tomorrow

Well, tomorrow I’ll be 33. I don’t mind turning 33, it’s all so random.. Age isn’t just a number. I mean, the number 33 is just a number, but the aging process is a real thing. I am a lot different now than I was even 5 years ago. I was basically a different person. I guess the thing I think about more, as I get old, is the whole concept of a ‘self.’ Even my body has changed over the years. But I wonder if I am the same person as I was 10 years ago. In some ways, I am. I feel like a more ‘mature’ version of 22 year old me, but will 42 year old me say the same thing about 2018 me? Probably…But life experiences change us, our brains, our wiring, so what if something seismic happens to me tomorrow, and I shift dramatically….

Or an even lamer example.. I used to be a selfie posting, Facebook obsessed smart phone swiping lunatic. I tweeted my way across Italy. I felt ‘off’ if I didn’t post a status update on social media for a day. I was one of the first of my group to use myspace, facebook, snapchat, all that stuff….

Now I don’t even have those apps on my phone. I dont even use those apps at all. I honestly feel like I was a different person back when I was so obsessed with that stuff. Now I am completely over my addiction and the only time I want to go use facebook is when I want to go see what some rando from my past is up to- and i know it will make me feel BAD, so  I dont do it…but of course, human curiosity…It’s a normal feeling. But anyway. Am I just a different version of myself, or a different person? Did I rewire myself? And if I did, does that mean I changed my ‘self’ or is the ‘self’ fixed and you just change those little quirks that round you out? We are not static objects, but if I think that I am not static at all, it does feel a bit unsettling.

I have always feared the future a bit, the rapid progress of tech. I used to worry about what it meant for humanity.. I guess it especially started in 2009, when I saw a play in NYC on Broadway. I dressed nice, I put my phone away, paid attention…and the woman next to me texted the entire time. This was even before smart phones, so she fuckng texted on a flip phone the whole time. I felt like that was a sign of the end of times LOL. I always wished I said something to her, like, these people are putting on a show for you. They worked hard. They are doing art, and here you are, texting, TEXTING! Why did you even come to this show?! You can stay home and text!

But I said nothing. I just decided to fume inside and declare that moment the moment that we as humans jumped the shark.

Of course, it wasn’t. I mean, humans did not become ‘horrible’ in this decade. We have a history of being terrible, rude, careless…but also kind, respectful, etc. I just can’t believe when I see how people use cell phones. Like, how can you text and drive, how? it’s selfish and I am tired of making excuses for people. yea, cell phones are addictive, but so are cookies. And if you learned how to not sit and eat a bag of cookies every day, you can learn how to not TEXT WHILE DRIVING A 2,000 POUND METAL DEATH ROCKET!

that’s right,  I called your car a death rocket!

ahem.

Anyway, dear reader(s)

I must go. Time to binge tiny house hunters.

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The Experiment, part 2

Dear internet entities on WordPress,

 

This may come as a shock, but I noticed that sometimes I receive ‘likes’ on my posts, but my ‘visitor’ count doesn’t change! What does this mean?! Ya know what I think is going on? I think people are seeing my blog in their stream (or whatever the hell it’s called…) and just ‘liking’ so I will like their blog back!

Lunacy, right?!

Am I too negative?! Perhaps these fine folks DID read my blog, loved it DEARLY, and thus, LIKED it. Thank you, fine folks, thanks so much!

But, just to make sure you actually love me (I mean, I know you might be afraid to say it, so you prove your love via pressing a ‘like’ button. That’s so, so sweet) I am going to attach random tags to this blog and see how many LIKES I receive versus how many VISITORS I receive

 

Thank you,

Julie from wordpress and the internet.com

 

tags:

cats

dogs

musings

taxes

trump

arizona

mindfulness

bullying

tea

poodles

 

thank you again,

Julie Agnes Mcstevens

Yes, that name is uh…66% fake. or whatever…don’t make me do math! Oh, there’s another tag. math.

i guess i got over my addiction

I never blog much anymore. I want to. But I also have enjoyed not using much of the internet lately. I needed a damn break. And it’s barely a break- I am in front of a computer all day at work, using the internet. Occasionally I listen to a podcast, but I’ve listened to podcasts a lot less often lately, ever since I read Cal Newport’s book Deep Work. I recommended that book to anyone who wants to know what it feels like to have an attention span again. Ya know, since Google and Facebook took away our attention spans sometime in the second Bush administration…Bush Jr, duhhhh! The first one only had one presidential term! How do I know? Well, Amazon Echo told me, duh! ALEXA, how many calories in 444454456456 tootsie roll pops?! Tell me, and I shall promptly discard the useless info from my brain! And typing into a phone is so 2017, ewww!

What was I saying? See, freakin’ internet! I can’t even BLOG for a paragraph without being distra- oh my GOD! Aunt Gertie just retweeted THE most racist thing ever on Facebook. Lemme just give her a piece of my mind….Okay, I’m back. Oh, God, my mom just snap chatted me and sent me a snap of herself with the caption HOW CAN YOU TALK TO YOUR AUNT THAT WAY?

Ughhh, moms! They sure ruined snapchat, am I right?!!? Oh, hold on a sec, my Amazon Echo fell off the table, and Amazon just emailed me to make sure I am still alive, since they can’t hear anymore noise from my house. They’re so sweet!

Okay, I’m off!

 

my father was right

He hated how much time I spent alone in front of my computer screen. Of course, as you know, I am an old ass millenial, so I was using the internet back in the late 90s, when all you really could do was go into chatrooms…But I was hooked on the internet the second it entered my brother’s room. Why did HE get the computer?! Eventually, it moved downstairs to the living room, but..anyway. I would spend all my free time on AOL, tying up our phone line, and chatting with strangers in weird chat rooms. I loved to go into the Investment Chat and talk to adults. I’d just troll them and say dumb shit. They ignored me. Maybe they blocked me. My dad told me to get offline and go outside. He liked doing gardening and reading books. He liked learning things. He liked running. He died before smart phones, and even long before social media. i like to imagine that if he were alive today, he’d just have some dummy Facebook account to appease the masses. Like what I tried to do for awhile, before I just went off my rocker and deleted all my social media (which turned out to be the most liberating thing I’ve done in a long time, but it was sure hard to explain to people. Then you stop caring. The world goes on and honestly, people stop asking. Sometimes they get a little jealous that you escaped the beast. Sometimes they think you’re crazy. 100% of the time, it doesn’t matter what they think. I wish it were easier to not care what people thought of what I did. It’s getting a little easier with age, because I start to realize….my dad was right about a lot of things, things I am realizing with age. I’ll probably outlive him. I’m probably going to live to 41. Maybe I miss him because I feel like maybe he’d ‘get’ me. But maybe if he lived longer, he’d also understand a bit of my internet addiction back in those days. I found so many ‘soulmates’ online. It was back when the social misfits used the internet, not the normal people, so I made a lot of friends. Hell, the internet was my safe space. But then I wonder, was I really such the social misfit I thought I was? Was I really sooooo different, and incapable of making real life connections? The internet shut me off from the real world in a pretty profound way. It took years to learn how to really socialize. But now I talk to people and they have convos with me while they stare into a mini internet device.

My cell phone battery lasts for days now. I then realized it’s because i barely use the cell phone anymore. I am the girl who used to tie up the phone line for hours. Now I’m the girl who wants nothing to do with carrying the internet with me 24/7.

I like checking the internet here and there. I like watching youtube videos to learn Spanish. I like how I can buy stock online from home. I hate thinking that in 5 years my nieces will be glued to Iphones.

I wish I could show my dad the garden I grew last year, and maybe he’d grow one with me. It’s weird that you never really stop missing people. Life is a weird thing.

It annoys me..

It annoys me when I post a blog, and i get some ‘likes’ but the likers obviously didn’t read a word of what I wrote. Is that the state of writing today? Is it just so I’ll go to their blog, accidentally click on an ad, and generate some revenue for them?

Hmm..I should do an experiment. How many ‘likes’ can this entry garner? I will have to include a lot of weird, unrelated tags..like..

 

money

thoughts

bitcoin

kids

rant

trump

sex

friendship

So, how many ‘likes’ shall I receive? Well, time will tell! I’ll post this, and check it tonight. time to flee the internet and go to the museum.

(I’ll include ‘museum’ for a tag, too!)

 

I’ll also include that weird selfie I took of myself holding a low carb recipe book. #selfie

money.

A few years ago, I realized that I carry a credit card balance every month.

I justified it. justifications can be misguided. There was no good reason for me to carry a balance every month. I just wasn’t paying attention to my money. And, I got really tired of sending Discover extra money every month. I decided to pay off my CC balance every month, so I’d no longer accrue interest.

In 2017, i didn’t pay any interest to Discover.

It’s been pretty nice.

It’s hard to save money. no one really teaches you how. I remember my 12th grade Decisions teacher tried to teach us how to budget, but none of it felt realistic. We were supposed to imagine our lives at age 22, and somehow, we all made decent money and could afford nice apartments. But no talk of student loans, credit cards, car loans, taxes…

When I was 20, I got a credit card. I didn’t understand late fees, interest, APR, anything! I racked up 1,000 dollars fast, and freaked OUT. Debt has always freaked me out. So, I paid it off, and I didnt use a CC again until a few years later.

I have learned how to ‘use’ a credit card, but I still think they suck. I use my CC for the ‘dollars’ but even that is just a scam. I just have to play along. Like, I just use discover card for gasoline. I get 5% cash back. So, I am just using it for something I needed anyway. But discover card wants me to go run out and use it for shit I dont need, so I wont be able to pay the full balance next month, so I’ll owe them interest.

No thanks. I’ll keep my damn money.

How I feel about Credit Cards:

  1. If you are a shopaholic, don’t use them at all. They’re too tempting. It’s like if you’re a smoker, are you going to be okay smoking a cigarette once in awhile? Or will that make you slip back into your bad habit? You have to know yourself and your limits. and there is a lot of power in recognizing that you can’t use something, like a credit card, or a cigarette, or oreos, or whatever the fuck it is.
  2.  The points, and cash back bonus shit, is only useful if you’re using the credit card for things you needed anyway…which is basically just gasoline for your car and food to sustain your mortal existence. Dont go on an amazon.com shoppin’ spree because Discover is giving you 2 dollars for the 12 pack of socks you bought. Or whatever. Also, amazon is evil. But I’ll get into THAT another time!
  3. If you feel like we cannot escape the FICO-score fueled, credit score checking hellscape in America, just play the CC game, and use your credit card RARELY but enough to keep a good score. and ONLY if you can pay off the balance, so NEVER give these ppl any of your extra income. dont pay them interest. that’s your money. You earned it, you keep it…

sometimes, shit happens, and we land ourselves in debts. I know I could walk outside and a seagull could fall from the sky and send me to the hospital, and my shitty insurance has such a high deductible, I’d prob owe a couple thousand to the doctor. That’s another reason i dont want credit card payments. I want to save money for emergencies. Life is full of weird ass twists ‘n turns…and bills. It feels nice to know I am SORT OF protected, with an emergency fund.

Life tip: Have 3-6 months of cash. Pretend you could lose your job tomorrow. do you have enough to float by for 3-6 months? It relieves a lot of stress, to know that life will still march on, even without a job, for half a year or so.

Life tip 2: make a budget. Even if you make 150k per year. Even if you make 15k per year. Money flies out the window so easily when we don’t pay attention to it. That’s how my money would fly right on over to Discover every month. I just wasn’t paying any attention to it. And for years, I paid WAY too much for car insurance. I switched companies and save 800 per year..SAME exact freakin’ insurance policy, but a different company..I wish I switched years ago.

And I KNOW I am overpaying my cell phone bill. I know I can get a cheaper plan elsewhere. That is my next money goal- cheaper cell phone plan.

 

Life tip 3: Don’t take my blog too seriously. I’m just an old millenial who is trying to make it in this scary world.

 

okay, time to go stare at my checking account for an hour.

why cant i write anymore?!?~??!

The creativity has been sucked out of my AGED SOUL.

 

I cannot write.

I cannot even type a sentence.

How did I just type that? I don’t even know- because I cannot write.

Nothing springs to mind when I sit down in front of my computer and think to myself, ‘time to write!’

time to write! maybe i’ll stop capitalizing. maybe that’ll pump up the creativity in the withered noggin.

Maybe I should stop calling my noggin withered, old, aged. Really, my brain is elastic, plasticity, elasticity, neuroplasticity, malleable, never static, never rigid..

 

..NEVER AGED. NEVER WITHERED. NEVER EVER OLD.

So, why am I dissing my brain? Part of my shtick, ya know? I’m just a simple elderly millenial, born on that damn cusp, or whatever.

But, back to my point. I can’t write.

I can’t even write about being an elderly millenial, born on the damn cusp, or whatever.

And if I can’t write about being a millenial, born on the damn cusp, or whatever, what CAN I write about?

cusp is a weird word. What if I just used it incorrectly? Sadly, there is no way for me to ever know if I used cusp incorrectly. Or you. We’ll just never know.

Anyway, I can’t write. I can’t think. I can’t. I just CAN’T.

Now, excuse me, I am on the cusp of a major breakthrough with figuring out how to make it rich by buying litecoin. #millenialproblem #amiamillenial? #iremembermadonna

 

here i am, thinking about how i am completely unable to do anything except think about how i can’t write anymore.

9160622109962284213

 

 

Millenial confessional: I eat bread

I tried being a low carber last year. I was super into it. You see that picture of me HAPPILY (that’s my smile..) holding a low carb recipe book? Yep. I was all, ‘listen, guys, bread is bad. Stop eating it!’ I’d secretly try to avoid eating the pasta in dishes at my sister’s house. She asked me if I had another eating disorder. You see, like most teen girls at the turn of the century, I thought I was overweight and needed to get thin ASAP. I was always on some weird ass diet. I remember once trying Atkins in 2002, after my uncle told me all the amazing(ly gross) things I could eat.

Cheese (which I love)

meat (not so much)

and that’s it.

This was not what Dr. Atkins himself actually endorsed. Well, he’d say you should, you know, eat some fucking vegetables, too, But the Atkins diet got all warped and fucked up by the media and people trying to make a buck, so you’d even see things like…LOW CARB BREAD….Atkins low carb BREAD! That boggles my mind as much as low fat ice cream.

 

ice cream is fat.

bread is carb.

what the fuck is low carb bread?!

Anyway, my low carb diet didn’t last long. It was tough, but the thing is, I think we’d all be better off eating low carb.

maybe I’ll return to it. maybe I don’t know how to find a good balance. I get super intense, and sometimes, that’s a hindrance. Like, at what point does an eating lifestyle become a bit maladjusted? Did I really need to swear off bread forever? We know the shit is addictive, we know potato chips and cookies are bad, and the marketing is aimed at children, and we all know soda is like pouring spoonfuls of sugar directly into your bloodstream….

but can we find a balance with junk food?

Or should we avoid it, like we avoid cigarettes?

I know I feel better when I eat more veggies. But I also love a good piece of dark chocolate, or a peanut butter cup, or a piece of cake at a wedding.

And i also know sugar is similar to a drug, the way it interacts with your brain and pleasure centers.

What’s a poor ol elderly millenial to do?!

 

pizza.

I have rambled a lot about how much I hate social media. Well, I thought, damn, maybe I should ramble about something a bit uplifting, ya know?

 

And then I had nothing to write about.

Then, it dawned on me. I should write about pizza.

Three weeks later, and I still haven’t written a damn word about pizza…UNTIL NOW! Nothing is going to stop me! I’m challenging myself to WRITE without stopping, to let the memories fly out of my head and right onto this glowing computer screen that keeps me awake at night…Fucking addictive technology! Anyway, here it goes! Here it goes1

 

Pizza memories

by Julie elderly millenial LastName (you think I’m tellin’ you my last name?! That puts my high flying career in jeopardy if my blog is ever discovered.)

 

I’ve eaten pizza in Italy. It was thin crust, not too much sauce, not too much cheese, really fresh, nice basil, and paired with great wine.

I’ve eaten pizza at the supposedly best pizza shop in the North end of Boston. It was nice. I accidentally walked out without the pizza leftovers. that was over 10 years ago, and I hope someday I can forgive myself.

And I’ve made pizza. From scratch. The crust was way too thick. i didn’t roll the dough enough.

Of all these pizza memories, which is my favorite? Which makes me happiest? Which stands out the most in my weathered old noggin?

NONE OF THE ABOVE. My favorite pizza memory involves an extremely below average pizza place that I’m not sure even exists anymore. Little Caesar’s.

This pizza place is forever associated with my childhood. I partly blame their clever advertisement team (PIZZA PIZZA!) for lodging their damn slogan in my head. FOREVER. I am in my 30s. I havent stepped foot in a Little Caesars in 25 damn years. Hell, I am not sure I’ve even been within 30 miles of one. I’ve probably been a couple thousand miles above of a Little Caesars since the 90s. I’ve been in airplanes ‘n all. But i have not ordered, pretended to order, thought about ordering, or asked someone to order, a little C pizza since the first Clinton administration.

Little Caesar’s sticks in my weathered brain because of nostalgia. Fun memories. My dad would take me to pick up a sub par little caesar’s pepperoni pizza, and we’d go to Blockbuster and rent movies. It was the best time EVER. Nothing has compared. NOTHING! Not that fancy pizza in Rome, not that insanely thick pizza I made in 2009 when I was trying to be a chef, not the pizza in Boston’s North End.

Little Caesar’s crapo pizza is the best of all time.

Why is this so hard?

Why do I have such a battle with the internet? I go weeks feeling like I have a handle on my internet addiction. And yes, I know we’re ALL addicted now. I don’t care if internet addiction is normalized. It offends me when someone says, ‘julie, just use the internet in moderation, just STOP using it this way, or that way, just turn OFF notifications’ because it feels rude. You don’t tell an alcoholic to just drink beer in moderation. To just cover all the labels of Budweiser that their roommate keeps in the house..to just learn to sit in a bar every day, for hours, and not feel tempted to order a glass of merlot. But that’s basically what people say to me, when I say I have a problem with my internet use. I spent this morning on Instagram. I never feel good afterwards, but that’s what I did. It feels hopeless sometimes. How exactly am I supposed to just ‘not’ use the internet in 2018?

In moderation!

Don’t look at the stuff that makes you feel bad!

Everyone uses the internet this way now. it’s part of the WORLD.

 

But what if I am just incapable of scrolling these mindless apps like ‘normal’ people do? what if it really does hurt me, a lot? what if I can’t equip my monkey brain to be able to handle the modern age?

And  every day I wonder why I think so much about all this shit. Why can’t I just be normal and learn to love mindlessly staring at a glowing screen. Why do I just want to throw all these beeping electronics out the window.

Maybe the problem is me.