My thoughts on: Sleep

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The other night I had a dream. I found myself sitting in a philosophy class back at Akron U. It was apparent to the professor and to the students that I didn’t belong. Or rather, there was a time where I belonged… but it wasn’t at that moment. I protested to the professor (who happened to be Dr. LiVecchi- the professor who intimidated me the most all those years ago) that I had actually graduated with a bachelor’s in philosophy. The students mocked that it was almost 10 years ago (bollocks… they were right! ) and that it was not likely that I had retained anything. Dr. LiVecchi asked me who my favorite philosopher was. “Easy. Kierkegaard.” I snapped. (haven’t mentioned that chap in a long time) and he asked what my favorite work of his was. “Fear and Trembling.” I snapped back.

And then I woke up.

For 4 years while I studied philosophy the names and books of philosophers were always swimming on the surface of my brain. Once I graduated, those names began to sink down… down… down deep into the spooky unknown depths of my brain. Up until that dream, I figured that all of that information was gone completely, leaving only fragments of words and names that no longer had any meaning or context. So out of curiously I reached over, grabbed my phone, and did a quick google search to see who wrote Fear and Trembling. And wouldn’t you know it- I was right. It was very exciting to learn that all that information was still in there… but the more I thought about it, the more uneasy it made me.

What’s going on in that squishy brain blob up there? More importantly, what is going on when it’s asleep? I’ve read a number of theories about humans and why/what happens when we sleep… and they are all pretty cool. I’ll list them not in order of importance, but in the order that I remember them. Because I’m tired.

5) Science still doesn’t know WHY we sleep. More or less. It is considered to be one of science’s great mysteries, but there are a few theories floating around out there. Unlike hibernation, which is utilized to regulate and slow physical functions- breathing, heart rate, and body temperature- sleep serves to benefit the brain moreso than the body. We don’t hibernate at night- because it’s important to be alerted easily (to, for example, be able to hear the ice cream truck far enough in advance to gather up some loose change). A few theories point to aid in consolidating new memories, and repairing cognitive functions. But… just imagine that you are a member of an advanced civilization who crash lands on Earth and begins to study the creatures living here. You admire their thirst for knowledge, revel in the magnificent things they can do with food, read their books, listen to their music, converse with them on deep existential topics… and then BOOM: they all fall unconscious for about 8 hours.

4)Lost Identity. Imagine that you are here with me and we’re talking. I ask you ‘what makes you special?’ And you spout some witty remark to try and be cute and I roll my eyes and say ‘No, seriously… what would you say makes you you?’ You would probably say that your thoughts and opinions… your goals and your dreams… all of which are a product of the experiences and the memories that you have made make up you. But what happens when you are unconscious (sleeping)? Is that person laying in bed still you? When you roll over in the middle of the night to flip your pillow to the cool side… who did that? It’s like turning off your computer at the end of every night. The next morning you don’t really think about the small miracle that happens when you turn it back on and all of your saved data is right where you left it. Now take that same computer idea and apply is to your goopy, sticky, squishy brain.

3)Dreams. Holy smokes do people love talking about their dreams. Some people think it’s foreshadowing, or it’s a portal to other dimensions, or it’s a way to talk to the deceased. Science has a few theories… all of which are equally cool. Threat simulation might be the coolest- it’s a way for our brain to prepare for actual threats we may find when awake. That’s just how great our brains are… while we are sleeping anyway. My brain runs ‘threat simulation’ when I’m awake… but during daylight hours it is classified as ‘worry’ and people tell me to ‘calm the eff down.’ Some also think it’s just the brain’s way of making sense of the randomly firing neurons during sleep. To me, that theory makes the most sense. It’s the reason why I once had a dream about swatting flies while shopping at the mall. Fired neurons usually correspond with thoughts… but if you’re not around to think you brain picks the thoughts for you.

2) Nightmares. If the topic ever comes up about nightmares, I can talk your ear off. When you dream and it’s random and weird you don’t think a whole lot about it. You wake up and go on with the rest of your day. But nightmares are different. Nightmares elicit feelings that linger with you throughout the day. I had a reoccurring nightmare for about a week about an old woman pulling a dollhouse on a wagon filled with body parts. If I saw it in a movie I would say ‘whatevs, BFD. That’s not scary’. But for some reason, within that dream, I was HORRIFIED of that dollhouse. My unconscious mind tied a feeling a acute horror (something I don’t experience in my stupid suburban life) to that dollhouse, and I couldn’t shake the feeling because it was something I had yet to experience.

1) Requiem for a Dream. That’s such a good movie, isn’t it? If you haven’t seen it I highly suggest you go check it out.  I don’t have 5 things for this list. I’m sleepy.

 

*edit: While thinking back on old philosophy professors that I had, I decided to look them up on Akron U’s website… and found my favorite one retired. I looked him up on the interwebs to see if I could see what he is up to and found out some disturbing facts: He was in a car accident because he was drunk/on drugs in 2001 (at the age of 70!), and his house looks like the house from Grey Gardens. This dude was so amazing- he used to have long conversations with Oliver Sacks that he would record and play for us in class. He worked on a board that determined which people should get organ transplants over others. He wore tweet suits and bow ties and smoked a pipe- a real cliche within the philosophy department.  

 

My thoughts on: Politics

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In moments of frustration, I have come on here to vent about politics. And I never hit publish. That being said, if you are reading this you are reading my first public political rant. This is a big day. I keep my lips zipped when it comes to politics for one reason: expressing my opinion changes NOTHING. Not only does it change nothing, but it also makes my environment just a little bit worse. I’ve been called spineless for saying that both sides have merits and I wont cheer for a team. And since I’m an open person, i thought “DOES that make me spineless?” After much consideration, I came to this conclusion: No, it doesn’t make me spineless- it makes me smart. Because only in politics can you get away with calling a friend spineless.

I have read (most of) Bill Clinton’s autobiography My Life (cut me some slack- it’s a BIG BOOK.). I have read George W Bush’s autobiography Decision Points, and I will read Barack Obama’s autobiography presumably titled Why Can’t I Just Eat My WaffleWhat I learned was that each man was (spoiler alert) human, and they honestly wanted to make the country better and leave a positive legacy. Picking apart every little aspect of a candidates life is such a LAME way to spend one’s time.

This time around, i’m not going to do a top five list.

Top 100 conversation topics that are better than politics

  1. Cats in boxes
  2. Hot dogs
  3. Project Runway
  4. Jurassic Park 5
  5. Tartar sauce (it’s just pickles and mayonnaise!)
  6. Star Wars
  7. Jnco jeans
  8. Conveyor belt sushi restaurants
  9. Super Mario Bros. 2
  10. The cupcake dog
  11. Chernobyl
  12. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  13. Where do all the bobby pins go?
  14. Neptune
  15. Mighty fine a’pickin and a’singin
  16. Sleeping
  17. Vanity license plates that restate the type of vehicle
  18.  Color tinted sunglasses
  19. Multiverse Portals
  20. Origin of words
  21. Anvils in Bugs Bunny cartoons
  22. Shrimp cocktail
  23. Asymmetrical haircuts
  24. Bourbon
  25. Whatever happened to Psy?
  26. Buddhism
  27. Sam from Clarissa Explains it All
  28. Circus Atari
  29. Goats
  30. Nintendo Amibos
  31. Spicy food
  32. Dental work
  33. Gravel?
  34. Blind dates
  35. Chop sticks
  36. Google
  37. Oregon Trail
  38. Food from trucks
  39. Abandoned amusement parks
  40. Suicide notes
  41. Fallout 4
  42. El Chupacabra
  43. Pluto: still a planet in our hearts
  44. Groot
  45. Dungeons and Dragons
  46. Target
  47. Portland?
  48. It’s weird we all know how to spell Mississippi.
  49. Middle Earth
  50. Urban Fantasy Novels
  51. Menches Brother’s Hamburgers
  52. Deep fried candy bars
  53. Who is Sargent Pepper?
  54. Bento Boxes
  55. Myspace
  56. Sunblock
  57. Minecraft
  58. South Korea
  59. Hot or Not: Netanyahu
  60. Baby Boomers
  61. Curb your Enthusiasm
  62. Boss Monster
  63. Left handed people
  64. System of a Down
  65. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
  66. Dodgeball
  67. The Weather
  68. Sport
  69. Christmas
  70. Personal Winter Experiments
  71. Kierkegaard
  72. Chickens
  73. Antarctica
  74. Lasagna Soup
  75. Hoard vs Alliance
  76. Rolling Acres Mall
  77. Ships in bottles
  78. 80’s aerobics
  79. Disney’s Pocahontas
  80. Watermelon
  81. Catherine
  82. Saying the name “carl” like “coral”
  83. Ski Free
  84. Reebok hi-tops
  85. San Diego!
  86. Affordable home remodeling
  87. Being able to count really high
  88. Feeling healthy
  89. Getting desert at a restaurant
  90. Birds are modern dinosaurs
  91. Rain
  92. Breakfast for dinner
  93. Amazon Pantry
  94. Mad Max: Fury Road
  95. Internet cat gifs
  96. Troy Baker
  97. Websites that turn your name into a face
  98. Marshmallows
  99. Times Square
  100. Awesome blogs

My thoughts on: Winter

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Christmas time is so great- all the decorations and the smells and the sounds… I especially love the juxtaposition of these things against a beautiful white backdrop. But there’s a problem.

IN NEVER SNOWS DURING CHRISTMAS.

After we take down the trees, and the lights, and throw away the egg nog… just like clockwork… it starts to snow. And snow. And snow. and it doesn’t stop. (My, i’m sounding like quite the oppressed Midwesterner) Believe it or not… I kind of like the cold. But i hate shoveling snow, and i miss wearing sneakers. And i bought a 2 seater hybrid last year like a ding dong… so driving on snowy roads is terrifying. And for some reason- it’s considered strange for a 30 year old woman to go sled riding alone. It’s cute when you’re little, and considered ironic when you’re in your early 20’s. But for some reason if i showed up at Firestone Park with my Little Mermaid Sled without my kids… i’d get some weird looks. (Add that into the PRO column for having kids). It’s getting to me, this winter. I can’t go running, i can’t go for a fast drive on the freeway blasting music with my windows down, i can’t walk to the grocery store, i can’t open my house windows when one of the cats thinks the living room is a litter box. How am i supposed to deal?

With that being said. Today’s list:

Top 5 reasons why winter doesn’t have to be so bad.

5) The clothes are like wearing blankets. And they hide extra pie. Ugg boots look stupid, but holy cow are they comfortable and warm. Pair it with some wool socks, a pair of fleece lined leggings and an oversized sweater… and it feels like you never got out of bed. ::air guitar::

4) Netflix. Netflix. Netflix. Bad weather can leave you with nothing else to do other than to plow through 3 seasons of House of Cards. Not like i did that. I do declare, i wont be subjected to such wild and unfounded accusations.

3) Conversation. I think that it’s cute, and kind of quaint, when people talk about the weather. There was a guy stocking bananas at the grocery store who asked some old woman (presumably one he knew) how she was. She said with the most miserable face “i’m sick of the snow. no one will plow my driveway.” And it led to the most adorable interchange. Or one day i walked to the grocery store after our first bad snow storm and decided to get a bowl of soup before i went home. While i was eating it there was a group of retired men sitting at the table across from me and all they talked about was the weather. Call me a weirdo, but it made me smile. It’s like living in Stars Hollow. Only i’m not smart… or particularly witty.

2) Pie. Did i mention the clothes allow for more pie? Sadly it’s hard coming up with 5 things…

1) The snowpocalypse solution. This is a new idea drafted by two minds delirious from cabin fever. And this is the reason for the post. Get ready to travel full circle, friends. Ok. SO. Every time there is a predicted snow storm (or snowpocalypse as i call them) i always go to the grocery store for snacks. (my reference to my trips to the grocery store in this post is borderline embarrassing). I’ll buy a hickory farms snack tray, some hummus, some fruits (to remind me of seasons past) coke, and chips. None of which we need to eat… and most of the times we don’t eat it. But then adam mentioned how sad it was that we took all the Christmas decorations down. And he put on some Christmas music. So i said: WHAT IF… instead of going to the grocery store for snowpocalypse snacks i went to target and bought snowpocalypse presents and wrapped them in Christmas paper? It would make being snowed in just that much better… and we would get a little taste of Christmas when there’s ACTUALLY SNOW ON THE GROUND.

 

end rant.

 

My thoughts on: Kindness

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WARNING: THIS POST GETS KIND OF CHEESY

 

It’s been a rough week. I submitted the first chapter of a book i’ve been working on to this website that is run by a published author/editor and has peer contributions. It took about two weeks for my submission to end up on the front page of this site. Want to know the address of the site it was on?

Too bad.

Let me tell you why. For two weeks i pondered how this chapter would be received. The optimist in me (the one who should be smacked in the face with a hot frying pan) Thought it couldn’t fail- it had everything that a first chapter should have. I had a few people read it over before i sent it- and it got the thumbs up go-ahead. And worse case scenario, the peers would hate it but the editor would appreciate it. I’ve been writing for quite some time time- my experience has to show. And then it happened- i got the notification that my chapter had been submitted. I logged on to the site… and was met with some pretty harsh criticism from the editor. So i went about my day, and thought “surely the peers that frequent the site will vote that it’s good” (there’s a polling option on whether or not you would continue reading). When i got home that evening, i was met with super harsh criticism and an overwhelming amount of NOs. There were only two people who voted yes: myself and (speculating here) a confused old lady who though that she was voting no). Now i feel that it should be noted that these harsh criticisms did not make me crumble and cry and mope and give up writing. It just stung a bit and made me think “MAN, the internet is harsh.”

I’m involved with a writing group with a bunch of friends, and we all write and critique each others work. Even when a friend is a bit too harsh on something i wrote, its ok- because they’re my friend. I know that they are not coming from a malicious place. But when a random internet stranger does it… it feels a bit like being sucker punched. So, in light of this harsh dose of digital reality, the list this time around:

Top 5 reasons you should be kind. 

5) You could live forever in someone’s memories. I will never forget the guy who pulled up in the El Camino and asked if I needed a ride when he saw that i had been waiting 2 hours for a tow truck at the gas station. Or the teenage girl walking down the sidewalk who asked if i needed help carrying in my groceries. Or the neighbor who brought over a tray of delicious food when your grandma died. Who wouldn’t want to hold a place like that in the special “memories worth keeping” file in someone’s brain??

4) You’re going to die. Spoiler alert! You get one shot at this life, and that’s it. You could spend it making people feel down and dejected so that you yourself can sit high atop a mountain of others’ despair, only to inevitably die and be forgotten… OR you can be kind, and helpful. And maybe your words could inspire someone to do something great. And their great works will be passed along to the next generation…. and in essence… you will be living forever!

3) You could be the dedication in someone’s book. Yup, this is the driving force behind this post. Writing a book is hard. It takes a long time to conjure up a story, hone this skill to write it, and find the time to put it down. All the while you are fighting the voices that are telling you “No one will read this, why are you doing this?” When you are critical of someone’s hard work, you are tearing them down. This could be said of any craft. If you want to be on a dedication page, receive a bouquet of flowers, a high five, or a really long and awkward hug—- be constructive AND kind when reviewing something.

2) Tittat. It should never, ever be the reason you are nice… it’s just a perk. Tit for tat- if you are nice to me, i’ll be nice to you. It’s the reason why 100 people at McDonalds got free food that one day. And why did it stop? Some jerk. Some jerk who wasn’t a nice guy.

1) We’re all in this together. Winters are cold, jobs are monotonous, bills are expensive, the good foods are never the ones good for you, people get sick, things break or get lost, and there’s never enough time. But the one thing we can control- people don’t have to be cruel.

My thoughts on: Being happy

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I’ve been kind of down lately. I’ve been grumbling about stupid things like broken coffee makers, slow work weeks, boring weeknights, and health food. I realize that when i look upon the bigger picture, my first world problems are lame, and i am equally lame for letting them get to me. Sometimes, i need a reminder that the world is a playground and i just have to stop worrying about every single little thing and just enjoy the tiny little things that make life pretty great.

Top 5 things that you should be happy about. 

5) Going for a jog. … … … hahaha- just kidding. Running is the worst. In fact, NOT RUNNING is number 5. You know how great you feel after you have just gone for a run? Screw what science tells us about endorphines— we feel great because we have STOPPED RUNNING. For too long humans teetered at the top of the food chain, constantly on the lookout for hungry bears. Or Mountain lions. Or poisonous snakes. Or the honey badger. How many times did we, as a species, have to run for our lives from angry predators? A lot, i bet. And now, after the brutal and bloody demise of so many of our ancestors… we now run for fun? It’s spitting in the face of all the half eaten stumps of people who couldn’t outrun a bear that came before us. Whenever i’m feeling sad or down, i remind my self “I don’t have to run. I have the ability to sit on this couch and watch TV without the fear of a bear ripping my arms off and beating me with them.” Just take a moment and let that sink in.

4) Driving. When did driving become such a chore? People will pay 50 bucks to get into Cedar Point to wait in 3 hour long lines to sit in a cart that goes down a hill at 75 miles per hour. A gross, rickety metal cart littered with nervous people’s funnel cake farts. They don’t have a radio, you have to sit next to a stranger, and you will most likely lose an article of clothing at some point. What people fail to realize is that they have a roller coaster car that they paid thousands of dollars for just sitting in their driveway…. they just don’t know where to take it for a fun drive. You know how to learn where all the great driving hills are? Live in an area that gets buried in snow every winter… and you will learn REAL FAST where the steep hills are.

3) NES Games. Yeah, maybe watching an old episode of Full House will briefly take you back to the good old days before you were a grown up and were haunted by grown up responsibilities. But there is nothing like playing an old NES game. And different games hit you in different feels. If i pop in the original Super Mario Bros., it reminds me of basically any random day of my childhood, because that was one of the few NES games that we owned. Duck Tales, on the other hand, reminds me of those magical friday nights and saturday mornings after you got to rent a game from the video store. Sonic Spinball reminds me of Christmas and those popcorn trio tins. And no matter how bad life beat you down on that particular day, when you pop in one of those old games you are presented with a challenge you can actually reach: Save the princess. Every time i sit down with the intentions of saving the princess, i use the secret warp tunnel and then die in level 5 because i didn’t get warmed up enough. One day… one day i shall beat that game.

2) Space. It’s pretty cool. And pretty big… and it just keeps expanding. And if the multiverse theory is true, there is a place where you are reading this dressed as Batman. You can look up into the night sky with a head full of domestic worries and concerns, and in another universe, a you dressed as batman may be wondering if somewhere in the universe there is a you leading a simple life with simple problems. Think on that for a minute, and then unwind with this picture of a cat with its head in bread.

1) Off switches. I often need to be reminded of this. I feel like if the animals we live with were able to articulate their thoughts, they would ask us “Why do you get so upset by things that come out of those bright shiny boxes?” It’s a hard thing to do (why, i don’t really know) but the amount of peace i get from shutting off my computer and my phone for even just an evening is alarming. I love that i have a device in my pocket that keeps me in contact with everyone all the time. I love that if some one wants to tell me something at any time of the day- they can. But sometimes, taking a digital vacation reminds you that the things you are worrying about really aren’t that big of a deal after all.

My thoughts on: Turning 30

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I’ve been paying closer attention to life lately. I’ve been noticing that my friends are not only acting older… but they’re LOOKING older. Not in a bad way, of course. Let’s see, how can i put this. Ok. How about this: If we were to be cast in a new season of Saved By The Bell, we wouldn’t be cast as the students any more, but the teachers. Plus i saw that a girl i used to go to school with was actually in a commercial for a kids toy- as the mom. When i was little the Mom in those commercials always seemed so old. But they were probably 30ish. Instinct tells me that i should be bummed about this. But whenever i get a moment to think, i try and look on the bright side.

Top 5 reasons why turning 30 is pretty cool: 

5) You can look both forwards AND backwards. When you’re young, they say that you have your whole life ahead of you, and it’s all so new and exciting. But where i am now… it’s pretty cool. I can look back and laugh at all the stupid the crazy things i did in my 20’s: mostly things i regret, some i treasure and revisit often.  I can also look ahead at all the future trips we’ll take, people we’ll make, houses we’ll buy, goals we’ll achieve. In a 4 act play, the curtain is going up on act 2: The characters have been introduced and you’re just beginning to understand where this play is going. It sounds sappy…and i hate sappy- but this is truly my outlook on life right now.

4) Being boring makes you endearing instead of a loser. This is purely speculative- because i myself may be considered a loser by everyone and just don’t know it. (And that is a very likely scenario). I just love it when i see people post on Facebook about their netflix marathons and their crate of chinese take out for dinner. I think those people are awesome. What i hate is blurry drunken duck-face selfies with captions littered with “inside joke” nonsense. I feel like at 30, we’re at the point where were are deemed “cool” by who we are, not what we do and how many people we were with when we did it. BUT, like i said before, this whole thing could have been written by one big fat loser.

3) Sir William Joel finally speaks to you. You go your whole life saying “Bah” whenever you hear a Billy Joel song. You think he’s lame and tame and boring. But then one day…you’ve had a long day at work. And your head hurts from all the ringing phones. And your pants are fitting a little too tight because you’re getting fat. Then “She’s Got a Way” comes on the radio and you’re holding back tears. You are so moved, and the world looks different. The colors are more vibrant. You feel the need to make floral arrangements. “Who sang that beautiful song” You ask. And discover it was Mr. Billy Joel. It’s a big moment in ones life when Mr. Joel decides to speak to you. Has it not happened to you yet? Be strong. Be patient. Billy likes to pick the perfect moment.

2) Heightened sense of importance because the current generation is hopeless: Now i know that every generation says the exact same thing about the generation that comes before it. But what i have discovered the older i get, is that it’s HARD watching the generation below you use the currently technology. If i got to play the Sims when i was 12 i would have been so excited i would have pooped my pants. I was a big fan of playing pretend when i was little. I used to take my moms old MLS books and broken phones and play real estate agent with my neighbor in my garage. I played house on the playground. I lived for polly pocket. I even used to play out stories in my head when i played the Little Mermaid, Aladin, or Lion King on my Sega Genesis. I would avoid anything that would hurt me and use them as props in the story that i was unfolding in my head. As soon as the plot demanded a change of location, i would hurry up and beat the level. These things developed my imagination. I know I am only saying what the generation above said about me, and what the generation below me will be saying about the generation below them…. but it still makes me feel like a more evolved and more capable woman.

1) Ice cream for dinner.* Yeah, since turning 18 i could TECHNICALLY do this. And i did… a lot. But ever since dropping 45 pounds last year, i feel that my decision to consume sugar for dinner is a planned out and calculated move. I planned, ate healthy before and made time for a small work out. It’s was grown-up decision. Hmm. The more i type this the more i think i should change the title of this one.

            *AMENDED* 1) The ability to expertly rationalize any terrible decision. 

 

My thoughts on: Procrastination

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There are about 100 things i should be doing throughout the day. Whether it be clearing those 750 picture off my phone (pictures mostly of very important food) so i can actually take pictures for work, sign up for that class to get a certification, work on that novel, or organize my desk— i would be mortified if i was able to watch a re-play of the day before i went to sleep each night. What would be on that tape? During my free time, i would be watching myself watch cat videos and read AMAs on reddit. (I must have spent half a day reading Jackson Galaxy’s AMA). Every night, i lay in bed thinking about all the things i put off for the next day. And because i’m such a nice person and i hate it when i beat myself up about things— i blame any and all outside factors for my inability to make the next day a tad easier for myself. Like what, you may ask? Why, i’ve made a list!

5) Netflix. This is going to date me a bit— but when i was in college i lived for car-naps. I purposely scheduled my classes with a 50 minute recess so i could drag myself to my car for a nap. Then i had a bright idea- what if i could watch TV in my car? Madness! It was 2005- there were no iphone or ipod touches. I had a motorola razor for crying out loud. So for Christmas of 2005 my parents got me a portable DVD player… but that thing had a terrible battery life. Then the Christmas of 2006 i got a PSP. The only way to watch TV was to buy those UMDs. I had 1: Family Guy. Which held about 4 episodes that i watched over and over. Christmas of 2007 i got a video ipod and stopped studying in the library. No matter where i was on that Akron U campus- i was watching Seinfeld on a 2 inch screen. Luckily i graduated in 2008… or else i would have been in trouble. NETFLIX makes it possible to watch TV where ever you are, and no matter what you’re doing. I’m a simple woman, and i love my stories.

4) GOATS. Have you seen those videos of screaming goats? Sometimes, when i’m working on the computer (and watching my stories on Netflix) i remember that YouTube houses so many magnificent videos of goats screaming. If you were to go back in time and tell 17 year old Tara that her novel keeps getting pushed back because she gets distracted by videos of goats screaming on YouTube, she would have responded with “Wow, the future sounds AWESOME”

3) YouTube WANDERING. It starts by a goat video. Then they suggest a video of a cat eating a banana. Then a cat eating a footlong sub. Next you’re watching the final scene of Full House. Then a guy jumping off a roof into a pool. And suddenly, you have fallen deep into the YouTube and found you’re watching a childbirth video. You respond by turning off your computer and stress eating a bag of Fritos.

2) SPELUNKY. This is a small little game that is super punishing but incredibly rewarding. I find that when i leave the house in the morning my mental “don’t forget” list runs as follows: Keys, checkbook, wallet, phone, planner, PS vita. During those times throughout the day where i could be thinking about my future, balancing my checkbook, making grocery lists, reading a book… i break out that stupid game. Someone who answers to the name Adam once said “you’ll never beat that game”…. so i beat it. After i beat it, he said “you’ll never make it to the secret level.” And so. My side quest in my life so far in 2014 has been to beat the secret level and rub it in Adam’s face.

1) NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES. Our grandparents, and our parents, and even younger versions of ourselves used to only have to put aside 1-2 hours a week for the shows that we loved. They came on once a week, after we ate dinner. The mentality of the programmers were “what else are people doing at 8PM on Tuesday night? Lets entertain an otherwise dark and boring hour.” We whined and complained when we had to wait full 7 days to watch the other part of that 2 parter. We would look at the clock, and see it was 8:56 and say “they’re never going to be able to save the president in 4 minutes… no… no… they wont—” and then it happens. TO BE CONTINUED. Now Netflix has solved that problem. Instead of waiting until next week, they put on an entire series at once. So instead of sitting on the couch for an hour on tuesday evening, you’re in your underwear for 8 hours avoiding texts such as “Sally just had her baby!” or “We’re just gonna order appetizers until you get here” just waiting for that epic moment when George Michael Bluth does his impression of a chicken.