work

Surprise! I got a new job! (I have not left my old job this is just a second job on the side) I am working in a local warehouse for a used bookstore. Currently I am assigned to the sorting division.  I am only working part time so I am going to work 3 8-hour shifts through out the week.

My job is very different then any job I have experienced before sitting by a computer. For one I am physically active for 8 hours which  I don’t think has ever happened before in my whole life. I got orthopedic insoles for my sneakers by day 3. They did really help but I feel very old. I have never had to punch in and out before I always just checked in with a supervisor. I like punching in and out though.

For the most part it’s solitary work. I have a station and I rarely ever have to talk to anyone other than when people come to bring in or clear out palettes of books. This I like my other job is mostly completely social and I like having time to myself. I get to have my iPod in and headphones on all day. I don’t remember the last time I heard some of my favorite songs. It does make me very self-conscious though because I have to make sure not to dance or lip-sync cause there are a lot of people everywhere.

However, I have also eaten lunch by myself every single day and will probably continue to do so. I get so nervous around new people and I just want a chance to unwind a little and have fresh air. Also, I forget where the break room is and I am too afraid to ask again. In addition I take my lunch break pretty late in the day. For me, after lunch time seems to pass much slower until the end of the day. So I try to push it to when I come back I only have 2 or 2 and half hours left in the day versus four, that way I feel like I can get through it better.

I don’t know how long I’ll be at this job I don’t. Maybe I’ll be there until my vacation and maybe I’ll be here until November or maybe even a lot longer. I don’t know. But right now I like it. I like the schedule and waking up early and my guess is I’m going to be in the best shape of my life (past or present). We will see where it goes.

Wish me luck.

Favorite Summer Reads

So I like summer because typically I have more downtime to read, either on vacation or on break from school. This summer there is no break but I am going on vacation in a month and hopefully will get some extra reading done. For me I like to go back to some of my favorites. I frequently re-read Harry Potter over the summer. Here are some other excellent books to read over the summer.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares -This 4 books series follows every summer as 4 best friends grow-up between their sophomore years of high school and college. It’s a very sweet series that gives each character individuality and focuses on all relationships and growth versus just the romantic.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Every love letter Lara Jean has ever written was mailed to them, without her knowing. It was a really sweet story that dealt with a lot of the male tropes, the player and the nice-guy wanna-be player. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. This summer is the perfect time to read it because the move comes out on Netflix in August!

Codex Alera by Jim Butcher – This adult military fantasy combines the magic systems of Avatar the last Airbender and the Golden Compass. In other words, it is AWESOME! If you need a large mass market paperback to bring to the beach or on a flight this is the book for you! Plus over the summer you’ll have more time to commit.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan – As most know this series happens at Summer camp! though for some it is year-round. It is a camp for demi-gods or humans with a godly parent. I’m pretty sure everything else is known if not what are you doing with yourself

Pern by Ann McCaffery – Pern is not a series but a world. This world has lots of series and standalones with in it to jump around with as you will. It’s a wonderful world of dragons and firelizards and young people who have to make serious decisions. Plus the northern continent is pretty much all desert so you can relate to the heat the characters are facing.  (I recommend starting with the Harper Hall trilogy but do as you will)