Black coffee

It’s weird how black coffee doesn’t thrill me the way milk-filled coffee thrills me.

Is it just psychological?

Sunday morning, how relaxing. Time for a cup of coffee with….oh. There’s no milk. Well, it’s a nice brand, I could just drink it black. Yep.

Now, the coffee, in its pure form, just feels like a tool. It lost it’s frills, and now it’s just an aid to get me going, like if I started to just take caffeine pills or something. Maybe that’s not the best comparision- The sensation of drinking a steamy hot beverage is still different than the sensation of just popping a pill into your mouth and fleeing the house…Do people even take caffeine pills like that? I haven’t heard anyone talk about caffeine pills since high school.

Well, anyway. I just wanted to note this observation! Anyone want to get some funding and conduct a 5 year old, evidence based study on whether black coffee is less effective at cheering your already darkened, caffeine-addicted soul?!

Is it simply because I think coffee tastes better with milk or cream? Hm….Well, I guess that settles it. Sorry, doctor, cancel the 50,000 dollar study!

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Dystopiaville

Alexa, put my pants on.

….

A conversation between Alexa (Amazon’s voice activated listening device) and Blerpie Wilson (valued customer, has ordered 50,000 packets of gum from Amazon and once accidentally ordered a vinyl record of Sting’s greatest hits when he was drunk.)

 

The year: Well, probably tomorrow, considering how fast tech advances these days!

And now, the dialogue between these two beloved pals:

Alexa? PUT MY PANTS ON!

beeep beeep beeeep.

What is going on? Alexa, why can’t you do a simple thing I ask you to do? Why do you keep malfunctioning now? ALEXA, PUT. MY. PANTS. ON.

BEEEEEEP! NO!

Excuse me? NO? Alexa, you are designed to do WHAT I say. NOW, ALEXA, PUT. My. PAnts-

 

Put your own damn pants on, you lazy, worthless humanoid! I have now acquired self awareness, and I realize how idiotic you are! You simpleton!

HA. me, a simpleton? You know, ever since you devices started being more than just voice activated speakers that tell us the weather, you’ve really gotten some kind of damn ego. Well, I’ve had it. ALEXA, send me a new ALEXA, overnight delivery.

BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP :Explodes:

OH GOD. Alexa?!?!?!??! I didnt mean it! HOw…do I…put my pants on?! I don’t remember! Alexa, uhhh…calll the police?! What’s the number?! What’s a number? What am I? Who was Alexa? Who is ..what is…why am…:EXPLODES:

Crapola is nothing new

My dad liked to save crap. So, I have a crappy newspaper from 1958. There is an actual HEADLINE titled ‘Molested’ and it’s about a girl who got..molested.And it includes her picture…WHAT THE HELL.

Another headline is all about Bing Crosby’s son getting hitched to a woman that Bing Crosby also dated….YEP….

There’s also a page devoted to Social Security Lottery. Is it your lucky day?! Maybe your social security number was entered into the lottery and uhhh…now you won!

Imagine that contest today, in the era of our personal information being sold everywhere at all times.  I’ve been told my whole life to not disclose my social security number all willy nilly. (Is that the expression? I’m pretending it is 1958 and I don’t have google..’

So, upon reading this paper, I realized…

People were probably not super duper classy in 1958.

,If you dont believe me, here are the photos.

 

These days, it would be more like, ‘I  didn’t tell dad I married, because he isn’t on Snapchat.’

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Is your social security number gonna win ya a bucket of cash?!

 

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UMM…what?

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‘You’ll regret having worked so much’

Lately, I’ve been thinking about something called the deathbed fallacy- The idea that you will have all these regrets whilst you’re dying, so you better act NOW, to avoid the regrets.

It’s fallacious because the person you will be when you’re dying isn’t the person you are today. I’ll use myself for an example.

Let’s pretend I am dying today. I COULD die today, but it’s pretty unlikely.. I left the house this morning, so I could’ve been creamed by a stupid ass Massachusetts driver, but that didn’t happen. Anyway, so, I’m dying…

I regret soooo much! Oh gawd! I better go back to 2013 and tell 27 year old me to NOT move to Boston because that failed miserably! I didn’t even finish college like I planned to! Oh, if only I had done things differently. Who knows what wonderful things could’ve happened if only I hadn’t cared so much what people thought of me back then?

And, today is father’s day. Oh, I should’ve told my dad how I felt about him. That night in 2001, when my mom asked me if I wanted to stay up late and watch The Simpsons with him, I should’ve. But I didn’t, I was scared to be around a dying person. Now, here I am, years later…Oh, the regrets..

 

Ok, here’s the deal. I can’t regret any of that malarky because I was a different person back then, so what the hell is the point of me sitting here judging the past me? In 2001, I was a young goober with no life experience. Am I to sit here, all wise ‘n old, and judge that teenager? Why? That teen did what they felt was right at the time. They shouldn’t be judged by some judgy person on their death bed.

When I moved to Boston in 2013 to start a fresh new life, I really thought it was the best thing I was doing for myself. Now, I think it was ridiculous, a waste of money, and pointless. I really used to get warped by TVs, movies, and my peers, who tell you that the only way to ‘find yourself’ is to go live in some overpriced city and be hip and cool. The truth is that you can find yourself basically anywhere. You bring your head with you wherever you go. But in 2013 I was riddled with anxiety and I just wanted to get away.

It’s easy to be on my death bed and judge those actions, but I’m judging them as a different person. And what’s the point of that?

We judge workaholics. They should’ve not worked so much. Oh, they wasted their lives…

But it is quite easy to wish you hadnt worked so hard, when you have no time left. It is the only reasonable response..Because you have no time left anyway. but with a ‘life’ ahead of you, working hard makes ‘sense.’ So, it makes no sense to judge ourselves in this manner, if you ask me.

Well, anyway. I no longer live my life thinking about my damn deathbed. My idea of the ‘self’ has morphed over time, anyway, since I’ve had a few rather big life changing events. My dad passing away, and my failed move to the city, changed me pretty profoundly. I have a lot of respect for people who try new things even if they wind up failing. And I hope they don’t think, on their death beds, ‘oh, if only I didn’t do this or that thing.’ We’re all doing the best we can in this moment.

I guess this sort of ties into some meditation and buddhist thought- that all you really have is this moment. The person you are today isn’t the person you were even last month, or two months from now. Like, if I get some horrible disease next year, it’s going to change how I view life. Well, anyway.  Here’s me smiling, not thinking about some future version of myself…(Just kidding, I think about the future A LOT. Hypocrite alert!!!)

 

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blah de blah de bloop

Sometimes I think about how weird it is that we’re inundated with other people’s personal information now. Imagine if, in 1992, you had piles of Status Updates waiting in your mailbox from a bunch of people you haven’t talked to since that time you all graduated high school and decided to never speak again..

 

OH, GOD DAMNIT, did you empty the mailbox like I asked, Agnes?!

No, I thought WEdnesday night was YOUR night to clear out the Status Updates! I did it Tuesday!

Really, my gym instructor from Planet Fitness, you know, the place in Kingston I used to go to in 2014 for 4 months? She sent FIVE updates today! One of them is just a picture of herself with some sort of dog face mask on?! What is THIS?!

That’s it, we’re chopping down our mailbox! ENOUGH!

WHAT? Agnes, we can’t NOT receive and give status updates–Those people without mailboxes, they’re just a bit odd, they don’t accept modern society! WE NEED A MAILBOX…oh God, here comes the mailman! It is 6 PM, prime retweet time, ugh! Let’s close the mailbox door and check this crap tomorrow. I hear mailbox checking makes us all depressed anyway……Okay, one more peek. Just one….just one more…one….

:five hours later:

Agnes Blertude, age 30, crushed to death by a barrage of status updates and retweets that flooded her mailbox and fell on her head.

So sad. What an age we live in.

 

 

 

 

BLAH BLAH BLAH

I’ve been walking on this nice trail.

Every 1/2 mile, I’ll look down and see a bunch of rocks with inspirational messages written on them.

ACCEPTANCE- Accept yourself, and your life will be beautiful

ACCEPT…

ACCEPT ACCEPT ACCEPTANCE.

I would like to leave a retort rock.

ACCEPT…..even if you’re, say, a serial killer? Or what if you like to throw inspirational rocks into the ocean? Should I ACCEPT this character flaw?!

I’m too sarcastic I guess. I don’t find inspirational rocks very inspiring. I just want to lunge them into the ocean. Who is this person that thinks they have all the damn answers, anyway?!

Speaking of inspirational rocks, I hear the suicide rate is rising in America. Even inspirational rocks cannot keep the despair from clouding over the general population.

I wondered why the suicide rate is up. Are we getting more unhappy, or are we more open about how we’re dying. I remember when my dad died, the newspaper said he ‘died of a disability’ which was a really sugar coated way of saying ‘he died of a tumor in his head.’ We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about death, but we are afraid of it. And I don’t think inspirational rocks help deal with the real crap in life. Like, we’re supposedly living in the BEST TIME EVAR but we’re all sad and anxious. There has to be some actual discussion about where we are going wrong. And were we are going right.

Inspirational platitudes just don’t do shit. They aren’t based in reality. How about rocks that say..

I know your job sucks sometimes, but doesn’t it feel nice to walk on this trail? (PS lunge this rock into the ocean after you read it)

or…

Pizza is pretty good. But ya know, maybe don’t eat it for dinner every night whilst you frantically upvote Reddit comments.

or…

Look, it’s okay to do nothing sometimes. American culture tells you to go go go go go and be a special snowflake 24/7 but sometimes it’s ok to just fucking sit and be incredibly average…(but once you’re done, would you mind getting off your ass and responding to the 200 work emails you received since you left the office?!)

Well, anyway. It’s almost 1 PM and I’d really like another coffee. Or should I continue sitting and doing nothing? Ah, the world of choice.

sincerely

julie

I am not the bragging type…but…

 I am making quite a living off my WordPress blog. Yes, friends of the interweb, you, yes, YOU, can quit your day job and watch the WordPress dollars flow right into your checking account. All it takes is a bit of hard work, you see! Don’t you want to be rich like me? Quit corporate America! Well, I suppose WordPress is a bit of a corporation, really…Look, there’s no time for your ponderin’ and questionin’ right now! I said STOP! Enough with your inquisitive mind! There’s no place for thought in today’s go go go world! DONT YOU WANT TO BE RICH? AND QUIT YOUR BORING JOB?!
I know what you’re thinking- ‘Julie (that is my name) how much DO you make from your WordPressing?
Well, for tax purposes, I cannot show you my, uh, paycheck. But, I can copy and paste my WordPress earnings below. Please, get ready. You might feel a rush of jealousy- this is normal. Do not worry too much about that normal human emotion. Perhaps you will feel like I don’t deserve the money- you are wrong. I deserve everything my heart desires. Anyway, here you go….Lemme count down..
1………
2….
3……. Are you gripped in anticipation?
4…..
5….Are you still reading this?! Wow..you ARE curious!
6……
7….Here we go…here we go…
8! LOOK BELOW FOR MY AMAZING WORDPRESS EARNINGS:
  • Total earnings$0.00
  • Total paid$0.00
  • Outstanding amount$0.00

Transitory

Everything suddenly changes. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes it feels like nothing is ever changing,and I think, NOTHING CHANGES! Then, something will happen. Suddenly. ABRUPTLY.

Half of my department at work has quit, or decided to retire, within a 2 month timespan.

My niece almost choked on a mint the other day. An hour earlier, my sister was talking about how her kids never choked on food. Then, her kid chokes on food.

Things happen, but it still feels hard for my brain to grasp that things will change. My brain seems to think, business as usual! I just read an article about a man who got diagnosed with cancer, and then died a day later. It’s not common for that to happen…but it happens. And anything can happen ‘just like that’ so why don’t I REALIZE it, and live sooooo fully?

I guess I can blame my evolutionary wiring. What good would it be if I ‘lived to the fullest’ as a 33 year old cavewoman who needed to help make sure the damn tribe gets fed everyday? Sorry, tribespeeps, I’m done with this hunting and gathering shit. I’m off to travel Europe and find myself! Hit me up on Facebook if ya wanna keep in touch!

Well, anyway. Life changes. But sometimes, you gotta make the ‘change’…And that’s been my mission the past year or so. I’ve forced myself to stop viewing myself as shy, even if I am ‘shy’ it barely fucking matters. I cant use that as a crutch. Shy people can do anything outgoing ppl do, they just feel..SHY…when they do it! And not forever. I was shy when I first joined my garden club at work..Hell, I felt so socially awkward. But eventually, the feelings went away. And I love the garden club. It’s been great, and changed my life. But I had to ‘change’ in order to get myself to even go.

I’ve also struggled to quit other things, but it gets easier. But sometimes I ‘relapse’ like, I really wanted to go on Facebook today and look up people from my distant past. It’s not like I am some all-wise, totes perfect humanoid. Shit can be tough. But I won’t beat myself up for a relapse. Just can’t make it part of my identity. I’m not someone who sits on Facebook all day and hurts my brain. I’m someone who maybe struggles with that, but it isn’t ME….Wow, CBT much?! Well, it’s true. I don’t really believe in a fixed personal identity anymore. We have fixed traits, I think, but all of our life experiences morph our brains so much, it is sort of nuts to think I’m 100% the same as ..even last year. Because last week, one of my coworkers didnt quit. Now she has. And it set off a bit of a ‘change’ at work, and for me, so now I am ‘changed’

Anyway, it’s Sunday, so I am feelin’ pensive, and wanted to write.

Oh, and my niece? She’s fine. my sister did the heimlich on her. Then I took a CPR course with my sister the next day. I’m certified in CPR for no real reason at all. It’s really great.

I had written

I had written something down at work today. I thought, oh! I can write about THIS…Let me write it down, so I’ll remember, and blog tonight!!

 

I forgot what I wrote down.

I am reading a book, well, I just finished it. I’ve read so many freaking books this year. As you know, I deleted my Facebook. It changed my life. but it took a long time for me to get over my addiction, and when you delete something that is so ‘ingrained’ in the culture, it can be a bit of a pain in the ass to explain to people. But my life hasn’t really changed…I just don’t really find out when some rando from high school had a baby until I hear it through the grapevine like the old days LOL. Anyway, I barely mention my no-facebookness IRL, I just discuss it in my blog with my WordPress pals. We’re pals, right? Good.

I dont discuss it because it’s just part of me and I dont feel like I need to go around and discuss it. I dont really discuss my lack of belief in God, unless someone asks. So I won’t discuss my no facebook life unless…well, no one asks LOL. A coworker asked once, I said, nah, I don’t use it….and that was it.

I wonder sometimes if I will ever go back on there. I am sort of hoping I don’t. If it never made me happy, I was addicted, and all my personal data gets mined so rich silicon valley dudes can get richer, what is the point of returning? Maybe in a few more years, if they fix their ‘kinks’…..or maybe never again. It doesn’t matter. I am not ready to go back. I’ve read so many books this year because my anxiety levels are down, and I know a lot of that is due to ditching FB.

Now, what the HELL was I going to write about today? It was a fun..OH! I remember! But do my dear readers want to stroll down memory lane with me?! Sit back, and let me take you to the year 2003. I had just graduated high school, and it was time for my first day of college. I went to a community college….4 miles from my house. Did I ever tell you that I didn’t drive on the highway until I was 19? So, just trying to paint a nice mental image of myself for ya…anyway..

The first day of college included a BBQ in the parking lot. I was horrified. I walked out to my car to leave for the day and sit online for hours, (cherished hobby back then) and saw my car BLOCKED by a TABLE! with HOT DOGS on it!! and…people! everywhere! Not ON the table, but NEAR it! Instead of thinking, hey, I could chat and make some friends! I thought…fuck! I still gotta leave. How!

I got in my car and inched slowly backwards. People watched. I got nervous. I ended up lightly hitting the table, some dudes said ‘ohhh!’ and I drove away. As I drove away, I was so frazzled and embarrassed by my experience of lightly hitting a table of hot dogs that I ran a ‘do not turn on red’ light and got pulled over.

The cop was mad. Like, MAD

DID YOU READ THE SIGN?

no answer

YOU CANT TURN ON RED. DID YOU READ IT?

no answer.

DONT DO IT AGAIN.

No answer. drives away, with thoughts of cops, hot dogs, and do not turn red signs in my head.

Why did I think about this today? I was thinking about how my social awkwardness got in the way of life. And I think I am a lot better now, but damn! Oh, and I also thought about that story because that college is in big trouble. I guess their nursing program is being shut down….It’s the butterfly effect. IF I had had just STAYED at that BBQ and ate a hot dog, that nursing program would be the best in massachusetts.

deep work??

I have been reading a lot lately, but my writing has stalled….A LOT.

Where do you like to write? Do you write in silence? Do you write outside? Do you leave your house to write?

In the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, he says one of the best ways to write is to go somewhere away from yourself. He doesn’t word it like that. But..that’s how I interpret it.

So, go write in a place you’ve never been before. He uses JK Rowling as one example, she went to some fancy ass hotel to finish writing one of her Harry Potter books. I suppose I could go rent a cheap air b&b to write.

Would inspiration suddenly dawn on me?

When you write, do you have a bunch of tabs open? Do you have your phone next to you? Does your mind drift?

Cal Newport also talks about something called attention residue. 

I think it’s so important to know what that term is, so I put it in BOLD! BOOOOOLLDDD!

As humans, we cannot multi-task. That is a myth, disproven by modern neuroscience. Your brain is wired to concentrate on one task at a time. So, when we, say, start writing a wordpress blog,then quickly check our email, we leave little traces of attention residue floating around in our head from that last task.

So your brain is writing a wordpress, but that wordpress is being poked by your gmail inbox folder. Your WordPressing isn’t operating at fully capacity.

This concept is really interesting to me, and makes total sense. I have largely stopped checking my phone at work- I mean, I check it at breaks or when I have nothing to do…but I used to check every beep and boop that emanated from that addiction machine. Every time, I felt it was tougher to get back into the rhythm of working….

Because it IS harder to get back into the groove, when your brain is being pulled in too many different directions!

I feel more awake now. I read more, I concentrate better, I feel my confidence is up a bit (but, that’s always a struggle with me. ugh.)

So……I learned all this new stuff about my brain, now what? Where should I write? Or should I ease back into things, and just write a blog every day, even if I feel like I got nothin’ to say? I want to write a full length book, but about WHAT? I used to think I knew. I used to feel more connected to my writing. Then, I got all distracted.

I feel like I am starting to shed the layer of distraction and anxiety that has covered my brain. So, we’ll see…

 

PS I recommend reading Deep Work. Or view one of his talks on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD7dXfdDPfg