My Kids Will Be Lucky I’m Not A Hoarder

Last week I went with my parents to help out at my grandparents’ house. As of last September, both my grandparents on that side are dead, so now the family has to deal with their estate. My dad, as an executor, has been doing a lot of work there, getting the house ready to sell and sorting finances and whatnot. My grandparents had been living in that house for about fifty years, so they had fifty years worth of junk in there. When my dad and I arrived there on Wednesday night, I was led to the basement where my dad had piled boxes and boxes of stuff in the back rooms. He said he had already taken not one, not two, but twelve van loads of junk to Value Village, and that was after the five kids already took a bunch of stuff for themselves. Twelve van loads and there was still so much junk to sort through.

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And that boggles my mind because when I go to away University every September, basically everything I own fits into one van. And yet my grandparents had accumulated probably over fifteen van loads of stuff. Stuff ranging from broken furniture to TVs to ancient books to candles to glasses to shaving cream to screwdrivers to scarves to approximately 500 curling pins. It took us two whole days, but we finally managed to sort it all and, with the help of several aunts and uncles, have a successful estate sale on the Saturday.

But it was a lot of work. I’m so glad my dad already took those twelve van loads away because I can’t even fathom having to go through all of that too.

My future kids will be lucky because I am not a hoarder. And I’m not saying my grandparents were hoarders by the technical definition, but there’s really no excuse for having about 15 sets of drinking glasses. My mom, who we put in charge of sorting all the kitchen stuff, was not pleased when we kept unearthing yet another dirty box and bringing it up to her for arranging. When I’m away at school, my mom gave me a few glasses, maybe four, but last year, I only used one. I’d just keep washing and reusing that same one glass. And the same two plates and two spoons and one bowl. I work well on very little.

Though I don’t really identify as one, I guess I am a minimalist. Except with more colours because I really don’t understand why minimalists are scared of colours.

minimalismI used to laugh at minimalists. Like, do they really think they’re so much better than the rest of us because they don’t have a bed skirt or any wall art? But it’s not about that. It’s about living a freer life and not having a lifestyle that revolves around material possessions. You don’t need ten pairs of shoes to live a full life. Besides, think of all the money I save by not buying things.

When me and my future attractive husband are dead and my future successful children are left to deal with my house, they’ll be lucky I don’t hoard things or have an excess of belongings. They’ll be lucky that I understand how unnecessary so many things are and do not care for a lot of things (like decorative pillows).

My future successful children will have it fairly easy. I can’t say the same for myself though. While my parents’ eyes have been opened by the recent events with my grandparents’ house and they plan to do a small purge, they are not minimalists at all. My mother is constantly trying to get me to buy more clothes and I’m not sure how someone could need more than one or two screwdrivers, (especially if they have interchangeable bits) but I guarantee my father has several down in his workshop.

I’m not saying everyone has to immediately convert to a minimalist lifestyle or toss out all their favorite things, I’m just suggesting that perhaps you take advantage of spring and do some spring cleaning. Get rid of any old stuff. Sell it online, throw it out, or, better yet, have a garage sale! Tis the season to make dealing with your inevitable death easier on your loved ones!

That’s all for now!

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Things I’d Do If I Had The Time

I often dream about having unlimited free time. Can you imagine never worrying about going to work or school or making money and instead being able to do things you actually want to do? I can’t fully fathom it, but I do like to think about it. So much so, that I have a list of things I wish I could do, but don’t have the time. And while I do know that I waste a lot of time online or watching TV reruns, I justify those actions because they’re temporary fills. I’m scrolling Tumblr for an hour because I can’t very well watch a movie in that time instead. If I had five hours to kill, then things would be different.

Anyways, in my perfect little dream world where my bank account has a lot of zeros to the left of the decimal and I have no commitments, here are the things that I’d do, and one day hope to:

Watch the Star Wars and The X-Men movies

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I have never fully seen anything from these franchises. It’s shocking, I know, considering you’d think they’d be right up my alley, but I just never got into them. And now they’re both up to like seven movies each and I don’t have time for that. I do want to watch them, though. Eventually I’ll get around to it…maybe I’ll do one franchise over this summer…

Read more books

With school and TV, it takes me a while to read a book, which sucks because I like to read. There are a few books that I’ve heard good things about and want to read and hopefully this summer I can try. My lack of time to read is also a reason I’ve never seen Game Of Thrones, because I know I’d want to read the books first and I have no time to read those huge things.

Finish all the video games I started

I don’t play video games anymore. I got back into them last summer for a few weeks, but that’s all. I still have all my games and would love to go back to them, but some of them, the console ones especially, need several hours of time. With the Nintendo Switch being released last month, I’m seeing a lot of people online playing Zelda, one of my favourites, and I yearn to get back to that world.

Finish my novel

I’m slowly working on this. I’ve just finished some editing and started writing again, which is great because I do enjoy it, but I know I need to sit down and write for several hours rather than the hour or so I’ve been doing. If I had time, I’d definitely commit to it.

Binge-watch TV more shows

I have a small list of shows I want to watch including Smallville, Arrested Development, and Veep, but I know that if I had complete freedom I’d watch so many more. I love TV.

Learn how to make pottery

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I’ve always wanted to try pottery. Shaping things just with your hands looks so interesting and I’ve always wondered what that clay feels like as it spins.

Teach myself Photoshop and video editing

I think the Adobe suite is really cool and I have a basic knowledge of it from a course I took last year, but I’d love to learn more. There are a lot of tutorials out there and I know people say they taught themselves just by clicking around on it, so if I had time, I’d teach myself. This is also something I feel I should do sooner rather than later as a lot of the jobs I apply for want a knowledge of Adobe.

Go on a roadtrip

The idea of roadtrips are so romanticized nowadays but I’ve completely fallen for it. I think it’d be so much fun to pack into a car with friends and drive across a country while listening to music and eating junk food. Though I guess the problem with this one, aside from my lack of time, is the fact that I don’t have a group of friends or a place to go.

 

One day. One day I’ll do all of these. Some aren’t too unrealistic and if I really budget my time and commit, I should be able to complete these tasks. There’s only 86400 seconds in a day. As anyone can understand, things like school or work or parenting or sleeping take priority, sucking up a lot of those seconds, but there’ll come a day where all 86400 seconds are mine.

What would you do if you had the time?

 

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So I Have Beef With ‘Joey’

Over the past semester, I rewatched FRIENDS. Four years ago I watched it all for the first time and I thought it was time for another go. It’s such a classic show and it was a perfect destresser. Plus, since I’ve seen it already, I wasn’t sucked into the binge hole.

When I finished my rewatch (and stopped crying, duh), I decided to watch Joey, the spinoff. I didn’t know much about it other than the fact that aired on NBC and it wasn’t the best, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Admittedly, Joey is my least favourite of the FRIENDS group, but I still love him and thought the premise of his show seemed alright. After all the changes that took place at the end of FRIENDS, it makes sense that Joey would move to LA for his acting career.

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But Joey disappointed me. From only a few episodes, I knew the show lacked a lot and I was going to stop watching…but I was bored and so I watched it all (that binge hole, y’all). I also wasn’t going to write about it. I mean, the show is over a decade old and I’m sure no one cares anymore, but as I kept watching, my disappointment just turned into anger and I needed to rant. So here we go.

First of all, I know Joey is not FRIENDS. I know they’re separate and should not be compared too much, but when you’ve got a spinoff of such an iconic and heartfelt show, I do have some expectations. With FRIENDS, I genuinely love every character and found them all so dynamic and funny. With Joey, I could not care less for anyone, except maybe Joey himself. It’s not that I hated them, but going from Ross and Chandler to Michael is such a downgrade. Gina and Bobby were annoying and Alex was kind of boring. I didn’t feel the connections between any of them, which was especially really unfortunate when they tried to put Alex and Joey in a relationship. Ross/Rachel and Monica/Chandler were two pure, heartfelt relationships that people rooted for, and I hardly cared for Joey/Alex at all.

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My second issue with Joey was that the ties to FRIENDS were awful. And by awful I mean barely there. I wonder if it was a licensing thing? If you didn’t know Joey was from FRIENDS and had ten years of history, you wouldn’t be able to tell. I mean, aside from one mention of Chandler in the pilot and a few mentions of Days Of Our Lives here and there, there was nothing. Even little things, like the fact that Joey and Gina have six other sisters wasn’t really talked about until 1×19 when another sister came to visit, and even then there were plot holes. There was one instance when Joey referred to Rachel and Ross, but not by name and it was blink-and-you-miss-it brief. It really made me sad that Joey went from spending every day with his best friends for over a decade to literally not mentioning them or thinking about them or any part of his old life.

And apparently, FRIENDS must have exhausted literally every actor/actress on the planet because there was not one but two main repeat people on Joey (and, according to Wikipedia, a few other minor repeats), and that bugged me a lot more than it should. I think it’s because it felt like just another way FRIENDS canon was ignored. But seriously, how hard is it to not cast the same people in leading roles? Like, I know there’s been some repeat people in the MCU, but they’re usually not too noticeable.

I think Joey had potential, but it was wasted. They had a chance to take this lovable character and put him in new situations, but it was just the same stuff over and over but worse. Poorer comedy, less likable characters, little plot progression. Like, in the pilot, Michael was desperate to move out from his mother’s place, so I was expecting to see Joey and Michel struggle with adult life without a mom…or a Monica, but Gina was literally at Joey’s house all the time and it just wasn’t enjoyable. Even when the guys went away for a weekend, she was there.

And look, I didn’t hate the show. Joey’s characterization was still great. He still was likable and funny and his dialogue was still spot-on. But he alone couldn’t carry a show, never mind a spinoff of probably one of the best shows ever.

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FRIENDS is loved by so many, and to see its legacy tarnished and practically erased really saddened me. I kind of regret watching Joey, which says a lot, because I love TV and FRIENDS. I guess I’ve never really watched a proper spinoff before, and I think this experience will make me think carefully before I ever do again.

Have any of you watched Joey? What are your thoughts on it? Are my complaints with it logical? Has this post just brought back bad memories?

That’s all for now!

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10 Essay Writing Tips From Someone Procrastinating Her Own Essay

I am basically done my third year of university, but I spent a few days this week working on one last paper. I really don’t love writing papers and I’m gonna be honest, this post is just a way for me to stop working on it for a little bit. Either way, I figured that since I’ve written so many papers in my three years and am so looking forward to writing more in my next and final year, I’d share some tips for anyone who struggles with paper writing. I do realise, though, that a lot of my readers are out of school and/or are probably better writers anyway, so feel free to share this post with someone in need or share your own tips!

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  1. Start in advance. Unless you know for a fact that you’re one of those people who is successful at writing essays the night before, plan ahead and do it in advance. One of the worst feelings in the world is not having enough time and feeling helpless and rushed.
  2. Have a plan before you write. Build and stick with a thesis and then plan points based on that. Knowing what you’ll be writing about will make the process easier and you won’t have to keep stopping to think about it.
  3. Transition words like ‘however’, ‘furthermore’ and ‘similarly’ not only make you seem smart and are liked by teachers/profs, but they help your paper flow. Just don’t use them too much.
  4. Add citations in at the end. Don’t stop your writing flow by having to pause and insert a formatted citation. Instead, go back and add them in afterwards. But if you’re worried you won’t remember where they go, use placeholders, as shown.

    The cool blogger once said that she “never wants to write a research paper ever again,” (CITE HERE). She meant it.

  5. Set progress goals. If you’re like me, it’s not hard to get distracted, so I set goals. Finish this paragraph and then you can scroll Twitter. Paragraph goals are the best to set because all your thoughts are complete and you’re not struggling to remember what you were thinking before. One time, I got distracted mid-sentence and when I came back to it, I had no idea what I meant to say and deleted it.Image result for sometimes i start a sentence the office gif
  6. When in doubt, always cite. I’ve never plagiarized but I have had a few incidents where I’ve lost marks for not citing properly or as much as I should, so I’ve learned to just shove in all the citations I can. Unless given explicit instructions from your teacher/prof that say different, it’s a good rule to follow, especially at my school, where plagiarism is on the same level as murder (I’m almost not joking).
  7. Learn a citation format by heart. There are a bunch of citation generators, but those are a waste of time and aren’t always correct. It’s so easy to do basic citations. Most of my profs don’t care what format we use but I like APA (shown below), and while I do have to sometimes look up how to cite other things I don’t use as often, like YouTube videos or something, I’m a pro when it comes to articles. No matter which one you’re partial to, knowing one and being able to use it confidently and consistently is key.

    Last Name, First Initial. (YEAR). Article Title. Publication title. Volume#(Issue#). Retrieved from: websitelink.com

  8. Before you submit, go over your essay at a later date with a fresh mind. When I write, I hit save and close as soon as I’m done and will reread and edit later. I can catch more mistakes with a fresh perspective. This is useful for blog posts too.
  9. If you’re doing a research paper and you have a lot of material/articles to use, it’s handy to organize them before you write. Open a Word doc and paste the title, author, url and then write a few key points out so you know which article is which and why you’re going to use it in your essay. One paper I wrote last year involved a ton of research and my final draft had about 20 sources, and my Word doc helped me organize them in ways that having all 20+ tabs open at once couldn’t.
  10. If you’re under the word count, go through your paper again and ask yourself how can I explain this more or what more can I say on this subject? Adding another sentence or two can add 10-30 words depending on sentence length, and adding more information/clarity only helps your paper. I find that the best place to add more sentences is at the end of paragraphs. Similarly, if you’re over the word count (but yeah, right, who ever is?) then go through and ask, what is repetitive or what can I reword to cut down?

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Go forth and write! I know essay/paper writing is not fun at all, but in my experience, they just need like seven solid hours of work, and then you’re done, so sit down, get in The Zone and do it. I hope these tips help. Going from basic, citation-less hamburger essays in high school to complex, in-depth papers in university was a hard transition and I wish I had tips like these to help me.

That’s all for now!

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Monthly Look Ahead: April 2017

Well would ya look at that (you know what video I’m referencing). I survived March. Though my classes are done, I still have two assignments due before I can say I am officially done third year (ahhhhhh!).

April means spring and spring means warm weather and freedom and I need all of that. I also need these next fun things that I’m about to list for this month’s Look Ahead. It’s not a super thrilling month but the fact that I’m not up to my eyeballs in schoolwork is enough for me. Here’s what I’ve got going on this month, and, as always, you’re welcome to share what your April plans are.

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  • Prison Break season 5 starting on April 4th. I never saw this show when it was originally on, but over Christmas my brother started watching it and I happened to be in the room and boom, I got hooked. When we went back to school, he stopped watching (around the middle of season two) but ya girl just had to binge it all, so I’ve been ready for this new season for a few months now. Also, the Legends Of Tomorrow finale is moved to 8pm that night so I won’t have an overlap, and then Agents Of SHIELD is on at 10 after its month-long hiatus so basically April 4th looks like it’s gonna be great for me.
  • There’s a fancy gala for students in my program. I got a ticket but none of my four friends wanted to/could go so I don’t know how much fun my awkward, anti-social self will have. My roommate is going but she has her own friends and I don’t want to be that tagalong. But I’ll be dressed up and there’s an open bar and I don’t get out too much so I am looking forward to the event either way.
  • Lea Michele has a new album coming out on the 28th. She has such an amazing voice and I loved her first album Louder that came out a few years ago, so I have high hopes for Places.

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  • In case you missed it, I’m co-running an online movie swap which you can learn about here and the form closes on April 9th (it’s not too late to join!) so I’m super excited to send people movies and hopefully read reaction posts from bloggers.
  • Easter. I don’t think we have plans, but I’m expecting a little bit of chocolate that day, so yeah, I’m looking forward to that.
  • Hopefully getting a summer job. I think I put this on April’s Look Ahead last year too and didn’t end up finding work until June, so pray extra hard for me this year because now that my father is retired, he’ll be home all day, just nagging at me to apply for more and ya girl can’t deal.

What are your April plans? Any big things going on? Any exciting moments coming up? Tell me so I can be excited with you!

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