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

Expectations are Low But Please Be Good! | Mortal Kombat (2021)

I’m creating more YouTube videos and figured why not talk about the recent Mortal Kombat (2021) trailer. I’m a fan of the franchise and really, really hope the film does well.

It’s my first video on this channel and I’ll definitely do more. If you want to listen to me ramble, here’s the video. 😀

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.

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.

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?

Exercising By Default…?

Many people are talking about how they’ve gained weight during the quarantine, but I’ve dropped 10 lbs. I’m exercising by default… sorta. I feel as though if things were normal, I wouldn’t be working out as much. I’d probably have distractions or other excuses.

Since I’m freelancing and outside is closed, I don’t have much else to do but workout to avoid sitting all day. My New Year’s goal was to get in better shape, but before quarantine, my friends wanted to hang with me more than usual. Not complaining, but where were they when I was being a fatty? LOL. I’m not the type to hang with friends and eat a salad while they enjoy beer and fried food.

I’m not new to exercise, but during this time, I’ve noticed some things that have happened… mostly mentally.

My cravings change.
I start to crave the unhealthiest foods imaginable. Instead of reaching for an unhealthy treat, I workout. By the time I’m done, I find myself craving a smoothie or another alternative to what I was originally contemplating consuming. Usually I’d grab the cookie or order delivery and regret it later. Recently, I had a Dominos tab open with an order in my cart, but I had a cardio workout paused in my video player. I honestly sat for 30 minutes debating if I wanted to be bad or healthy. I chose to be healthy.

I divert my mind.
The most beautiful thing about working out is that my mind gets distracted. How many times have you found yourself stressing out about something and it goes away during your workout? People with stress and anxiety lean on exercise to give themselves a mental break from their worries of the day. I’ve had quite a few things to stress about and fitness has prevented one or two meltdowns.

Music motivates me.
Have you ever worked out to music and found yourself going to the beat? I could feel exhausted, but once my favorite jam comes on and the beat drops, I suddenly feel rejuvenated. Sometimes I’ll put my workout clothes on and pace around with a hot beat to get me going. Try to pick upbeat music during your intense workouts and slow beats during cooldowns, yoga, and/or pilates.

Who doesn’t want to burn calories?
I use a heart rate monitor and can view calories burned during a workout. If I’m at 450 calories, I’m often motivated to keep going to burn 500. As basic as that sounds, sometimes it motivates me to extend my workout… as long as I have the energy.

Confidence improves as my body changes.
According to the scale, I’ve dropped weight. I still have some fat to get rid of to see fully defined muscles, but I know I’m stronger. My arms are more defined. At one point, I would get tired doing 10 pushups on my knees. Now I can do 15 on my toes.

It boosts endorphins.
Endorphins are nothing, but neurotransmitters of your brain that make you feel good. When you workout, the production of endorphins is enhanced. Your mood automatically boosts or improves when these neurotransmitters are increased. Instead of taking a nap, I workout. If I feel sluggish, I’ll do squats or run in place to get the blood flowing and trigger endorphins.

I have a buddy who’s also working out.
It’s always great to have a friend who’s going through a fitness journey. She’s thinner than me and does different workouts, but that doesn’t matter. I only point it out because people have a habit of comparing themselves to people on different journeys. What’s important is we motivate each other and share great workouts we discover on YouTube. We haven’t seen each other face-to-face since February, but we’re both motivated to be in better shape the next time we see each other. It’s like we’re getting ready for a reveal.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How Establishing a Morning Routine Improves Your Health

A Morning Routine is More Beneficial Than You Think

Does your morning routine consist of multiple scheduled alarms going off every 10-30 minutes? Do you grab your phone and check social media first thing in the morning? Are you dreading your day before it starts? If you never feel on top of your game or as productive as you could be, it’s time to establish a morning routine.  

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work from home or an office, a student, or retired, there’s always something that needs to be accomplished in the day. 

Establishing a morning routine can help boost your productivity, keep you organized, and feel successful. 

Why Bother?

You’re the leader of your life. 

You deserve to start your morning with positivity and confidence. The goal of a morning routine isn’t about trying to accomplish as many tasks as possible. It’s about waking up with a focused mind and accomplishing one task at a time without feeling stressed or overwhelmed. 

Not all morning routines are equal. Don’t emulate or compare your morning routine to others. Set your intentions. What do you want out of your day? 

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Morning Routines Improves Mental Clarity

Waking knowing you have a lot to do but not knowing where to begin is daunting. As a result, you say, “I’ll do it later,” procrastinate throughout the day and suddenly feel like you’re playing catchup. A great solution is to plan your day the night before. List your goals in an order that’s do-able for you. The list doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated. You can start with something as small as making your bed. Having a list creates order and clarity of what you’re doing with your life at that moment. If you can set the pace the night before, your morning self will thank you. 

Your Physical Health Can Improve

With mental clarity comes less stress. Less stress means less muscle tension and aches. Incorporating a workout into your plan will elevate endorphins, improve your energy, mood, and help motivate you. Whether it’s cardio, yoga, pilates, or strength training, the ecstatic feeling after a workout is pure bliss.  

Establishing a Routine Boosts Your Productivity and Confidence

Your mind and body are connected, so when you’re mentally focused, energy flows to whatever the mind concentrates on. The energy you express plays a crucial role in your productivity. Productivity is not always about how much you get done but the quality at which you complete a task.

When you complete a task and proud of the quality, you build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy. As you continue with your morning routine, your self-efficacy will improve making you feel more effective with time-management and productivity.

You’re Less Likely to Forget 

How many times have you had a mental checklist and forgot everything within 10 minutes only to have the list miraculously pay you a mental visit before bed? When you establish a morning routine, your priorities are visible.  According to a 2017 study, writing important details boosts overall memory and cognitive performance. So, maybe instead of typing your morning routine, whip out the trusty pen and paper. Place your daily list on the fridge, on your work desk, or any easily accessible location.  

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Tips to Get Started

Determine Core Tasks and What Makes You Happy

The beautiful thing about establishing a morning routine is it’s created by you, for you. 

We all have core tasks that need to be accomplished. Whether it’s getting the kids ready, taking the dog out for a walk, work, meal prepping, etc. Determine your daily responsibilities that can go undone. 

When it comes to what makes you happy, do you prefer to start your morning with an energizing workout? Do you want to write more? Would you like to take daily naps? Go for it! Keep in mind you may not be able to do everything that makes you happy, but sprinkling in activities that increases serotonin is never a bad idea.

Be Flexible and Consistent 

Life happens, so don’t be hard on yourself. Allow room to adapt and adjust. Do what’s right for you. The goal of establishing a morning routine is to create a fruitful day, not a stressful one. The most helpful habits keep you consistent. As with any new routine, it will feel natural over time. What once felt like an obligation will become something you look forward to. 

Create a Not-to-do List 

Whether it’s falling down the YouTube rabbit hole, we’ve all done it, mindlessly scrolling through social media for a long period, or exposing yourself to Debbie Downer news, keep your mind focused on productive activities. It’s alright to take breaks and chat with friends and family, but try not to let it transition into watching cat videos regardless of how adorable they are. 

Be Realistic

If you’re used to waking up around 7 am, don’t suddenly decide to wake up at 4 am the next morning. If you have a specific time you wish to awaken, set your alarm 30 mins earlier each day until you comfortably reach your desired goal. Several professionals are team 4:30 am, but if you prefer to not rise before the sun, choosing a different time is perfectly alright. If you aren’t a morning person, adjust your routine according to your schedule. If you wake up at 10 am, start your routine at that time.

Valorant’s Closed Beta is a Success, but for How Long?

Valorant burst onto the scene with record-breaking viewership.

Valorant’s closed beta surged in popularity faster than anyone could have predicted. The hyper-competitive game is the perfect recipe for niche gamers moving away from multiplayer battle royales. 

Valorant skyrocketed to the top of the Twitch chart. It surpassed 1.7 million peak viewers breaking the record set by 2019 League of Legends World Championships Finals. Within the last seven days, the closed beta has accumulated over 103 million views. Gaming lifestyle company, 100 Thieves, recently held the first Valorant invitational tournament one week after its beta release. The eight-team event featured popular streamers including Shroud, Timthetatman, DrDisrespect, Ninja, and Summit1g. With this much success, can Riot Games’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch hybrid maintain its momentum?

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Photo Credit: PC Gamer

Despite Valorant dominating the number one Twitch slot, some veteran streamers have questioned if Valorant is watchable. Veteran streamer Jaryd ‘Summit1g’ Lazar shared his opinion stating, “I think the abilities are going to be its [Valorant’s] undoing. If I’m being 100% honest, I think from a viewer’s perspective – I was thinking about while playing…it’s very slow and bland and [has] these stupid and boring chokepoints.”

Veteran streamers play an important role in the first impressions of a game. If they feel a game is bland and won’t help them maintain viewers, they’ll no longer stream it and move on to their favorites or the next big game. Many lower-tier streamers tend to follow the wave of veterans to grow their channels.

The official game won’t come out for months but, according to Twitch Tracker, there has been a dip in viewership despite more Twitch channels streaming the game. 

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The drop in viewers may be due to big streamers with high viewership streaming Valorant for the first week and gradually decreasing their playtime. On April 14, Riot expanded its closed beta access which accounts for the increased channels beginning on the 15th. 

Valorant’s record-breaking exposure has made it a success, but the true achievement will be measured in downloads, revenue, and players’ frequency. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, released in 2012, currently has over 1.1 million players on Steam. Its peak player spike of 1.3 million occurred this month at the same time as Valorant’s beta release. Valorant will need a strong player base to maintain its current dominance. 

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Photo Credit: Newsweek

Valorant’s lead producer, Anna Donlon, and game director, Joe Ziegler are monitoring beta feedback and making additional changes going into launch. There’s no word on additional levels, characters, guns, and abilities, but they’re undoubtedly coming. With the possibility of overexposure, Valorant’s creators will have to release fresh content throughout the beta until launch or go on hiatus and release updates periodically. The last thing Riot Games wants is Valorant to become stale before its official release.

The long-term prospects of Valorant are unclear. It has the potential for greatness, but only time will tell if it has the staying power of the games it’s borrowing from.