For the Life of Food.

Here’s a conversation starter:

I don’t like to talk about food. I’m not obsessed with food and I don’t understand how people love to talk about it, write about it, and take pictures of it. I eat food to survive, not because I particularly enjoy it or anything.

Of course, I have favorite foods and preferences, but I’m not going to fawn over it. I just eat it and continue on my day.

Food is food, you know?

And this is probably why I’m not in the food industry. I don’t like smelling food all day, I don’t like smelling of food. I can sit in certain restaurants and the saturation of smells can make me almost nauseous. I don’t know how people can stand it, to be completely honest.

Of course I’ve never had an expert cook fix me a meal. Maybe if I had the right person who could cook for me it would smell wonderful, but I don’t think that would change anything.

I especially hate my fingers getting sticky. When I pick up a finger food and then my hands have this invisible sticky sheen on my hands that drive me insane, I immediately want to go wash my hands. This is probably a sign that I’m persnickety. Or that I just like keeping my hands clean.

This post is somewhat inspired by Paul’s post about cutting muffins up with a fork and knife. Go over and read his blog, The Captain’s Speech if you want to know more. Maybe you’ll find something new to obsess over. Or maybe I just annoyed you for sharing other blogs. Or maybe I just gained a few. We’ll see.

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Balance and Art.

I’ve got seven pages left in my journal. I decided to end it there.

It’s no secret that I journal. It’s been happening since I’ve been about eleven or twelve. Rarely, though, have I written on a daily basis for any length of time. In the last year or so, I’ve made more of an effort to write daily and it’s been taking a toll on me recently.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of writing daily. I feel like I’ve run out of things to say and now I’m just randomly saying things just to fill the pages and meet my quota. I’m not progressing with my written word and I’m tired of pushing myself when writing is boring.

If you don’t read and write daily then you don’t improve yourself as a writer.

But does too much effort make you burn out? Do you get tired of pushing yourself to improve? Is rest just as valid as work?

When I’m not writing or reading, I feel guilty for not doing so. But when I am, I’m thinking of all these other things that I’d rather be doing. This is normal of course, but how much is too much?

This is probably why I haven’t been reading much this year. I don’t want to read because people are expecting me to read. I want to read because I love to read and lately that’s become a chore. Same with writing.

I don’t have anything else to say to that effect. Rest is rest. I go over the same things because I need to validate myself and comfort myself in the fact that what I’m doing is the right thing. I’ve gotten back into blogging though and I think I’ll always enjoy my blog. But like all things, I don’t want to burn myself out over it.

I read about the big YouTube burnout. All the successful YouTubers have been pushing themselves so much to get the next video out and earn money that they’ve dropped everything else about themselves in pursuit of keeping their channel going. Phillip DeFranco made a point when he stated that there’s nothing wrong with hustling hard and pursuing you’re dreams, but don’t push yourself to the brink of exhaustion where you realize you’re forgetting the rest of your life. If you need to take a week’s vacation and lose a week’s views, it’s better to do that than keep pushing until you break and then you’re channel falls apart because of it.

The moral of the story:

Learn to balance. Find a schedule you can work with. Experiment if it gets too much. But make sure it’s a schedule that you can work with and learn to step away at times in order to become more creative. Life is balance.

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People Who Stop Blogging.

I used to blog on Blogger. Or is it Blogspot? I don’t know. That blogging platform that Google owns. Yeah. That place.

The original blog isn’t there anymore. I don’t think I remember what it was called to be honest.

About a year or so ago, I started a new blog on there because I thought I wanted to revert back to that platform but never did. I have a lot of followers over here now and it’d be silly of me to abandon it all. Not to mention I can’t get Ordinary Travels as a domain name on Blogger. That’s why I originally came over here to be honest. I wonder if the writer of the Blogger Ordinary Travels has found my blog here and gotten mad that I made the name (fairly) successful.

Who knows.

I don’t care anymore. Or do I? It’s a question one will never know.

Anyway…

So I’ve been thinking a lot about people’s writing habits over the years.

I went onto Blogger today and noticed that the few blogs I have in my reader over there no longer write. They have their blogs up still but they haven’t written in at least a year. And that makes me sad. Because I really did enjoy reading what they had to say. They had different lives than I did and it was interesting to see how they view the world.

There have been a few blogs that I’ve followed on WordPress as well that have kind of dropped out of the blogging realm. I had another friend blogger who has announced both blogs are going to be deleted in the next couple of weeks because it’s hard to keep up these days.

I don’t know why people decide not to write on their blogs anymore.

It’s like they’ve lost steam.

I’ve lost steam with writing before. But I’ve always come back (eventually.)

It makes me wonder why I continue to write. Why AM I writing? Why am I even writing? I’m writing to people, but do I even know you? The people that I wanted to continue to see write aren’t writing anymore. I’m sad.

What’s the big deal, anyway? Even the one word prompts that WordPress did to inspire people to write no longer exists. And that really helped me out a lot when I honestly couldn’t think of anything to say but wanted to.

I need to stop now. It’s none of my business.

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Medical Mysteries.

A show that I enjoy watching:

Something’s Killing Me.

It’s on HLN.

Every week, they focus on a new medical mystery. Someone (or multiple people) get seriously ill with something the doctors can’t quite figure out. So they have to go through all these tests and figure out what’s going on in the people’s personal lives in order to save them/find out what’s wrong with them.

Last night it was more of a murder mystery. This man dies after behaving strangely. Then a couple months later, his son dies. Then a couple months later one of his daughters starts to get seriously ill.

Turns out, the wife/mother was poisoning them with anti-freeze. Then you find out that she told her oldest daughter that she was doing it. The two of them wanted to be together forever without anyone else in the family around. You then find out that they wanted to kill the youngest daughter as well (an eleven year old). Thank goodness that she was spared and that the other daughter that was seriously ill recovered.

That is some truly messed up stuff. Why would you do that? Wouldn’t you rather just divorce and go somewhere else rather than kill them all? I mean, it’d mess them up that the mom and oldest daughter didn’t want to be around anymore but at least everyone else got to be alive. People are strange.

The week before people were getting fungal meningitis and it turns out people who were getting this spinal shot to relieve severe pain were getting this meningitis disease. How sad.

So every week it’s something new. I’m glad I haven’t had a severe illness.

It’s kind of funny how HLN has evolved over the years. It used to be just about news with occasional murder mysteries in the evening. That’s why it’s called HLN: Headline News. Now there’s only a couple actual news shows and a whole bunch of forensic files and murder mystery shows and medical mysteries. I don’t get it. Maybe because everyone watches its affiliate, CNN for news? I’m not sure. We don’t have CNN in our news package.

I’m enjoying the new shows like Something’s Killing Me and How it Really Happened and stuff like that. But Forensic Files is getting old. They keep playing the same episodes on repeat. With no new episodes. No wonder people don’t watch the channel anymore.

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Collections.

Some people collect coins.
Others collect postage stamps.
Still others collect dolls and bears and antiques.

I collect postcards and journals.

I don’t know why I like postcards. I like to think of them as little snap shots of where you were and what you were doing. Every time we went somewhere on vacation, even if it was somewhere close, my parents would take me to the nearest dollar store and let me pick out a postcard from the rack so that I could remember where we were.

When I went to D.C., I bought a whole slew of them. I am just addicted to them.

They’re all probably around here somewhere. I just need to find them and put them together, just so I can say “I was here.” It’s probably not worth anything, but it’s worth something to me.

I also collect journals. If one looks pretty or specially aesthetic, I’ll get it. I now have a whole mass of them and I probably wouldn’t ever get through any of them in my lifetime. But I can’t stop. If I like it, and it’s a good deal, I buy it.

My mom’s made me stop. Because frankly I just need to. But if I find another one for a quarter and I can’t resist how it looks as a whole, I’ll probably just buy it. And anyway, it just feels good to write in a journal. It’s physically there. You can whole it and feel it and your thoughts seem tangible in your hands. It’s just not the same when you’re typing on the computer.

It’s just not.

Of course, I don’t like the idea of people reading my most inner of inner thoughts someday, but it makes me feel better in the moment, so I’ll continue writing in them. Plus I feel like I’m part of a centuries old hobby that people have been doing even in the 1700’s and earlier. Just thinking that Jane Austen, Anne Frank, Sylvia Plath and others have also written journal makes me feel a part of something bigger.

What say you?

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Dark Tourist.

So,

I watched a few episodes of “Dark Tourist”

And I must say…

It’s a pretty awesome show.

If you’ve never heard of it, “Dark Tourist” follows journalist David Farrer as he travels the world to some of the strangest, darkest, and most macabre places on the planet. And surprisingly, a lot of other people visit these places, as well.

For example, in one episode, Farrer visits Japan. Here, he visits Fukushima (the site where a tsunami and earthquake destroyed a nuclear site much to the detriment of the surrounding area) and Mt. Fuji where the suicide forest is. In another episode, he travels to Colombia where people celebrate Escobar and the people who put the former drug lord up on the highest pedestal to Mexico where people pay to go through what it’s like for people to try and enter the United States illegally.

It’s funny in an odd way that we humans are interested in the macabre. There are places and instances where humans have been incredibly horrible and experienced unspeakable things and yet we travel to these places to relive these horrible memories.

Why put a drug lord up on a pedestal? Why go into a place where radiation levels are too high to live in and yet people go into it anyway? Why do we do these things?

Perhaps we read about these things and visit these places because we want to be thankful for what we have and that we never had to experience them.

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Top Ten Things on My Bucket List

I don’t really talk about a bucket list to be honest. I find it kind of funny that people make a list of things they want to accomplish in their lifetime. It seems more like homework to me, but whatever floats your boat. A few years ago when I was in college I had to do “artist’s dates,” a couple hours to myself each week to do whatever I wanted to do just for the heck of it. I wrote a bucket list just because I didn’t know what else to do. I don’t even know where it went. But it was fun for what it was worth.

There are, however, a few things I’ve always wanted to do and want to accomplish. Here are ten of them.

  1. Get a scuba diving license
  2. Learn ballroom dancing
  3. Travel to Ireland
  4. Buy a mandolin and learn to play it
  5. Get something published (Technically I got a poem published when I was eleven, but that doesn’t count)
  6. Meet a famous author that I like/respect (Stephen King or J.K. Rowling maybe)
  7. Pay money to see a big musical artist
  8. Own an antique desk to write at
  9. Hike part of the Appalachian Trial (if not all of it)
  10. Start a bullet journal (already have a dotted journal just need to get with the program)

Do you have a bucket list? What’s on yours?

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