Sneeze Count 2018

Look at this graph meme.
Look at this graaaaaph

Is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year? NO. The most wonderful time of the year is right now because I am sharing my much anticipated annual Sneeze Count. 2018 marks my sixth year of counting, and I am so proud of myself. If you’re new to this blog, you can catch up on my previous sneezy years that I blogged about here: 2017, 2016, 2015.

Alright, so 2018’s sneeze count was 364 days long, and I sneezed 2155 times. This is my second lowest year, but it’s only a couple hundred from my third lowest. I did not hit a new maximum, but I did hit a new minimum by one. Overall, though, a decent year. Behold my chart in all its glory!

The 2018 sneeze chart.

There’s not a lot to unpack here, as it’s pretty clear on its own, but I do want to talk about a few things. That big week in May was when my family went to New York City for a few days. I’d like to say that America makes me sneezy, but I pulled up 2014’s chart because I also went to NYC for a few days also in May, and there wasn’t any unusual activity at that time.

It’s also worth noting that in mid-July, I got a full-time job, so nine hours of my days since have been spent in an office. It’s not a remarkably dusty place like the book warehouse I used to work in, but it’s not a stellar shrine of cleanliness by any means.

Another thing that happened in the back half of the year was that my neighbours got a cat. The cat’s name is Dirk and I love him even though he only loves me back when he’s lonely. I don’t see Dirk too often, but when I do, he definitely brings out some sneezes. That big spike in October is almost exclusively from Dirk because that week my parents and my neighbours went on a trip, leaving me and their daughter home, so the two of us (three if you count the furball) hung out a lot at their house. The many hours over several days led to many sneezes, and by Sunday I felt like I had asthma again, but I had no regrets.

hugging a cat gif.

Going forward, I’m going to try and make some notes during anomaly weeks. I don’t remember why that week in February was so high, and I wish I did. So in 2019 and beyond, I will do better.

And to close out this post, I wanted to share some other stats. I’ve compared my sneezes to the two other people who ever dared to count as well, but I still wanted to know how I compared to others. How many times does the average person sneeze in a day? A month? A year? I found one study (well, the abstract of a study. I’m not paying for more) that said the average person sneezes 4 times a day. As you can see from my chart above, I calculate an average every year, and my averages, and I’m always higher than 4. A few years had been at around 9 per day. I also found one source that estimated how much time the average person will spend sneezing in their lifetime. It used a daily average of 1.2 sneezes and a lifespan of 78.8 years to conclude that you’d spend over 5 straight hours sneezing. Given that 1.2 sneezes a day is weak for me, I’m looking at closer to 12 or 13 hours of sneezing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my 2018 sneeze count and the facts I’ve shared. Counting sneezes is my dumbest hobby but perhaps my favourite.

That’s all for now!

 

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My Seven Goals For 2019 (Not Resolutions)

I’ve never really liked the idea of new year’s resolutions. Maybe because they always seemed like a joke thing that we all abandon two weeks in. Or because they are things you resolve to firmly do rather than work towards. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to set some before. A few years ago I made a resolution to be more positive. Honestly, I don’t know if I succeeded in that one. I think I’m definitely less outwardly negative, but I don’t think my innermost self is all that positive.

Anyway, on top of working on that still, I do have some goals I’d like to work toward this new year. Time may be a social construct but I do like the idea of the new year being a chance to better one’s life and rethink our potential. And this year will be an interesting one because the only thing I have to do is work. No school, no apartment hunting, no applications. Just go to work and do my job.

So here are a few things I want to work on this year. Maybe I’ll succeed sooner than I plan and be satisfied by March. Maybe it’ll take me until next December. Maybe I won’t fully succeed but I’ll be okay with the fact that I tried. I think having this mindset makes daunting goals (or resolutions) easier to achieve because there is less pressure. But by putting them here on my blog, at least they will be public and things I can’t take back quietly.

  1.  Get my full driver’s license. This one isn’t as much of a goal as much as an absolute. I have my G2, but it expires in August, so I either get my G or go back to start. I don’t want to go back to start. So as soon as the roads aren’t too snowy and the sky isn’t too dark, I need to get back behind the wheel and gain more driving confidence. The trip to and from work isn’t long or difficult, so I should be good to do that at least. If I’m being honest, it’s not the driving that intimidates me the most, it’s the parking.

    Modern Family Hailey driving gif.
    Me trying to park
  2. Do more writing. I blog enough, but my second novel isn’t going to write itself. For a week or so I did some writing on my lunch break, but then I decided to reread The Inheritance Cycle, and those are some long books, so writing is taking a rest. Instead of watching dumb YouTube videos at home, I should be writing. I really did well with discipline when I had deadlines for that bookmaking course at school, so maybe I need to make fake deadlines for myself.
  3. I also want to keep pitching my book The Time Company to literary agents. I’ve done some (and gotten some rejections) but I know I could be doing more and learning more about how to perfect a pitch. I’ve been admittedly dragging my feet on doing more of this because every time I do something related to that book, I get a feeling that can best be described as low-level anxiety. This is due mostly to the fact that I’m incredibly mad and disappointed at myself for having several typos in the book (don’t hire a cheap copy editor and typeset at 2am, kids!). So I’d like to get better at pushing through that feeling and trusting in myself and hoping that someone is willing to take a chance on me and my story.
  4. Get a better social life. In school, my weekends were filled with homework (because I pushed it all to the weekends so I could watch many TV shows every weekday evening), so I wasn’t too bothered by my lack of social activities then. But now my weekends are free and I don’t really utilize this time. I have a few friends, but they’re either often busy or far away (or don’t like seeing me too often?) so I’d like to expand that social circle. I’ve had a few people suggest finding groups on Meet Up or on those friend-finding apps, so maybe I’ll grow a pair and try something. If nothing comes of it, I can always return to my lonely weekends. I’m sure I can find a new TV show to start!
    looking for friends gif.
  5. And then there’s dating…I’m 22 so I think it’s about time I went on a date with someone who is actually interested in me and vice versa. So maybe I’ll try a dating app because clearly I’m not in a position to meet someone organically in real life.
  6. Do more blog promotion. Sorry to everyone who follows me on social media, but I think I need to get a little bit more aggressive with my blog post sharing. Despite posting regularly in 2018 and gaining new followers, my stats and levels of interactions were down, which is sad because I want to grow and reach new people. I know I’m lazy and awkward when it comes to doing self-promos, but I need to do better. Social media has the potential to reach people. Though don’t worry, I won’t get spammy.
  7. Talk more. At work and even among peers, I’m quiet. I’m not good with small talk, and I won’t often start conversations. I need to push myself to do that more, though, because sitting quietly sucks and it certainly doesn’t help my social life. Even if I’m faking comfort in these conversations at first, it’ll be a start.

    Just do it meme.
    Me @ me this year

So those are my 7 goals for this new year. As I said, I’m not looking to master all of them right away (or at all) but they’re something to work towards. Do you have any goals you’re working towards this year or any tips to help with mine?

That’s all for now!

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: January 2019

Another year, another January! I won’t ramble on about resolutions (because I have a post on that coming next week), but I do like how this month feels like it has potential to be great. So hopefully the things I’m about to list below aid in making this month a great one…monthly look ahead logo

  • This month I am participating in two curling bonspiels. I’m a fairly competitive person, so I think it’ll be fun to be in a competitive environment rather than just the casual weekly games.
  • Almost all my TV shows are back this month after the midseason finales.  Some are back the first week of January, so I’m glad I only have to do minimal waiting.
  • Also Brooklyn Nine-Nine starts this month. It’s not my favourite show but it’s a good one and I’m interested to see how NBC does it differently than Fox.
  • The Golden Globes are on the 6th. I curl that night, so I might have to record it to watch it later, but the hosts are Andy Sandberg and Sandra Oh, and I think they’ll do well.
  • Fox’s live production of Rent is to air on the 27th. Again, curling will conflict, but I’m very excited for this because Rent is a good musical. I do wonder how or if Fox will change the show to make it more primetime TV-friendly, but there’s nothing I can do but wait and see.

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  • Season two of The Punisher is supposed to be out this month on Netflix. There’s been no set release date, which is concerning, so we’ll have to see. I’m obviously excited for this show to be back because season one was pretty good, but we just know it’s probably doomed to the same fate as its other Marvel Netflix siblings,  so I feel like I won’t be able to appreciate the show properly.

What’s going on this new month for you? Let me know!

And I hope you all have a great 2019 full of happiness, health, and success. I look forward to another year of blogging and keeping up with you and vice versa.

That’s all for now!

 

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Coolbeans Life Hacks #2

In 2017, I wrote a post with 4 tried and true life hacks. Today, I am here to give you 5 more. Recently, life hacks on Instagram and YouTube have gotten a bad rap because some people/companies (*cough* TroomTroom *cough*) don’t seem to understand what a life hack is. They’re supposed to make little aspects of life simpler. So rest assured, I am here to do that for you.

1. Pre-stretch hair elastics

On my left wrist, I always have two hair elastics. Once in a while, one will snap or stretch out far too much, so I’ll need a new one. But if you’re also a user to hair elastics, you’ll also know that new elastics can be too stiff. My wrist will have red marks for days, and looping my hair twice can be a bit of a struggle. So to combat this, I take two or three hair elastics, and I stretch them out on a bottle of some sort so that when I do need a new one, it’s not as tight and stiff. It’s like breaking them in!

soap pump with hair elastic around it.

2. Use Internet Explorer to stream things illegally

Internet Explorer may be known for being lame, but it’s got one use: it has the best pop-up blockers. I stream a lot of TV illegally, and doing such things means you have to go to some lowkey sketchy sites and face some highkey sketchy pop-up ads. But then I found a way around this issue that works 95% of the time. Internet Explorer has a setting where it will forbid any pop-up of any kind, and instead, you’ll see a little box that says a pop-up is trying to open, in which case I can then ignore it,  allow it once, or allow it forever. Since I only use Internet Explorer for streaming, this works out well, and now I rarely have to deal with gross ads forcing themselves into new tabs and freezing up my browser.

3. Use a sticky note to list things to need to take to the washroom

Okay, maybe this is just a weird thing I did, but it was useful for me! When I was in university, I shared a bathroom with roommates, so when I had to take a shower, I’d have to bring things with me because none of us stored a lot in the small bathroom. Too many times I’d find myself forgetting pajamas or soap, so I learned to use a sticky note to make sure I had what I needed before I forgot it. I taped the sticky note to the back of my door so it was the last thing I saw before I went to the bathroom. It really worked. I’d do a quick check and I saved myself many times.

sticky note taped to door.
Ignore my hideous writing. When I made it I obviously didn’t plan for anyone else to see it.

4. Double-knot shoes

Tying shoes is the worst. You have to stop what you’re doing and make sure these floppy, tiny little strings are in a bow just so you don’t trip. I don’t like that. So I loosen my shoes just enough so I can jam my foot in, but they don’t fall off, and then I double-knot my laces. This allows me to not trip, get my shoes on/off perfectly fine, not look like a slob, and not have to constantly deal with laces. Instead of tying shoes every time you wear them, I now tie them maybe once a month if they happen to undo themselves.

5. Use hair as floss

Yeah, it’s a little gross, but sometimes you’re in a rush and don’t have time to get proper floss or don’t even have proper floss at all, so if you have hair that’s long enough for the task, it can be used to get black pepper or corn out of your teeth in a pinch. I feel like it’s not something people consider using, even though it 100% works.

April Ludgate saying "That's gross. I love it".
You guys when reading this hack, hopefully

Bonus Hack: Watch videos at a faster speed

And in case you missed it, I did share a life hack a few weeks ago: watching videos at a faster speed so you can consume content faster. I swear by this method, so I encourage you to read this blog post about it and try it out.

 

Did you use any of the life hacks in my first post, or do you see yourself using any of these above hacks? They’re all useful hacks that actually work, so give one or two or all of them a try! Also, if you have a life hack of your own that you want to share, let me know! You can comment here or email me or message me on social media (links below), and if I get enough, I will happily make a third life hack post sharing your contributions!

That’s all for now!

 

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Christmas Songs I Dislike

I know this post’s timing is a little weird given that last week I wrote about people who were looking for fights and ruining Christmas content for everyone else, so I’m starting this off by saying that though I dislike these songs, I’m not trying to get them off the radio and I’m not shaming anyone who likes them. There is a difference between ‘this is an inherently bad song’ and ‘this is a song I personally don’t like hearing’. Plus, this is my last post before Christmas, so now is the only relevant time to share it. I know it’s a little hypocritical, but it’s not my intention.

I’ve expressed a love for Christmas music before, and while I can happily have a Christmas radio station playing all day (I have it on all day at work), there are a few songs I don’t love. Not every song can be a hit or appeal to everyone.

Santa Baby‘ by Michael Buble

Even the Christmas music king can have some weak spots, and I think this song is one for Buble. Instead of flirting with Santa, he’s befriending him in a bromance way. It sounds good on paper because it is a unique twist on the classic song that I normally don’t mind, but this is just weird to listen to. It’s awkward. I mean, “Santa, pally?” It’s time to stop.
Leslie Knope not liking something she's listening to.

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas‘ by Gayla Peevey

I’ll admit that this song is cute in a kiddy kind of way and damn it if it isn’t catchy, but it’s also annoying and too silly. Why a hippo? I don’t know or care. I heard that it’s one of my most requested Christmas songs (on the station I listen to, at least) and that just boggles my mind because there are SO MANY better songs out there. I hate getting it stuck in my head.

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth‘ by various artists

Again, this is a cutesy novelty song that it’s just kind of annoying and I’d rather hear almost anything else. Are kids even that desperate for their front teeth to grow in?

Christmas Don’t Be Late‘ by Alvin And The Chipmunks

The Chipmunks are the ultimate form of annoying music. I am so thankful that trend of Chipmunking regular songs and uploading it to YouTube is over. If this song was sung with regular vocals, it could be decent, but instead we’re stuck with the screechy rodent voices.

Fairytale Of New York‘ by the Pogues

This song is somehow widely recognized as one of the best Christmas songs but I can’t fathom how because it’s not that great. The male vocals sound like the singer was tone-deaf and drunk, and it’s not really a pleasant song. I don’t mind the change in pace and the female vocals, but it’s not enough to make me enjoy it.

That's not good gif.

My Favourite Things‘ from the Sound Of Music

My biggest beef with this song is that it’s not really Christmassy. It mentions a few things related to the season (snowflakes, mittens, sleigh bells…) amongst many other things (bee stings, roses, doorbells…), so I don’t qualify it as a reasonable Christmas song. It’s not a bad song, I just don’t want to hear it between November 15th and December 26th. Similarly, I don’t think ‘Hallelujah’ is a Christmas song at all, Pentatonix.

Last Christmas‘ by Victoria Duffield

I am not a fan of this girl’s voice at all, and so I certainly do not appreciate it in my favourite Christmas song. On top of that, the dance beat is just really generic and doesn’t fit in well with the song at all. It’s trying so hard to make the classic Wham! jam a dance song but it just ruins it for me.

 

The good news is that these songs don’t play that often. I did some light estimates (look at me, doing math!) and I think that this year I’ll listen to over 200 hours of Christmas music (just over 8 full days) and the above seven songs take up a small percentage of that time, so I think I’ll survive.

What Christmas songs do you not love?

 

And since, as I said, this is the last post before Christmas, I just wanted to wish everyone a good holiday! My family’s plans aren’t anything super wild, but it’ll still be nice to get some time off work and see some relatives.

Merry christmas gif.

 

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