Random Thoughts

Trying to be a Savior Can Do More Harm Than Good

We all know 2020 was a hot mess. The pandemic started, political tension, and racial tension with hundreds of protests denouncing police brutality. It was a year that, undoubtedly, stressed a lot of people out. In this particular post, I’m going to talk about an article I read about a UCLA professor being suspended for not giving black students an easier final exam in June 2020. This article displayed the savior complex, society’s newfound understanding of how stressed black people are when it comes to societal issues, and the audacity people had with this newfound information.

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Random Thoughts

Optimistic Carla Bishop | Short Story Generator

I haven’t written anything a while due to not being motivated and working crazy hours. I’m trying to get back into writing abut anything just to get me back in the groove. I feel I’ve been languishing. Simply not motivated, but can’t pinpoint what’s going on.

Decided to using a short story generator to get my brain pumping, but the outcome was more hilarious than I thought it would be. I didn’t put much thought into the generator’s options as I just wanted to see what would be produced. This story is a hot mess, but it has some qualities. Decided to share.

Generated story:

Carla Bishop had always loved dull New York with its cloudy, curly cold. It was a place where she felt happy.

She was an optimistic, articulate, whiskey drinker with handsome fingers and tall toes. Her friends saw her as a hot, heavy hero. Once, she had even saved a crispy toddler that was stuck in a drain. That’s the sort of woman she was.

Carla walked over to the window and reflected on her noisy surroundings. The clouds danced like shouting dog.

Then she saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Luke Barker. Luke was a stable teacher with curvy fingers and red toes.

Carla gulped. She was not prepared for Luke.

As Carla stepped outside and Luke came closer, she could see the unsteady smile on his face.

Luke glared with all the wrath of 4284 thoughtless silky squirrels. He said, in hushed tones, “I hate you and I want justice.”

Carla looked back, even more concerned and still fingering the warped ruler. “Luke, I don’t have the money,” she replied.

They looked at each other with stressed feelings, like two poised, panicky pigeons smiling at a very arrogant court, which had music playing in the background and two gracious uncles thinking to the beat.

Carla regarded Luke’s curvy fingers and red toes. “I feel the same way!” revealed Carla with a delighted grin.

Luke looked anxious, his emotions blushing like a putrid, proud piano.

Then Luke came inside for a nice glass of whiskey. THE END

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Random Thoughts

People Want a Relationship but Don’t Want a Relationship

I’ve noticed something. More and more people want a relationship, but don’t want a relationship.

People, not all, love the title of boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, lover, etc., but will bypass all of the necessary steps to build the foundation to have a stable relationship. During these quarantine times, people want company. To be honest, there are couples who’ve discovered how much they dislike each other, but that’s a different topic.

Social media is filled with #couplegoals, #marriagegoals, and who knows what other relationship hashtags. Nothing wrong with that, but there are a lot of people who want to be part of that hashtag so bad, they’ll seek relationships just for the sake of having them. Very few people aren’t interested in getting to know each other. They’ll date for a month, end up with a title, post their love on social media, then the relationship is over a month later. Yes, I’ve seen it happen. The same people wonder what happened or were shocked to see the person dramatically change once the “title” was implemented. It’s as if some are jumping into relationships for the gram.

I wrote a post about never feeling lonely. Some people hate being alone and seek romantic relationships to fill that void. The thing that strikes me is those same people will admit to not wanting to be in a romantic relationship with anyone because they only want company. Sad thing is, they don’t relay that vital information to the person they’re essentially using. The unknowing void filler wants to make things official resulting in the relationship becoming one-sided. In the end, the relationship doesn’t work and the one who didn’t want the relationship in the first place wonders why things didn’t work out.

I know people who have done these things. I tell them to stay single and concentrate on themselves, but they continue to have at least three relationships a year and can’t figure out what the issue is. Chill! Come up for a few breaths of air. Are they hopeless romantics? Do they constantly daydream of love? Do they want to imitate what they see in romantic movies, dating shows, and social media. Based on conversations, seems like it. Ironically, they say they don’t want to be in a relationship, but the invitation is too tantalizing to say no. I laughably don’t understand.

I had someone ask me to be in a relationship less than two months after dating. My response,

There’s a want versus need when it comes to relationships. You should never need a relationship. You want one. When I say want, make sure you have the time and space to allow someone to enter your life and travel down your path. If you don’t want to share that path with someone, don’t drag them along and possibly hurt them on the way just to fill void. Make sure you want to put in the effort to build a friendship that forms the foundation for a strong relationship. Stop worrying about whether or not your behind in the romance department because society is pressuring you. Stop looking at the lovey dovey social media posts of couples smiling and pretending they don’t argue or broke up at least three times before taking that picture.

I’m not a relationship expert. Relationships can be complicating because life happens, but if you go into an unwanted relationship, you’re just complicating things from the jump which is 100% avoidable. Some people only like the idea of a relationship. That’s the problem.

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Random Thoughts

Why You Should Always Be Yourself

Simple answer… because it’s too exhausting trying to maintain a facade.

Whether you’re trying to fit in, impress people, or want what others have, being yourself is always the best route. I’m not saying people can’t improve themselves. If you’re an asshole and aware of your assholery, yeah, you can do something about it if it’s impacting your life in a negative way. Let’s admit it, some assholes get away with things and their life seems to go smoothly. At least they are being themselves… in a punchable way.

Being yourself is something you don’t have to keep track of. If you keep switching personalities based on who you’re around, you have to keep track of that mask and who you wore it for. Keeping up a front is not easy. You’re bound to slip up and reveal yourself. When you do, will those same people like you? Will they be shocked? This only adds more confusion, self-doubt, and possibly guilt.

Let people know who you are upfront. If they like you, they like you. If they don’t, is it really a loss? It’s OK to not impress everyone. It’s OK to not become friends with everyone.

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Random Thoughts

I Never Get Lonely

2020 has been an interesting year. As people started to work on their New Year’s resolutions, they had no idea the world would come to a halt. We’ve read or watched historical documentaries about pandemics, but we’ve never dealt with one with this much magnitude. Many people lost their jobs resulting in extremely hard times financially and many discovered they aren’t physically or mentally able to handle being in “lockdown.”

It has been interesting to observe friends and strangers as they maneuver through not being able to socialize or freely travel like they use to. I’ve watched, through social media, people post more photos and videos because they needed the attention. They’re so use to receiving face-to-face recognition that they seek it out through “look at me” moments on social media. Some went from rarely posting to posting almost everyday. Basic selfies turned into rambling videos, nonsensical stories, seminude photos, and posts of them expressing their boredom. I could easily spot the extroverts who couldn’t handle not socializing.

I asked some friends how they’ve been coping with the year and the most interesting response is they’re lonely. This made me come to the realization I never get lonely.

I don’t require interacting with people. I’ve taken the the personality test online and I’m considered an ambivert. Maybe that plays a role in the way I interact with people.

I currently live alone and have been asked how do I cope. My response, “I enjoy my space.” That’s usually followed up with, “do you ever get lonely?”

No.

This reply bewilders them.

I’ve realized I enjoy my own company and not many people can say that. I’m fully comfortable by myself. Granted, I’m not going through anything depressing at the moment, but even when I was, I was still comfortable being alone. Quite sure it will vary depending on the situation, but let’s focus on a healthy state of mind.

I wake up, enjoy the silence, zero interruptions, the freedom to do whatever I want, listen to my own thoughts, feelings, and relaxation. This may sound basic, but I appreciate all of this. To some people, this isn’t enough. They need someone else to be physically present. The idea of being alone scares them while I feel at ease.

I can’t put my finger on the exact reason, but maybe it’s because I’m an only child and don’t require attention. Maybe I appreciate my intimate space more than others. Maybe I’m comfortable hearing my own thoughts and communicating with myself. Yes, I talk to myself. Judge me. I’ve always felt like a solo person, but 2020 has really pointed that out to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy interacting with friends and having a romantic relationship. I do miss going out for happy hour and mingling, sporting events, traveling, etc. Social events are amazing, but it isn’t a necessity for me. When I go out, it’s because I choose to and not to fill lonely void. I don’t require the energy of others to boost my mood. Remember, I’m basing this off of a healthy state of mind.

I never get bored or lonely with myself and I appreciate that quality. Even in a relationship, I enjoy “me time” versus wanting the attention of my lover 24/7. I love being an individual and not being codependent.

It’s ok to be alone and never feeling lonely. People may look at you in disbelief, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone is different. I don’t knock those who require attention. We simply rarely hear about those who are fine alone. Maybe it’s because we’re in our own world minding our business enjoying stillness and peace.

Do you never feel lonely or bored of your own company? Has this year made you reflect on your personality and how socializing played a role in your life?

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Random Thoughts

The Perfect Day

I wake up at 6am and drink 2 cups of coffee.

I workout for 45 minutes then take a shower.

I prepare a light breakfast and eat while reading a book.

Do a DuoLingo lesson in Spanish for 30 minutes.

Listen to a podcast before I start my workday.

Video scripts get written and delivered to clients.

Play in Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro and create stuff I’m proud of.

Eat some more food while watching YouTube or Twitch.

Play video games with a glass of wine.

Read a book for an hour. 

Feeling amazing. That’s the perfect day.

Then go to bed.

This usually happens once or twice a week.

What usually happens…

Most days I wake up around 7am.

Turn on my computer and go to YouTube or Twitch and make a cup of coffee.

Each time I see an email notification, I brace myself for the generic job rejection email, but at least they didn’t ghost me.

I debate on whether or not I want to eat breakfast, skip it, or snack.

Open Google Drive to start writing video scripts, but I get distracted by who knows what.

No podcast. Just watching video game cutscenes to get me motivated to write. Yes, this works for me for some reason. 

Get the scripts done. Workout. Shower.

Scroll through Linkedin and Indeed looking for fulltime jobs during a pandemic when millions are now laid off.

Stress out that my unemployment is running low.

Try to figure out what I should have done and what I need to do with my life.

Debate if I want dinner. Odds are I skip it or snack.

Maybe watch a movie or play video games to calm my mind.

Hop into bed oddly feeling no regret about the day.

I still sleep well.

Every day doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to accomplish X, Y, and Z. Try your hardest to do what you can, but don’t beat yourself up if things remain on your list. The perfect day varies and that’s alright.

 

 

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Random Thoughts

Answering Random Questions for Funsies Part 2

When I don’t have the urge to write, have writer’s block, or just want to get the mental juices flowing, I search for random internet questions to answer. You may view part one here

What will finally break the internet?
If people could log in to any website and receive $5,000 each time, I believe that would break the internet. Imagine simply logging in to WordPress and getting $5,000 deposited into your checking account. 

Does fate exist? If so, do we have free will?
No, I believe we have free will. What we work towards is what we accomplish. If you want to become a published author, you have to start writing. It isn’t going to appear out of thin air. If you want to be a pro athlete, you have to put in the work. There are things that happen for no complete reason. You may call it fate or a coincidence. It has to happen with no initiation of your own.

If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?
I would teach people empathy. We’re all different and experience life differently. It hurts to see people express themselves only to get shut down by someone simply because they’ve never experienced the same thing. So many people will say, “I’ve never experienced anything like that, so it doesn’t exist,” “I went to the same place and didn’t experience anything bad, so maybe you’re overthinking,” and the list goes on. People tend to make things about themselves instead of listening, empathizing, and understanding that we’re all individuals and experience things differently. It’s not anyone’s right to dismiss someone’s feelings and experiences simply because they’ve never experienced it themselves. People also need to learn to talk about “uncomfortable” topics. “If we stop talking about it, it will go away” isn’t a valid solution.

What’s a weird smell you enjoy?
No idea why, but I love the faint rubber/burning smell of an underground train station. I can’t fully describe the smell, but you’ve probably smelled it before without paying attention to it. I also like the smell of raw ground beef. I don’t eat beef and haven’t purchased it in a while, but I still remember the smell.

Why do we dream?
Not sure of the scientific reason, but I’ve read it’s a way for our brains to process emotions, our day, etc. It’s amazing how I dream about people and places with great detail. I can remember facial features, clothing, the feel of the weather, and smells as if I’ve met these people or been to these places before. I often wonder how my mind creates these things. Yes, I have dreams of family and friends, but I would consider that common, but complete strangers and my feelings towards them are intriguing.

What’s the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
I was doing a kickboxing workout and punched myself in the lip. I was really into the workout and retracted my punch a bit too hard. I had a swollen lip for a week.At least my guard was up and my chin was down.

What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?
Any compliment that includes the words “for a.” Example, “You’re pretty for a [insert race, body type, hair color, etc.].” Any “compliment” mixed with “for a” is actually an insult. The person is basically saying based on your [insert race, body type, education, etc.] you’re an exception to whatever stereotype they have in their head of people who match your description.

What’s the craziest thing one of your teachers has done?
When I was in elementary school, my fifth-grade teacher and principal were competing for the attention and attraction of another teacher. I don’t remember if our parents pointed it out or if it was so obvious that we picked it up at 10-years-old.

If you could time travel, would you go to the past or future?
I’d go 1,000 years into the future. I’m curious about technology and how people have changed.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
Is there an afterlife? I know religions have their versions of an afterlife, but I would love to ask a dead person for a definitive answer. I don’t want an answer from someone who was dead then came back to life. 

What movie scared you as a kid?
I was terrified of the Terminator’s skeleton. In the first Terminator, the CGI made the skeletal frame look creepy at the end of the movie. I was also afraid of The Predator because he killed people in stealth mode while making that snarling sound.

What would be on the gag reel of your life?
My entire life is a gag reel.

 

 

 

 

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Random Thoughts

8 Dos and Don’ts When Traveling Through Marrakech’s Medina

I had the pleasure of traveling to Marrakech, Morocco with a friend late last year. Out of the multiple countries we visited during our vacation, Marrakech was the one location we researched the most. After watching several YouTube videos of travelers’ experiences, I knew of the dos and don’ts when traveling through Marrakech, but I was still 50/50 about the trip.

There were some aspects of Marrakech I enjoyed, but there were some things I had to adjust to. I’m not bashing Marrakech. Just sharing my personal experience mixed with what other travelers mentioned on YouTube and blogs.  This post is strictly from a woman’s perspective. Marrakech is a beautiful country and I did meet some cool people. Please note these tips are for if you’re staying in the medina (old town). If you’re staying in the new town (more modern) area, it may be a different experience. On that note, let’s get to it!

The Dos

IMG_20191203_142642.jpgContact your riad in advance to see if they provide taxi service from the airport. Before going to Marrakech, it’s rare to find fixed prices and you have to bargain for everything including taxis. Some taxis will charge double or triple while others will drop you off in a parking lot only to be guided by someone else, at extra charge, to your riad.

We stayed at the Rodamon Riad Marrakech. The taxi service to and from the airport was 150 Moroccan Dirham (MAD) ($15). The taxi driver drove through the medina and dropped us off at the Rodamon. When it was time to head back to the airport, the same taxi driver walked with us to his taxi and dropped us off at the airport. There was no additional fee or tipping.

Be prepared to bargain. If you want to purchase items in the souks, don’t settle for the first price. Merchants will always start off with a price three to four times the value. The best tip I learned from watching YouTube videos of people in Marrakech is to name your price and if the merchant doesn’t accept, walk away. Odds are, that merchant will bend to your price. Another tip is to take out the exact amount you want to spend before bargaining and claim that’s all you have. NEVER let the merchant see all of your money.

Ask your riad receptionist/host for advice about traveling through the medina and souks. We specifically asked for advice regarding the safety of two women exploring the area. Here’s the advice our receptionist/host gave:

  1. You WILL get lost, but don’t look lost. Walk with a purpose. The souks are a maze!
  2. If you need to ask for directions, ask a police officer and NOT a local. A local is more likely to lead you in the wrong direction then ask for money to get you back on track.
  3. When locals tell you you’re going the wrong way, ignore them. The locals know the tourists are looking for particular locations and will randomly tell you, “You’re going the wrong way. Make a left here.” This can lead you to a dead end and into an unwanted situation.

IMG_20191203_172611.jpgAsk your riad receptionist/host for restaurant recommendations. You have to remember you’re in another country. The refrigeration of food and sanitary preparation is different. Don’t just eat anywhere. Street food vendors can be risky, but a restaurant can provide tasty Moroccan food.

Make sure you get currency exchange. If you’re staying in the medina, don’t expect merchants to take credit cards. Ask your riad receptionist/host for the location of the cheapest currency exchange. You’ll get a better deal in the medina versus the airport.

Moroccan Dirham

Get a SIM card. I purchased a SIM at the airport for 100 MAD ($10). Having phone service will allow you to contact your riad if you get lost and need assistance, tour guides, or service to use GPS maps. Don’t rely on wifi service as it will be nonexistent or spotty.

Download an offline navigation map. You may think Google Maps will work in the souks, but it’s very inaccurate. My friend used MAPS.ME – Offline Map & Nav (Apple and Android), but I preferred Offline Maps & Navigation (Android). It was more stable and accurate than MAPS.ME.

Watch out for mopeds, bikes, and carts. The souks are dense with shops and people, but you also have to make way for vehicles. The vehicles will have the right away so step to the side and let them pass.

The Don’ts

Don’t sample the juice at fruit stands. I witnessed a merchant give the same sample cup of juice to multiple people but changed the straw. Some may say changing the straw is sanitary enough, but I beg to differ. If you want juice, just purchase the one you want.

Don’t drop your guard. Tourists stand out like a sore thumb and the locals will try to test you. If you’re a woman traveling alone or with other women, you’ll hear derogatory terms and whistles. Don’t let this rattle you. Keep going about your day, but be aware that men may follow you. Let it be known that you are aware of them and stay with the crowd. The ones that followed us turned back and eventually walked away. Also, be aware that some don’t respect personal space. Make sure you create a safe distance.

IMG_20191203_183747.jpgDon’t freak out when you get lost. Yes, I said when. As stated previously, the souks area is a densely packed maze with several dead ends. Use your navigation map, but don’t make it obvious that you’re following a map on your phone. Play it cool.

Don’t offer or allow a henna merchant to take your hand. You’ll find several henna tattoo merchants in the Jama El f’na Market. Only approach them if you are going to purchase henna. If you’re unsure, they’ll grab your hand and start designing a random henna tattoo then charge you for it. This happened to my friend, but thankfully, we talked our way out of it. Merchants can be very aggressive for a sale.

Don’t take pictures of the locals/merchants. Some merchants don’t want photos taken of their shop. If you snap a photo, they may ask for money. If you see anyone with snakes or monkeys in the Jama El f’na Market, they’ll try to show the animals to you, but it’s a picture trap and they’ll expect payment.

Don’t wear anything provocative. You’ll be in a country with a different religion that comes with a set of dress rules for women. Although you aren’t practicing the same religion, you should still respect their traditions. It’s recommended women should not wear tops that reveal cleavage, shoulders, or their stomach. Shorts are alright, but avoid showing too much thigh. This is to avoid too much unwanted attention.

Don’t leave Marrakech without drinking plenty of mint tea. As simple as their tea is, it’s delicious. Be sure to pay attention and ask how to properly prepare and serve the tea. If you can, pair it with traditional Moroccan pastries.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Yes, there will be distractions, but the medina is beautiful chaos. Be sure to learn some of their native languages. You hear Arabic, French, and Berber. Due to tourism, many locals speak English and Spanish. Natives appreciate when foreigners show interest in learning about their language and culture.

Travel is restricted right now, but once available, I highly recommend visiting Marrakech and the surrounding area.

 

 

 

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food, Food Blogs, Random Thoughts

The History of the Fork

Random word of the day is “fork.”

Did you know the use of a fork was once seen as evil?

The origins of the fork date back to the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium but some of the earliest known table forks made their debut in Ancient Egypt. The Qijia, who resided in part of present-day China, also are known to have used forks. The utensil migrated west after Byzantine princess, Theodora Anna Doukaina married the Venetian doge in 1075, brought the utensil to Venice. God-fearing Venetians saw the fork as a monstrosity.

God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks – his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating. -St. Peter Damian

split spoon.jpg

In the 16th century during the Italian Renaissance, the popularity of forks began to grow when Catherine de Medici brought along a set of eating forks from her native Florence to France. People also became more aware of hygiene and didn’t want their food covered in filth. Men still preferred to use their fingers as forks were deemed too feminine.

By the 18th century, the upper-class began carrying forks as part of their utensils set. During the industrialization period, the middle and lower-class gained access to the “split spoon.”

In 1633, John Winthrop, a founding father of the Massachusetts Bay Colony received a case of utensils accompanied by a note stating, “for the useful application of which I leave to your discretion.” At this time, the proper use of a fork was still unknown. Once the Americans grew accustomed to the fork, their dining etiquette was critiqued by international users. Everything from how Americans held the fork and whether or not the tines should be facing up or down as you ate the food was a source of controversy.

The popularity of forks blossomed and several variations were created.

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So the next time you use your fork, take a closer look. It had a long journey to become a staple in our lives.

 

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Random Thoughts

Answering Random Questions for Funsies

I’m using a random word generator for my word challenge and discovered the site also has a random question generator. I decided to answer some here for funsies.

What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t going to sell it anymore?
Toilet tissue. Let’s be honest, being able to wipe your ass is important.

If you inherited a private jet from a stranger, what would you do with it?
This is a tough one. My first thought is to travel the world, but the cost of maintenance, paying the pilots, and fuel would be expensive. The question states I only inherit the jet. No money. The best option would be to sell the jet and take the money.

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or have the agility of a cat?
I would rather breathe underwater. Why would I want the agility of a cat? I don’t plan on falling out of trees.

If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
Quenya. It’s the Elvish language from Lord of the Rings. Did you expect me to say a commonly used language? 😀

When scrolling through social media, do you prefer posts from celebrities or from your best friends?
Neither. I rather look at food and cats!

If you had unlimited resources, how would you live your life?
If this meant unlimited money, I would live stress-free. I wouldn’t have to worry about affording a quality level of health insurance. I would explore the world without worrying about running out of money.

What do people do too much of today?
Make everything political. If a cat is playing with a red ball of yarn on Instagram, the comments can get political. Can the cat just be a cat and play with a ball of yarn? Sheesh. It’s as if people these days are just looking to start an argument.

At what age did you become an adult?
Legally, 18. Mentally? It depends on the day.

 

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