Stress of the Wealthy

What do wealthy people actually stress about? They seem to have everything, so why should they stress?

It’s important to remember not to view the wealthy, whether it’s the 1% or just someone who has more than you, as other. They are not other. They are still people, just like you and me, with feelings, and ambitions. Even though many people find it hard to relate to them, they are still people, just like us.

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Teal Pumpkins

I’m sure you’ve seen many facebook posts about the Teal Pumpkin Project. If not, then you either don’t have a facebook, or you don’t get on very often. Either way, it’s a fantastic idea!

So here’s the deal. If you have kids, who you plan to take them trick or treating this Halloween, you may see some teal pumpkins. They are being put outside of houses that are offering non-food treats for the little kiddies. Now, most of you parents are probably thinking, why would a kid want something that’s not candy? Isn’t that what Halloween is all about? Well, yes. For kids, it’s all about that sack full of sugary goodness. But don’t worry, these weirdos with their teal pumpkins have a pretty good reason.

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Talking to You

Another day another post coming very close to late.

I don’t have anything specific to talk about today, so I’m just talking to those of you who follow me. And anyone who stumbles upon this.

Life is a weird thing. It only occurs under very specific conditions. You’ve probably heard some talk about this relating to Pluto and the New Horizons mission. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Well, it kind of is, I guess.

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A Word on Elevators and the People Who Use Them

This is something that’s been on my mind for the past few days. The problem has always been present, but recently, I’ve seen more vocalizations on the topic. The problem I’m referencing is not more people using elevators, it’s more people judging others for using elevators.

The health and fitness movement has become much more present in the last few years. That’s fantastic. People are starting to live longer, so it’s becoming increasingly important to take care of our bodies. New health problems are popping up for elderly people, and professionals are coming up with proactive ways to prevent these problems. The most important of these procedures is general activity and exercise in early adulthood. With this came the stigmatization of using the elevator.

I’ve seen multiple posts on social media, and even heard a few people say things like “People that take the elevator are just lazy” and “I judge people who take the elevator without obvious injury.” I’ve heard both on campus in the past week.

I’m going to address both of these comments, but I’ll start with the first one. First of all, that is not true. You don’t know why they are taking the elevator. Maybe they are tired. Maybe they worked out yesterday and they’re sore. Or maybe they just feel like taking the elevator today. Second of all, it’s none of your business. If they want to take the elevator, they don’t need to explain to everyone else why they are taking it. If you prefer the stairs, then you go ahead and take the stairs. Third, maybe take a grammar class.

Comments like the second are what really annoy me. Sorry to break this to you, but not all injuries are obvious. These “injuries” are called invisible illnesses. In case you’re still confused, that means that they have some sort of illness or disorder that cannot be seen by others. Many people can’t go up the stairs, but can walk perfectly without an assistive device (a cane, for example). These people may look perfectly fine to you, but they have an invisible illness.

Not that you should assume that everyone who uses the elevator has an invisible illness, take it into consideration. Actually, don’t. Don’t worry about it. It’s absolutely none of your business as to why that person is taking the elevator. When you see someone waiting for the elevator, just keep walking. Don’t even think about it.

This is a problem. I know people who are afraid to take the elevator because they don’t want to be judged; they don’t want people to think they are lazy. That’s ridiculous. I know people who want to take the elevator because they are tired, but think that they can’t because they don’t have a disability. If you want to use the elevator, then do it. That’s why it’s there. If you don’t want to take the elevator, then don’t, and don’t judge people who do.

While this is about elevators, I would like to make a point to say that this applies to so many things. Let other people make their own decisions. You don’t get a say unless it affects you. Focus less on what other people are doing, and worry about yourself.


Appreciate the Little Things [Part 9]

So, I’ve been slacking on these. I’ve been slacking on blogging as a whole. I figured this would be a fun way to get back into things. Find parts 1-8 here.

Let’s get started.

  • YouTube ads. I don’t know if you watch YouTube, but I watch it all the time. The most annoying thing is the ads. To be fair, I understand why they are there and all of that. I don’t really mind watching the ads either, but when the ads takes fifteen minutes to load, I start to get annoyed. I’ve also encountered entire music videos as ads before. And there was no skip button. Unless there is a skip button, the ads should be limited to thirty seconds. I would also like a variety in the advertisements. If I’m watching a playlist, or just a bunch of videos, I don’t want to watch the same ad between every video. Of course, the easiest solution is to download adblock, but then the creators don’t make any money, and that doesn’t seem fair. I just want to hold onto my sanity while watching YouTube.
  • Gum Chewers. First of all, gum kind of grosses me out. You’ve been chewing on that piece for who knows how long, and there’s who knows how much bacteria in that, and ew. But honestly, I don’t care if you want to chew it. I just don’t want to see it, or hear it. Keep your mouth closed while you chew on it. This topic was touched on in part 8 with noisy eaters. It’s really not that difficult to close your mouth while you’re chewing. But that’s not the only thing that annoys me about gum chewers. I haven’t encountered this as much recently, but I always seemed to be surrounded by gum addicts. They’d hear someone open a pack of gum and suddenly, they were trying to become that persons friend in exchange for a piece. Is gum really that great? And if it is, why don’t you buy your own pack? What do they cost? $0.89? I guess I’d rather people be addicted to gum than meth.
  • Slow walkers. I typically walk pretty quickly, but I understand wanting to go a little slower, for whatever reason. Just don’t walk in the middle of the sidewalk. On days when I’m tired in the morning, or I’m sore from whatever, and I want to go slower, I try to walk on the edge of the sidewalk, leaving room for others to pass. But every time I want to walk quickly, because I’m running late, or meeting someone, I seem to get stuck behind some group of guys, whose pants are around their knees, preventing them from moving faster than a turtle. And they tend to take up the entire sidewalk.  Like, move! I don’t mean to sound rude, and I understand that sometimes people can’t move faster, but try to be considerate of those around you!
  • Rude smokers. If you smoke, please be considerate. I don’t really care if you want to destroy your respiratory system, but please don’t destroy mine. That twenty-five feet rule is in place for a reason. People don’t want to walk through a cloud of toxins to get into a building. Please do not stand near an entrance. Walking and smoking is also rude. Do you realize that when you blow out that smoke, it goes right into the face of the person behind you? What if they have asthma, or are allergic to cigarette smoke? you could cause serious problems for them. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that cigarettes are bad for you, and blah, blah, blah, but do you realize that you are giving a considerable chunk of your income to a company whose product causes cancer? That’s pretty dumb.
  • Packaging. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s excessive. Why it is necessary to package air fresheners in vacuum sealed, indestructible plastic? I was trying to open a pack of razor head replacements recently and it took me a good twenty minutes with a pair of scissors to actually get to the product. Why? WHY? And how many times have you been trying to open something and ended up hurting yourself trying to break through the packaging? I’m convinced that a lot of things would survive an atomic bomb with all the packaging. Just earlier today I was trying to break down an empty box to put in recycling and the amount of glue used to hold the bottom of the box together would have been sufficient for an entire kindergarten classes’ art projects. Why is that necessary?

That’s all for now! There will be more in the future!


On a Kick

Noun Challenge: July 29, 2014

Today’s noun: Kick

What does it mean to be on a kick? To be really focused on an idea, or activity. You most often hear people say they are on a health kick, or a workout kick. It could be referring to trying something new to see how you like it, or just something you’ve been interested in for the last few weeks.

But is it good for you? Is it bad? Does it have any effect at all? I don’t know. I guess it depends on what kind of kick you’re on. I suppose a health kick is good for you, but if you’ve recently been into hard drugs, well, I’d say that’s not as good for you. As for less extreme kicks, such as new hobbies or skills, well, I think those aren’t necessarily good or bad for you. Those are the in-between kicks. It might not be something that you continue with in the long run, but maybe you gained something from it.

I think everything is somewhere between good and bad. Even if you do get into hard drugs, you probably learned something from the experience. I don;t have any examples for you because I’ve never experimented with drugs. But I still feel that if you do go on a heroin kick, its not 100% bad. sure its a pretty “bad” drug, and it’s a pretty hard habit to “kick”, but as long as you can take something away from it, it wasn’t completely bad. Does that make sense? Please don’t start using heroin to “take something away” just because I’m talking about it.

It also works the other way. If you go on a health kick, sure, you’re eating healthy, but that doesn’t mean its 100% good. If you become too obsessed with eating healthy, you’ll miss out on eating sweets. no one wants to have dessert after a meal if someone else is avoiding dessert. First, you feel guilty for possibly tempting this person with your dessert, and you might also feel like maybe you shouldn’t be eating that dessert either.

Those are pretty extreme, and maybe a bit of a stretch, but you get the point. If you are on a kick, don’t focus too much on it. Don’t let it take over your life. I know that most of the time that doesn’t happen, but sometimes it happens without you noticing.

Okay, basically what I’m saying is don’t allow your hobbies to isolate you and ruin everything.

I didn’t know exactly where I was going with this post when I started, so thanks for sticking around while I figured it out.

As always, have a kickin’ day (See what I did there?), and I’ll see you tomorrow!


The Truth About Chewing Gum

Noun Challenge: July 21, 2014

Today’s noun: Gum

Everyone I know chews gum. I don’t. “What? Why?” Because its not really all that good for you! I’m no health freak, but gum really isn’t worth it. Clearly, chewing gum isn’t the worst thing for you, but it is something that I consistently turn down.

Chewing gum is full of artificial ingredients and other chemicals that are bad for you. Yes, I know that literally everything is made of chemicals, but some of them are worse than others.

Okay, let me start with some “facts” about gum. Chewing gum helps clean your teeth. Sure, it might pull some tiny bits of food off of your teeth, but all that sugar? Gum has a pretty good about of sugar in it. Most dentists say that if you want to chew gum to clean your teeth after a meal, you should use sugar-free gum to avoid all those extra sugars. Still, a toothbrush and toothpaste are your best bet for fighting cavities.

It is also said that chewing gum can help you lose weight, or kick an addiction. Chewing gum between meals keeps you from wanting to snack on junk food. It can also be used to replace that giant bowl of ice cream you’ve been craving. Similarly, gum is a much healthier replacement for that cigarette you’re just dying to get. Of course, experts will say that sugar-free gum is a better option because, well, no sugar.

So what’s so terrible about sugar-free gum?

Well, the same thing that is so terrible with anything that says “diet” or “sugar-free” on the label. These products contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame. I’m sure you’ve heard of this. You should have, it’s in nearly every pack of gum that you buy, and every diet soda you drink. It’s terrible for you!

Aspartame is actually worse for you than sugar. It went through 15 years of disapproval by the FDA, not that the FDA always makes good decisions, But scientists mostly agreed that the substance was not safe enough to put in foods. It was eventually approved by political means, rather than scientific.

I’ll try not to get all science-y on you, but aspartame is known to over-stimulate brain cells until they die, cause joint and muscle pain (or worsen it if you already experience it), cause depression (or worsening if you are already depressed for another reason), cause headaches or migraines, insomnia, vision and hearing problems, heart and respiratory difficulties, etc.

You’re probably thinking that this sounds a lot like the warning on medication commercials, and the chances of anything happening are one in a million. Well, let me tell you a story. A few years ago, I was “addicted” to sugar-free red bull. I was drinking 2-3 a day, if not more. I was having join pains (I was 13, by the way), I was depressed, I had head aches almost every day, I couldn’t get to sleep at night, an I just didn’t feel quite right. It was suggested to me that I cut aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners completely out of my diet. So I did. The first day without aspartame, I could already see a difference. A few days without it and I wasn’t as depressed, I was sleeping better, I hadn’t had a headache, and I felt like I had the body of a 13 year old again.

It’s now been about 6 or 7 years without aspartame and I feel great. If I do, by chance, eat something with aspartame, I know within minutes because my mood changes and I feel ‘off’. I know other people who have also cut aspartame from their diet, and they have similar results. I suggest you give it a try and see how you feel.

So anyway, back to gum. If you look at just about any gum package, you’ll probably see aspartame listed as an ingredient. Don’t buy it. Same with diet sodas or anything else labeled as ‘diet’ or ‘sugar-free’. It’s all bad for you.

If you chew gum for weight loss, or as a substitute for brushing your teeth, ask yourself if its really worth it to ingest all of those chemicals. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I’m no health nut, I just feel that aspartame should have never been approved.

Long story short, gum is evil.

As always, I apologize for typos and the like.

Have a delightful day and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Art Therapy

Noun Challenge: July 19, 2014

Today’s noun: Paint

Today I want to talk to you all about another type of creative outlet. Painting. I know that if you’re reading this, you probably have a blog to run, and you may be thinking ‘I suck at art’. But that’s okay. Just read.

Last year, a friend of a friend had to do a six week art therapy class. So I, and a few other people decided to take the class to help her. The focus of the group was to relieve stress and anxiety since it was right around finals time.

My only thought going into this was that I was a terrible artist. I’m one of those people who can’t even really draw a stick figure. But I went to the group every week anyway. I debated whether going to the group actually relieved any anxiety, or just created more. After a few weeks, I was leaving the group feeling much more relaxed than when I went in, so I decided to continue.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I’m no artist, but I felt more relaxed after making art. I stuck mostly to using markers and crayons, just drawing whatever I felt for the activity of that meeting. Other people chose to use paint or charcoal. Some people actually said that using paint relaxed them more than markers.

Next time you’re feeling overly stressed, try drawing a picture, even if you’re as stick figure challenged as I am. There’s no harm in giving it a try!

Have a voluptuous day and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Eye Betcha Didn’t Know This

Noun Challenge: July 8, 2014

Today’s noun: Eye

Everyone has seen that picture of the eye, super close up, right?

If not, here it is:

Found on Google Images. Search term: “eye close up”

So that’s pretty cool, right? Well, you’re eyes don’t just look awesome, they are awesome.

Time for another list of cool facts! Cause it’s easy. Don’t complain. You’ll have tons of fun facts to impress your friends with!

  • The average blink takes about 1/10th of a second.
  • The fastest muscle in your body is in your eye.
  • It is possible for your eyes to get sunburned. Please don’t put sunblock in your eye.
  • Eyes heal very quickly.
  • The human eye can distinguish about ten million different colors. It can also distinguish 500 shades of gray.
  • Babies do not produce tears until the are about 8 weeks old.
  • The camera equivalent to your eye has 576 megapixels.
  • Your eyes have a blind spot, but the two work together to fill in each other’s blind spots.
  • The color of your Iris now is slightly darker than it was when you were born.
  • Human eyes are mad up of 200 million parts that all work together.
  • All blue-eyed people share a common ancestor who lived around the Black sea about 10,000 years ago.
  • Doctors have not found a way to transplant an eyeball because the optic nerve is too sensitive.
  • Oily fish, vitamin A, and vitamin C are good for your eyesight.
  • Reading in dim light does not damage your eyes, but tires them out faster.
  • Scientist do not understand why we cry when we are upset. Tears are used to clean the eye.
  • “It’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye” comes from ancient Rome where the only rule of wrestling competitions was no eye gouging.

That should be enough fun facts to hold you over until tomorrow!

I’m sure some of you knew some of those facts, but I doubt you knew all of them. Unless you study eyes for a living, of course.

Anyway, sorry for typos and such… I’ll see you tomorrow!


A Good Summer Workout for Kids and Adults!

Now that it’s May, some College students are already done with their spring semester, some will be soon. Younger students will be out in a few weeks. But for many adults, summer doesn’t mean much more than warmer weather on their lunch breaks. Unless of course you have kids… Then summer means finding some way of entertaining the kids all summer, keeping them out of trouble.

Well whatever summer means to you, I’m sure you have some plans. A common thing to hear when spring arrives is, “I’m going to work out this summer!” And then fall arrives and no one has really worked out all that much. We all know how that goes.

But not to be too pessimistic! If you really want to work out, whether you want to lose weight or build/tone muscle, whatever, find a buddy! I know, I know. You find a buddy and then neither one of you work out. Well, make it a competition. You’ll have to find some way that makes it fun for the both of you. For example, a couple of my friends bought Fitbits this past school year and had competitions to see who could get the most steps in a day. It encouraged them to walk more, even when they didn’t really need to walk anywhere. So, if you can make a competition out of it, do it!

But that’s not why I’m here today. I’m not one of those people that encourage everyone to work out because honestly, you get busy, things get in the way, and it is hard to keep up with. I’m guilty of it too. But I do want to talk to you, especially the students out there, about working out your brain.

While your brain is not technically a muscle, it kind of works like one. If you don’t use it, you lose it. You’ve heard that before, but is it true? Yes. Think about it. What did you learn in your history class two years ago? If you haven’t had a history class in the last two years, think back to your last history class. What did you learn about? Maybe you can recall the subject. It was about American history, or World War I. Whatever it was about, do you remember everything that you learned? Unless you use that information every day, or you have a super awesome memory, you probably only remember a few key points.

Anyway, I’m not telling you to go back and read your old history book over the summer, though you can if you want. But you should try to learn something this summer. It could be a new language, or something more simple, like how to knit (possible how to post coming later, maybe). Chances are, whether you want to learn or not, you will learn something this summer.

But, the more you actively engage your brain, the stronger it gets. In other words, if you do brain workouts, you can improve your problem solving skills, mental flexibility, memory, attention to detail, etc. There are tons of ways to do this and it usually doesn’t take very long.

I use Lumosity. You’ve probably seen commercials for it on TV. Basically, you long on (it’s free) and you have a few games that you can play. There are different games every day for variety. All you have to do is play the games. It’s fun, and it works your brain.

But the question is, does it actually help? Well, studies show that it does, but I’m not here to sell their product. You can read all of that scientific stuff on their website if you want. What I will tell you is that I have noticed improvement in myself. It could be the placebo effect, or the games could work. I don’t know, but it’s free, it’s fun, and it only takes a few minutes a day. Of course, you could play for longer if you really like one of the games.

Another good way to really work your brain is to learn a new language. I know, you probably just rolled your eyes and contemplated leaving this excessively long blog post (if anyone is still even reading this) to go back to mindlessly scrolling your Facebook newsfeed. But hear me out. Most schools, I think, now require students to take a language course in order to graduate. And most students probably hate this. I know I did. My high school required two semesters of the same language and I avoided it like the plague. I took sign language as an easy out. My reasoning is that eventually I’m going to run into a deaf person and need to communicate with him or her. It actually turned out to be pretty useful in talking to friends across the room in other classes. But in all honesty, I’m glad I learned a little bit of Sign Language.

Anyway, learning a language is not only helpful in communicating with people who speak that language, but it also helps to work your brain (are you surprised?). I’m not going to get all scientific and explain why learning a language is good for you but I will say this: It doesn’t have to be as painful as your Spanish 1 teacher made it.

I use Duolingo. It’s kind of like Rosetta Stone, but it’s free. Again, not here to sell a product, but you should try it. It’s free, it’s completely online, and only takes a few minutes a day. Unfortunately, there are only a few languages available to learn right now, but hey, it’s free, you can’t really complain.

I’m not saying you have to do either of these things. If you want to spend your summer letting your brain turn to mush, then continue reading Facebook statuses of complaints about work and what your friends are eating for dinner, and watch hours of cats being adorable on YouTube. (I’m not dissing cats or YouTube here, because cats are cute and funny, and YouTube is a fantastic community of amazing content creators. Another potential future post). But seriously consider spending a few minutes on your brain every day, after all, I think it’s proven its loyalty to you.

However you choose to spend your summer, know that I will not judge you (okay, maybe just a little bit), mainly because I won’t know. But anyway, have a fun and safe summer with whatever it is you decide to do!