Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Low Tech Experiment Revisited

At the beginning of last month, I made a conscious choice to go low tech, meaning, getting off Facebook and removing a number of apps from my phone. Here I am, giving you an update of how things are going.

Facebook was the first casualty of this experiment. I left Facebook because, drama. I also took the Facebook app from my phone.

If you read my last "low tech" blog, you know that as a business owner, I realized in this day and age it was impossible to not be on Facebook.  Instead of reopening my personal profile, I created a new one, strictly to run my business dealings, however, that didn't erase the drama. So, I went back to my old account and kindly asked mutual friends to please, keep me blissfully ignorant of the other party's posts.

That has been working.

I did put the app back on my phone as well because honestly, I like staying connected both with my friends and my business. I have made a conscious effort to not spend too much time on Facebook on my phone unless I have no motivation to do anything else. Like during the snow. And last night.

So, while I'm back on social media, I've successfully avoided drama.

Then to become more productive, I removed all games from my phone. I thought about all the things I could do if I weren't playing games, especially one addicting game in particular.  I figured I would read more, write again, exercise, anything to stimulate my brain and nurture my health.

This was harder than I thought it would be. I have found myself uploading it and removing the one game again several times, mostly out of complete boredom and lack of motivation. I relied on it heavily while I was snowed in, as I really didn't have the energy or the brain power to do much of anything else.

That said, I'm still using my time more productively. What I've been doing:

  • Writing
  • Purging crap out of my home
  • Reading
  • Exercising
  • Making jewelry

I'm still working on becoming even more low tech. I still debate whether I should keep the Facebook app on my phone or not. I think I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). Completely irrational, I know.

I'm hoping by eliminating these time and soul sucking forces from my life and doing things to keep my mind and body active, I will:

  • Improve my own health
  • Combat this 8 year battle with chronic fatigue
  • Eliminate my brain fog
  • Lose weight
  • Write more
  • Paint more
  • Create more jewelry. 

I want to feel good and to contribute beauty to this world. I truly believe that being less reliant on technology and more reliant on me will help me achieve this.

Friday, February 15, 2019

V-Day Ponderings

I'm single. Again. For Valentines. The last Valentine's date I remember going on was in 2012. Yes. 2012. If I've had any since them, I don't remember.

Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, I was thinking about how people traditionally celebrate, and I thought to myself, that's not me. It was me at one time, I'm sure. Before. When I was married, freshly single...when I was younger. I guess I used get caught up in the Valentine's Day romance whirlwind. But no, that's not me anymore.

Am I jaded when it comes to romance now? Am I just too old for that shit anymore?  I don't know. I'm not sure what thing inside me changed for me to feel this way.

Last night, on Valentine's night, I went to play trivia at the local bar with single friends. I stated out loud, that even if I had a boyfriend, this is still what I'd want to be doing, how I'd want to spend my Valentine's night. A few drinks, fun and games, hot wings and tater tots...that is the perfect date night for me. Hell, that's the perfect ANY night for me.

I'm not going to get cliche on you with the whole, "we should show our love for each other all year, not just one day," because, duh. But seriously, I don't want someone paying for an overpriced dinner, buying me jewelry I won't wear, and chocolates I won't eat. Okay, maybe I'd eat them, but I wouldn't WANT to. Spending time in an over crowded restaurant full of strangers is not romantic to me. (I'm not mentioning flowers, because flowers is a whole 'nother thing. I love them, but I also buy them for myself when I want them, so there's that.)

So, I guess what I'm saying is, I'm over it. I'm over Valentine's Day and its traditions. Maybe I have been for a long time. I mean, I'm still a romantic (I'm a self proclaimed jaded romantic, but a romantic nonetheless), but romance looks very different to me now.

What does it look like? Sitting on the couch watching movies you've seen 1000 times, spouting out our favorite lines? Sitting in front of a fire next to each other on the couch, not even talking, just being in the same space doing our own things? Talking smack during a heated game of Yahtzee or cribbage? Cooking together and laughing at other people's expense? Staying in bed all day with Netflix, pizza, and wine? Yes. All that.

So, keep your extravagant, store-bought signs of affection, your gooey greeting card, and your expensive dinners. Give me your time and your respect. Write me a love letter or tell me how you feel. Give of yourself, not your wallet. Make me laugh. Especially make me laugh. That's what it looks like. That is me. And that is romantic.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Low Tech Experiment

First of all, I haven't done this in a while, so let me start by saying, "Hi! Welcome to my blog."

It's been a almost a year since I blogged. And last year, I only blogged a couple times. It's because - life. My life has changed so much in the last few years.

But that's neither here nor there.

Well, kind of. Part of the reason I'm here writing is because of my choice to shut down some of my apps. I have many reasons to have done so.

Let me say that this is not a resolution post. I think I'm done with resolutions. I'd rather set some achievable short term goals and see how that works out.

So anyway, the reasons I'm shutting some shit down...first, to remove myself from drama. Facebook was the first casualty. After a bad work/romantic relationship failed and I found myself the butt of much bullying and harassment,  I decided to shut down my personal Facebook account. I had already blocked that person, but friends would send me screenshots of all the awful things he would say about me. While I appreciated that, I also came to a point in which I just didn't want to see it anymore. I wanted to be blissfully ignorant of what he was saying about me.

So, no more Facebook. I deactivated my account for an indefinite period of time and also deactivated the app from my phone.

Once I did that, I decided to take it a step further. I'd become reliant on game apps to fill my time when I was bored, on a work break, winding down from work, before bed, when I woke up on the get the idea. So I deleted them all. Every game app on my phone. My end goal: read more, write more...find other more stimulating things to bide my time. Expand my mind. No more monkey pushing a button (though you know I LOVE monkeys).

Now I have all this free time and need to reinvent what I do with myself during my lull times. In the morning after coffee I've started doing yoga. I've heard yoga is great for chronic pain and bringing one peace. So far I feel like a monkey trying to fuck a football doing the poses (yes, another monkey reference, but an apropos one). Hence why I do it in the privacy of my own home. But in just a couple days I already feel a little more mobility in my limbs, a little serenity in my soul.

It's weird how dependent we become. After deactivating Facebook, I realized I can't access my business page, I can't access the events to which I'd been invited. There were groups I wanted to continue accessing...long story short, I created a profile just to participate in those things. I'm sure it's all part of Mark Zuckerberg's evil plan - that we should be dependent on his app.

I've figured out a few ways to keep up with my business and such. Mostly, when I'm just sitting around, or waking up in the morning...those are the times I'm finding myself a little lost. But, I've started reading a book I've been wanting to for awhile (shout out to Gae Polisner and In Sight of Stars). I've caught up on some magazines. I'm writing this blog. I wish to get back to writing my dystopian novel. I want to create and work more with my hands.

Will I last the 30 days I've allotted myself? I don't know, but I hope so. Longer would be nice. I'm also planning  to not reload any games or other soul sucking apps back onto my phone.And mostly, I simply plan of being a more healthy, productive and intellectual person.

Have you set any short term goals for yourself? I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The End of America as We Know It: Part Two

This is a continuation of my last blog about unfortunate decisions made by our new POTUS.
I am expecting an impeachment in the next four years or living in a dystopian society. I'm really hoping for the former.
  • Trump has taken over the nuclear codes. Yes, this is a totally normal thing for the new president to do, but having his tiny hands in control of those codes is nonetheless unfortunate and terrifying.
  • Let's talk about that Mexican border wall a little more: I only mentioned in my last blog about how we, the taxpayer, are going to be paying for it. There is much more to it than that. Mexico's economy because of their coexistence with the United States. They have better jobs. People don't need to find their American Dream over here because they're attaining their Mexican Dreams at home. I just read a great article about our immigration problem that has nothing to do with Mexico. Read it here. Lots of good info. So what Trump is doing is ruining our relationship with our friends down south. They will more than likely tax the shit out of stuff that comes out of there, which is a whole hell of a lot. Do you like your avocados? Your Corona? Hot sauce? Tequila? These are the things you think about, but we import stuff like oil, rubber, medical instruments, cars...believe me, you will see a price hike on things you wouldn't expect would be affected.
  • The *Rump administration has drafted and executive order that would reduce American funding of  international organizations by 40%.  We're talking organizations like the United Nations. I mean, who needs to keep global peace and aid foreign refugees. Not America!
  • His choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, would like to block China's access to the disputed islands in the South China Sea. #LetsStartAWar
  • The Rump continued to bitch about the #altfact that 3-5 million illegal votes were cast costing him the popular vote. I mean, at this point who cares. #YouWonIdiot 
  • He continues to make the unfortunate decision of Tweeting. And now he has 2 platforms from which to do so. His +RealDonaldTrump and +POTUS ㅤ  His latest bitches involve the New York Times and Washington Post re #FakeNews. Also, how Mexico has taken advantage of us for far too long. #Really? And how Chicago better get its shit together. Oy.
And what about his conflicts of interest?
  • Hiring his son-in-law #nepotism. Anti-nepotism laws prohibit federal officials from hiring relatives to work for the agencies they lead, but Kushner’s lawyers have concluded that the White House is not an agency and the Justice Department has decided that's an okay theory. #WTF 
  • Not releasing his tax returns - still. He thinks we can learn nothing from them and the voters aren't interested. Um. *raises hand* Me! I'm interested!
  • Trump has signed an executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the US for 90 days. However, this ban does not include Muslim majority countries in which he has business holdings such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
  • Hosting a tech summit at Trump Towers to discuss economic growth, job creating and innovation with tech leaders. While this in itself is not a conflict, having his children Donald Jr. Ivanka (and spouse), and Eric at this meeting is questionable. They had no business being there.
  • More about Ivanka. She also sat in on a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and spoke with Argentine president Mauricio Macri.
  • Has not divested from his business ventures and family continues to pursue lucrative, global business deals. There is WAY more to this then my simple sentence. Way to much to write here. This article in Mother Jones or this one from Time may help to clarify some of this. 
  • I will talk about Mar-a-Lago though. This is his resort in Palm Beach. As of January 1st they raised their membership rate from $100,000 to $200,000. Hmmm, do you think they're trying to profit off of Trump's presidency? Curiouser and curiouser.
I'm sure there are more conflicts, but once again I am out of time. I wanted to go through Trumps unfortunate cabinet picks, but that is a blog for another day. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The End of America as We Know It: Part One

Donald Trump is our president. I guess we all just have to accept that as a fact (wishing it was an alt fact, but oh well). In my personal and humble opinion this will be the worst four years in United States history, especially for anyone without porcelain skin or a penis. I'm so riled up I'm blogging again as you can see.

Trump and minions have made some big and unfortunate decisions since taking office. Let's take a gander at these, shall we?

  • He reinstated the Mexico City Policy, or, Global Gag Rule. This policy kills US aid funding for any health center that even mentions the word abortion. This will globally cut, not only abortions, but family planning counseling, US donated contraceptives, HIV services, maternal and child health, and even malaria services. This puts women's health at risk by cutting basic services, forcing women into unsafe abortions or unwanted pregnancies.
  • Abortions aren't only being cut globally by the new president. His Congress passed a bill expanding the Hyde Amendment which currently prohibits direct federal funding (for instance, medicaid) for abortions. Up until now, this amendment has been attached to Congress's annual appropriations bill. The expansion of this amendment will mean that it will become permanent. Of course medicaid isn't the only channel affected by this. This also applies to women on government provided health care plans like military personnel, federal employees and Native American women, and women who pay for their own insurance under the ACA. This will heavily affect low income women in marginalized areas who will have to pay for abortions out of pocket or go without. Which again, will lead to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
  • The revival of the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. These pipelines were blocked over environmental concerns, mostly the affect of fossil fuels on climate change. But since Trump questions the actual science behind climate change, what does he care. The Keystone XL would stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico - 1200 miles, 6 states, moving 800,000 barrels of petroleum daily. Most of which is slated for overseas sales. The Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota to a shipping point in Illinois. The pipeline risks contaminating tribal water and the water supplies of 17 million Americans with disregard to Native American treaty rights. 
  • Lies, lies, lies. Oh wait, sorry. I mean #AltFacts.
  • Trump fired all foreign ambassadors. This in itself isn't uncommon, but he had no replacements lined up, which is, well, inane.
  • The Great Orange One placed a social media gag order on the EPA, USDA and Department of the Interior. I mean, who needs to know the truth about our environment and what we ingest? And let's just stop all those mean tweets from the National Parks, shall we?
  • Trump has placed a freeze on federal government workers outside of military, public safety and public health departments. Historically (through Reagan and Carter presidencies) we know that these freezes don't work. Many federal agency's efficiency was disrupted and it actually cost the government money. One way it may cost money is that these agencies, which may be understaffed, will be forced to hire private contractors, which will be much more costly than federal workers. Which agencies will feel this freeze the most? Those that deal with our most vulnerable citizens - The Veterans Administration and Social Security. Also agencies that are already understaffed such as the FDA, National Parks, and the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Taking action to repeal the ACA. Health care should be a right, not a privilege. I am one of the people this will affect. As the owner of a small business, and side work, I make too much money to qualify for medicaid. Repealing the ACA will take away my reasonably priced insurance no doubt and replace it with private, more expensive insurance - that I will not be able to afford to pay. I can barely afford my inexpensive insurance as it it. Without insurance I will not be able to afford the prescriptions I need, my necessary women's health care, my glasses or contacts, and more than likely, other basic health care needs. And I will not be the only one.
  • In a frightening turn of events, Trump removes the LGBT, Disability, Health Care, Civil Rights, and Climate Change sections from WhiteHouse.Gov. He also removed any Spanish translation from the website as well. He has alienated all minority groups, those requiring health care or special needs care, and of course, remains ignorant of the truth about climate change.
  • He gave the go ahead on building the wall on the Mexican border, which of course we, the tax payers, are funding.
  • Our new Oompa Loompa in charge has stripped federal grant money to sanctuary cities. These
    © David Lacasse
    cities include Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and most notably, New York and Washington DC. This is just to name a few. These are MAJOR cities! Many of these cities will defy this executive order to protect their citizens.$ 2.2 billion in federal funds are at risk. And what do these funds subsidize? Head Start, airport improvements, public housing, and community development. For me locally, Seattle would lose funding for supporting efforts to end internet crimes against children, aid the human trafficking task force, and assisting women after incarceration, and the biggee, a loss of funding for our ports, which affect American trade.
This blog has become longer than I intended and I have so much more to say and share. Therefore, I guess it has just become a series. More on this later.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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