Entertainment

Squid Game Review: That Was Unexpected

I saw the Netflix trailer for Squid Game a month ago and figured I’d check it out. Initially thought it was a movie, but discovered it was a nine-episode season. First thought, “Ah man, I don’t feel like getting into a series. Pass!” Nine hours later… didn’t regret a thing, but I have so many questions.

Little backstory if you haven’t watched and please note, this post will contain major spoilers.

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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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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
food

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

I usually exchange food gifts with a friend. She had one simple request. That simple request was to bake her some vegan cinnamon rolls.

I’ve made many things, but not once did I ever consider making cinnamon rolls, let alone vegan cinnamon rolls.

She gave me a recipe she thought I should try and realized the only thing vegan about the cinnamon rolls was the replacement of butter and milk. Luckily, I already consume a milk substitute, but I had to get introduced to vegan butter.

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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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Entertainment, Video

Split/Second: One of the Best Underrated Racing Games

While searching through Gamestop a few years ago, I discovered Split/Second. I knew nothing about the game, but the sales associate said it’s worth the buy. I popped the game into my PS3 and instantly fell in love.

As a driver in Split/Second, you’re part of a reality TV stunt show. Your goal is to destroy your competitors by activating powerplays. These powerplays would destroy buildings, roads, and cause other massive explosions. Just try not to wreck yourself. Yes, I’ve done it several times. Split/Second is one game that made me curse way more than I should have while playing a video game. It was a combination of joyful frustration and laughs.

Split/Second was released in May 2010 but flew under the radar until years after its release. I don’t remember when I purchased it, but I estimate around 2013. The intense racing game eventually gained a cult following and petitions for a sequel to be made. Unfortunately, the developing company, Black Rock Studio, went out of business soon after Split/Second’s release. The game ended on a cliffhanger that fans may never get answers to.

I created this video years ago when I first started using Premiere Pro. The first half features my gameplay. Just watching it makes me want to play and beat the game for the third time. It will always be a favorite and no racing game has come close.

 

 

 

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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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Random Thoughts

Respect and Recognize Your Employees

Today’s word of the day is “employees.”

I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing people throughout my career. Everyone had diverse backgrounds, personalities, and specialty they could contribute to the job. I’m happy to say I’ve remained friends with many of them. The only problem, the employees weren’t appreciated by management and/or the CEOs.

I’ve worked with two teams that were dedicated to their job and wanted to see the company thrive. We came up with amazing ideas and presented them to management only to get shot down. Both of these jobs had managements that would outright call your idea stupid in front of everyone. Even when we all agreed how great the idea was, the managers would go into a full-on rant as to why we’re all wrong. Sometimes the debates would go way off topic, get personal, and become a shouting match. It was ridiculous. Then lo and behold, another company had the same idea, ran with it, and it was a success for them. Then management yelled at us for not thinking of that idea when they were the ones who shot it down three months prior.

via GIPHY

One job, if they had listened to its employees, could have been elevated to the virality of Buzzfeed. Instead, the CEOs were oblivious to trends and had other money goals that had nothing to do with us. They were failing so much, they were losing money. By the time they actually did listen to us, it was too late. We were laid off. Not only were we laid off for financial reasons, but we also discovered the CEOs hadn’t paid the rent in months and they were getting evicted.  I think this is possibly one of the biggest company fails I’ve experienced. We could have been great.

Management needs to respect and recognize their employees. A well-rounded group of talent doesn’t come that often. When you have a group that is visibly dedicated to their work, take note of those employees. Don’t dismiss them or their ideas. Let employees know they’re valued. They were hired for their expertise. Utilize it. Listen, absorb, and implement their ideas when it can add to the success of the team and company.

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food, Food Blogs

’90s Candy You Probably Forgot About

A friend and I were reminiscing about our childhoods and landed on a lengthy candy conversation. We were naming candies we used to love, forgot about, and wished we had at that moment. When we thought about the sweet treats we used to eat, we quickly realized our teeth should have fallen out a long time ago. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

**I know some of these still exist and/or were in production before the ’90s.**

Bubble Jug

bubblegum.jpg

Remember the powder we shook into our mouth that turned into bubblegum? We already had packs of bubblegum, so why anyone thought it was a good idea to turn it into a powder is beyond me.

Life Savers Holes

holes

Life Savers Gummies already existed, so maybe the company was trying to prevent waste by selling the holes they punched out of the ring gummies. I remember having these a handful of times before they quietly disappeared from stores.

Mamba

mambas.jpg

Whenever I could afford these, I considered them an upgrade from Now & Later. THESE were delicious, but my circle of friends would try to sell or swap out the lemon flavor. Why does the lemon flavor always get the bad rap?

Mega Jawbreaker 

ball

The mega jawbreaker never made any sense to me. It took forever to finish a normal jawbreaker. Why would anyone want to buy a mega-size only to lick it for five years? OK, maybe not five years, but you get the point. My friends used to break it into pieces with a hammer.

String Thing

string things.gif

You were either a Fruit Roll-ups or String Thing fan. String Thing, in my opinion, was long Twizzlers, but with better flavor.

Push Pop Candy

push pops.jpg

I told my friend this was the best candy invention ever. The idea that kids were constantly running around playing and needed a candy that could retract back into its packaging and placed in their pocket was amazing.

Now and Later Candy

now-and-later candy.jpg

These were my go-to! One mini pack cost 25¢ and a long pack cost 50¢. For the longest time, I never knew there was an “and” in the name. I referred to them as Now Laters.

Candy/Bubblegum Cigarettes and Cigars

I remember my first pack of smokes. When you blew into the cigarettes, the sugar would act like smoke. They would never sell these to kids today for obvious reasons. Good thing I knew smoking was bad growing up. I can see how this could have led to kids wanting to smoke. Yikes!

Laffy Taffy

laffy taffy.jpg

My mouth watered when I thought of these. If I didn’t have enough money for Now and Laters, Laffy Taffy was my next option. I think they cost about 10¢ a piece.

Sugar Daddy and Sugar Babies

I can go on forever about candy from my childhood, but I’ll end it on this teeth buster. I didn’t eat these that often because the feeling of my teeth being ripped out wasn’t pleasant.

Button Candy

button candy

I’m going to be 100% honest. This had to be one of the dumbest candy ever! The struggle to get a “button” off without peeling the paper was a struggle. I can’t count how many times I either tossed the “button” or ate it with the paper on because I didn’t want to waste candy. To make things worse, they weren’t even good.

If you ate any of these candies as a kid and still have your teeth, kudos! I know I didn’t list every candy. If your childhood favorite isn’t on the list, list yours in the comments.

 

 

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