Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My views on classic books turned to roleplaying youtube series. Oh, and a Wicca update. And PUPPIES!!

Ew, does my title really sound that boring? Sorry about that. It's really hard to think of creative titles sometimes, ya know? 

I also am not really sure what this current trend on Youtube is actually called - the basic premise is that a fictional character gets a youtube account and tells their story through it. It's fiction but it's meant to look like reality. There are three I'm thinking of in particular:

The Lizzie Bennett Diaries:

Welcome to Sanditon (same people who produced the LBD, a spin off on Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon):

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre (totally unrelated to the producers of the last two):

It's such a super clever idea, and I love how this could potentially spark an interest for classic books in teenagers and young people. Jane Eyre was always a little bit of a weird book for me - I never finished it but I've seen a bunch of movie adaptions and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I did start watching this current youtube series last night and I'm hooked. The feel of the videos is a lot more homemade than the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and while Lizzie would just talk to the camera (and sometimes use costumes), the actress who portrays Jane will bring the camera with her places and it just all around looks more natural. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but it is a great series thus far! Really good acting and scriptwriting. 

So that's that, my current obsession. I got to watch some cute puppies today, my neighbor's dogs, and I also got an article published on Yahoo! Go me! It's part of the contributor's network which is basically a free platform and a person can write their own articles or go through "assignments" which are pre-assigned topics. I'm eligible for payment, but only if I can promote my articles enough. So they don't make it easy!!

I haven't been working out as much as I'd like, especially because my internet has been pretty bad lately. We might upgrade to Fios soon, and I really, really REALLY hope so. I know there are worse things in the world than bad internet but it can get frustrating at times. My eating habits have also been...okay. It's hard because we don't really have "snack" food in the house but we don't have an abundance of healthy food either. So I eat dinner and I get super hungry a couple of hours later, but such as today, I have the choice of frosting, nutella, yogurt...stuff I like but don't always feel like. So I scrounged around and found out that we have a hamsteak of which I took half and took some american cheese and made a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with some tea. It was good!!! 

Friday is Litha, the Midsummer Solstice. It's a time to let go of old things and rejoice in the new! I decorated my altar with some lavender and chamomile, "summer" herbs, and some gold ribbon. I'm all set to go :D I plan on doing a ritual Friday, and it's also the anniversary of my gram's passing so I'll be honoring her as well.  I also get to see Teh Tonester tomorrow!! I am SO super excited, it's been far too long. I miss his face :') 

Oh, and I also did take some updated progress ("progress....") pictures, but I don't really feel like sharing them because I'm half naked and no I'm not putting those on the internet. Sorry, not happening. I'll post more pictures when I can see a difference and hopefully I can get into a steady version of working out. I'll also hopefully be working soon (not really looking forward to that), and I'll really need to summon up the motivation I need to workout after the long commute home. Wish me luck! 

Talk soon!
Toodles :*
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Monday, June 3, 2013

My mental issues and charity concerts (but hear me out)

Although it's never been confirmed, I'm pretty sure I have social anxiety or at the very least, I'm pretty introverted. Those are two things that are often misunderstood by people who do not experience them and they are definitely stigmatized.

Social anxiety isn't something that I can just "get over". It's not phase that I put myself through, it's a mental condition. Some degrees are worse than others, of course. For example, today I was going to do a bunch of calling around to places to talk with the manager to see if they're hiring for the summer, what time I should come in tomorrow, etc. The more I thought about it, the more I didn't want to do it. In fact, if I can I'd like to avoid it at all costs. I probably will end up calling some places, but there's a constant fear of ridicule or messing something up when I talk to people. Another way my social anxiety manifests is being in large groups of people and thinking that everyone is staring. A bit egotistical, maybe, but for someone who has social anxiety it's a real, and terrifying fear. Those are just the things that bother me, and it's something that I've had for my whole life. Other people can have lesser degrees, or are more bothered by it, but please, don't ever say to someone who has social anxiety, "you just have to go outside" or "oh, get over it". Sorry - we can't.

Introvertedness is a personality trait that also gets the short end of the stick. People who are introverted do not hate people, but they have to spend a good time alone after being around people for a while. People who are introverted enjoy their own company and need the time to recuperate after social situations. It's not that they hate social situations, but rather that after a long period of time, self-care and appreciation is needed.

So now that that's out of the way, I figure I'll go on a feminist rant. If you don't like feminism, or rants, feel free to stop here. I'll even give you the chance to do it.

I'm telling you

No rants or feminism before this point.

Are you ready? 

Well, if you're still here then you've been warned.

Everyone else who enjoys feminism and rants...*waves invitingly* hello.

Alright, I've given fair warning. Last night, I watched the Chime for Change concert that broadcast from London June 1st. I had high expectations, considering it was about female empowerment and education and sex trafficking and so on.

I had to stop watching after 20 minutes.

JLo opened, with a medley of some of her songs, dancing provocatively around the stage, etc. She then did "On The Floor" which isn't quite about female empowerment, in my book. In fact, it's about men objectifying women as they dance in clubs. Also, she wasn't even singing. She didn't even try. But that's whatever. Now, I appreciate and value the ability of women to express themselves whatever way they want. Want to be sexy? Go ahead. Want to do pole dancing? As long as you weren't forced, go ahead. Want to cover all over? Be my guest.

I just don't think JLo quite captured the idea of the event, and neither did the organizers that arranged for the artists. Ellie Goulding preformed next, and I really like her. However, she did "I need your love", which, if you listen to the lyrics, is about a woman being dependent on a man for her self worth. I mean, I admit, I've jammed to that song multiple times - it's CATCHY. But I'm also old enough that the lyrics aren't internalized for me. People don't think about this stuff - that young people listen to these songs and they actually internalize the lyrics. Also, it was totally the wrong song for a concert about FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. I need your love? No thank you. I love myself, and that's enough. If I get a boyfriend, I won't stop loving myself (this is speaking from a hypothetical standpoint, of course, because I do have a boyfriend. I was being all the other women in the world...whatever. You know what I mean!). 

Bottom line: Women shouldn't have to value themselves based on other people. 

I went on a rant to my boyfriend about how crap the concert was, and he said "of course; that's the reason I hate charity concerts. They're just a reason to bring big names together and they don't do anything."

DING DING DING! That was EXACTLY what was happening. I suppose we could argue the ethics of it:

"But Karen, it's still promoting a cause"

"But Karen, the people who are going to it are learning about the issues"

and so on.

And yes, this is true. BUT, what's the point of having a concert about female empowerment if the artists themselves don't empower women? Really. REALLY. And yes, it drew a large crowd. A huge crowd, as a matter of fact. Why were the people there, though? Were they there because of the cause, or because it was a concert of all their favorite artists and celebrities? Do the ends really justify the means? I'll leave that up to you. In some ways, I don't think they do. I think the concert could have been better organized with artists that actually mean something. They probably would have gotten a smaller crowd, for sure, but it would have been a concert that actually, truly embodied the meaning of female empowerment.

Now, that rant wasn't so bad, was it? 

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

I love my body, but health is hard.


I feel like death. I just finished working out after a couple (ahem, several...) weeks of being relatively inactive and I feel terrible right now. Short of breath (duh Karen, that's what happens when you work out), wobbly knees, etc. I did a metabolic workout and after 16 minutes my internet crapped out, nothing new there. I did three minutes of a running workout because I had it loaded but my internet stopped after that as well. So I mean, I guess 20 minutes? Sorta....

But yeah, I definitely didn't expect it to be that hard. The woman's workout that I usually do, Jessica Smith TV, are PHENOMENAL. She's a no shame type of person and if someone has to modify a move then that's perfectly fine! I really like her and her attitude generally, but this workout was just intense. She has some great dancing ones though and also walking workouts for low impact exercise, which I think is really considerate and nice.

So yeah, I'm trying to get back into the habit of working out consistently, but I always need to remind myself to take it slow. I also figured I'd take some "before" pictures to keep myself motivated. So here are my "befores":



I hardly ever post full body pictures, not because I hate myself, I just don't like posting my body all over the internet. I will never do a bra/shorts picture, EVER. I'm a big believer in modesty so this is probably all you'll get. 

But yeah, tomorrow I'll work out and do a fun dance workout, something to get me back in the groove. 

Today, so far, I had:

a small chocolate cupcake I made
chocolate chip scone
tea with three sugars and fat free 1/2 and 1/2

Not sure what I'm having for dinner yet!

EDIT: Had dinner, and I had spaghetti, salad with italian dressing, and a braided roll.

EDIT 2: I added some widgets down below, to follow me on google plus, and to follow my pinterest!! I've been updating it, so follow away! :)

I also promise I'll do herb garden pictures soon!!!

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