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

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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Fitness and Health

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.

 

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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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