Forbes is a great magazine that I really enjoy browsing in my free time. I normally use the website, but I’ve always been a big fan of hard copies. I love following @TEDTalks because they always post some great videos or articles. They are always sharing great ideas or products that really make you think. But the best thing about TEDTalks is that they don’t limit themselves to any particular subject so even if one tweet/post didn’t interest me, it means the next one probably will. Using social media to not only promote your product/service but entertain people while doing so is the best way to get publicity (Pizza Hut, Staples, Old Spice, etc). I really love how social media is marketing but also entertaining. It’s not just “BUY THIS PRODUCT! IT’S AWESOME!” it’s now “Here’s a hilarious picture…and look at this awesome product.” It’s not forcing advertising into the consumers face but letting the consumer come to them and discover the product/service on their own.
What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.
Can I just comment on the great use of the word ethereal? I love that word just because it sounds so majestic and godly. It’s great! And my apologies on not posting for a while. Life gets busy, you know?
I actually can’t remember most of my dreams and nightmares. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. I probably missed some bad nightmares and saved myself, but I could’ve also missed some great dreams to inspire me. But I’ll look at the bright side of this.
Sadly, I only have recollection of one nightmare. I rarely remember dreams since they don’t really stay in my memory. The important part about this nightmare is that I have no idea where it comes from and it affects my life almost everyday. That sounds much more dramatic than it should be, but I couldn’t get you to keep reading this if I didn’t make it interesting, right?
This nightmare begins at a mall about 20 minutes away from my house. It’s a popular mall that has a nice floor plan. The second floor has some balcony areas to look onto the first floor. I’m not really sure how to describe it, but the second floor is basically like swiss cheese, it has some holes that lets you see into the first floor and see what stores are there (marketing, eh?). So I’m at this mall when I was small and cute. I am running around smiling. The strange thing is it’s just me with some strangers walking around – weird mall experience for a 10 year old. So I’m leaning over the balcony looking into KB Toys (remember those?) and just feeling great. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN… *cue dramatic music*
I’m falling. I didn’t even trip. For some reason my body decided to lean too far foward and suddenly I’m suspended in midair. In reality I imagine that drop would be a 3 minute drop, but this drop took me 8 excruciating minutes. I felt the air all around me and froze from fear. I could barely hear myself screaming in agony. I don’t understand why I couldn’t hear the screaming or why nobody was concerned for me. I was falling in a crowded mall but nobody seemed to noticed or hear my screams. I believe that is where my fear of heights was confirmed.
So that’s this is how it affects my life everyday. I don’t go on many amusement park rides because of my fear of heights. I also can’t stand when there are glass floors on towers for tourists to take pictures through. I have a panic attack everytime I look out a window of a high building.
Valentine’s Day is coming up! So all you people with significant others hurry to buy the overpriced roses, fattening candies and really anything else. As for those of us without a significant other, let’s appreciate all the people we love. I’m pretty anti-Valentines Day for it’s commercial purpose, but I’ll be a positive for today and discuss the people I appreciate and love all year long:
My mother. That’s probably the most obvious one but I don’t think people realize how much our mothers have to deal with. For me, I was probably a pretty awful teenager so my mother deserves a nice plaque for that. There are so many things I’m thankful to my mother for, but that’s what my mother’s day post is for right? Moving on…
My father; who is pretty great. I love how much he supports me and deals with my insanity. I think he’s one of my biggest supporters next to my mother and I will always appreciate him for being there. And again, I’m sure when father’s day approaches I can discuss that more.
My little sister. She’s pretty cool, I mean she’s a huge supporter of mine because I’m a huge supporter of her. I love her like crazy and even though I’m not always there physically, she knows I’m there in every other way. I think that’s really special. And we have a lot of fun together just watching the Bruins, playing video games or watching funny TV shows. She helps me relax since I’m a pretty uptight person.
My grandparents. They are really great emotional supporters. Even though we barely see each other, they never seem less proud or involved in my life. Life can get really busy, but I know they’ll always be there waiting to be proud of me. I love that they are so excited about everything I do and supporter no matter what happens. They both truly care about me and my accomplishments and I’m grateful everyday that they’re here. My grandfather also inspired me to play erhu, so I’m forever in his debt.
My best friends. They have also supported me through my most emotional times. Even though all four of us are uber far away from each other in college, we somehow seem to keep in touch. Perhaps I can thank technology, but I believe it’s also because of our great friendship. When we return home for breaks, we all hang out and have a great time. Yet, somehow, we never run out of things to say. Plus, college has some great stories you just can’t make up. Crazy young people without any boundries…somebody’s going to screw up in a funny way! They also help me relax since I, as mentioned before, don’t know how to relax.
As Christmas and other winter holidays are quickly approaching, we can all expect to walk into a department store – actually or almost any store at this point – and see decorations! Actually, we’ve been seeing them for weeks now, it’s just in full swing by now. Of course, I celebrate Christmas – but not for religion. Now before you all go off and call me mean names, let me explain. I do not identify with any religion. I believe what I believe, and that’s it. I don’t need any sort of label on me for it (sorry US Census.) You could say whatever you like about me, chances are I’ll probably never find out.
I celebrate Christmas for one reason and one reason only: blissful happiness. I love Christmas for the decorations, Christmas Classic movies, family and friend gatherings, and of course the child in me loves the presents. That’s not the only reason though; it used to be, but it isn’t anymore. Christmas for me is the one gift at the end of the year where I can eat whatever I want and my mother can’t say a thing because she’s so busy and I’m off from college for a month or so and I receive gifts on top of all that. It’s when I come home and cook for the family – feminist please wait – because I want to. I love to cook. I love trying new recipes and baking and just all that Christmas-y stuff.I love cookies and winter recipes and just anything delicious.
I also love decorating the house because who doesn’t want a bunch of lights hanging everywhere and annoying their parents because apparently I’m going to “kill the electricity bill.” You do know that electricity bills aren’t alive and I can’t kill it, right? But to be honest, it’s worth it to me. I’ll pay the bill….just kidding don’t tell my parents that. For me, I love decorating the Christmas tree because of all the special ornaments. I have some from when I was in kindergarten and when my little sister was in preschool and just all these adorable things. And everything has a story of how we bought it on sale, how I made it in school or who gave the decoration to us. I always set aside a Sunday night to make hot cocoa and just spend a couple hours decorating and setting up the tree with my little sister while blasting some classic Christmas music (That’s right, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra fill my house!) . I just love it. It’s a tradition I plan to keep until something decides to replace or destroy it. (That was loaded language, my apologies.) My decorations accumulate every year because I always want to improve the Christmas spirit in my house.
According to me, the Christmas spirit is that innocent feeling of pure joy. Don’t we all remember when we were young and just so damn stupid? I miss it. Bills didn’t exist, cash just fell out of ATM machines, those things called credit cards gave mommy and daddy unlimited money and Santa visited us every year on December 24th? I miss that more than anything. Well Santa still visits me so that’s fine, but all that reality is just irritating. Reality is a real pain in the neck sometimes, isn’t it? I think that’s why I fell in love with Christmas. Well, the perfect idea of it. It’s just a joyous time where everybody gets together to celebrate the beautiful end of year and where we can all just eat whatever we want and deal with weight loss during New Years (did I mention I dislike New Years?) That’s the Christmas spirit and I love it.
It’s also an amazing time to volunteer since there are so many less fortunate people in the world. Since I’m from New England, this is also our coldest season. It’s really the time people need winter coats and socks and hats and all that great stuff. I always drop a dollar into the Salvation Army red buckets even if I technically can’t afford it. I think every little cent helps. Maybe I’m being naive but we can only hope it benefits people that truly need our help. I believe in donating time not money, but I honestly have no time when it comes to being in college. I try my best but most of the time nothing works to my advantage. But hey, a dollar here and there must help somebody! I’m optimistic because it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Do children even know what the Christmas classics are? Those Rankin and Bass movies? If you don’t know who they are please go inform yourself. You will thank me. I love those movies. They just make me feel so happy and thankful I can’t help but smile all the time. I’m humming those catchy songs and dancing like a maniac and everybody’s judging me but I don’t care. It’s the only time of year I will do that. I love “The Year Without a Santa Claus” because of the Heat Miser and Snow Miser song of course! I don’t recommend the second installment at all. Don’t waste your time. I also love the animated ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with the little mice? So sweet. And all the Rudolph installments by Rankin/Bass are just amazing. They really get me in the spirit. Well, Disney used to do amazing Christmas specials but now they’re really strange. So I recommend old Disney movies with Mickey Mouse and maybe even Pooh Bear! None of this crap currently on the Disney Channel (which I now avoid like the plague.) And Charlie Brown! But he and Snoopy are a given.
Family and friends: they are one of the reasons I love Christmas. Some relatives I don’t see often and I just love gathering with them and catching up. Plus, when they come it means my mother will make a feast! Oh she’s an amazing cook and the main reason I come home. Sorry Sodexo. Not really though. I personally don’t care what we eat, as long as it tastes delicious. I trust that everybody’s dishes will please my taste buds. I think gatherings like this is one of the other main reasons I love Christmas. It’s just a great excuse to have a party and enjoy other people’s company. And eat. Sorry, I just love eating.
Gifts. Oh the ever looming question: is Christmas too commercialized. Yeah, it probably is. All those decorations are a little insane…but oh so adorable. I just want to spend all my money on them (hats off to all those marketers.) And the concept of gift giving is great for kids and bad for adults. I personally love going to the mall and looking in different stores to see what gift I can give to all my friends and family, but that doesn’t mean everybody does. I try to buy thoughtful gifts, or even practical gifts. Like, clothes is just not a good idea unless the child is 3 years old or under. And little dollar store toys? No. Don’t bother. I’m much more inclined to just return it for that one dollar. (I’ve never actually done that, though) I really love those singing dolls that dance around! I know that’s a bit childish BUT IT’S CHRISTMAS. Let me be! I also love getting gifts. That little selfish part of me loves to see what other people come up with. What do I need? To be honest, not much. Whatever I need to provided (thanks mommy and daddy!) but I do need to know you care. I’m a bit corny when it comes to letters and cards. That’s just me. But people only get to see that side of me during Christmas time. Other than that, I’m pretty conservative and not affectionate. I really let loose during the holidays. That’s just me. I recommend you be yourself all year round, but I’m working on me. I’ll get there, I promise.
So happy holidays everybody! You should share your favorite recipes with me, I promise to post a photo of it – pass or fail
(P.S. I have to take into consideration the allergies within my household, so if I don’t make your recipe please don’t take that as that I don’t like your recipe, it’s that I can’t make your recipe. Other people will definitely enjoy it, but unfortunately it can’t be me. I’ll be sure to reblog it though!)
©2013, Amanda H
On the interview show Inside the Actors’ Studio, host James Lipton asks each of his guests the same ten questions. What are your responses? (via Daily Prompt: Inside the Actor’s Studio.)
I love that show! James Lipton is so elegant and welcoming, I’m so terribly jealous of him and his amazing job. So now to the questions:
1. What is your favorite word?
The first questions is already stumping. me. I think my favorite word as a child is “yes” for example, “can I eat this chocolate?” or “can we buy that toy?” But I really love the word “lollygagging” or “tomfoolery.” They are fun to say. I’m really not sure why because the word “gagging” is in one of them, but hey, stranger things have happened, right? I like obscure words.
2. What is your least favorite word?
I don’t think I have a least favorite word. WAIT NOPE. “Hanged.” I hate that word. It sounds so wrong compared to “hung” and I dislike how it’s a real word. I just can’t deal with it.
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Creatively: music. I love music and the concept that a limited amount of notes can create millions of songs is just fascinating. It’s creativity heaven – unlimited possibilities. Spiritually, I buy into the concept of silent contemplation. Most religious leaders went into the woods and just lived with their own thoughts and nature. It makes me feel so relaxed because no outside forces are disturbing me. Emotionally, I love talking to animals. Weird, I know. I think it’s great how they listen and you can see in their eyes that they understand what you’re feeling. They don’t even need to know what you’re saying but they can feel your pain or your happiness. It’s one of the reasons I want a dog. It’s netter than talking to a therapist since I can work out my own problems.
4.What turns you off?
Ignorant people. People who don’t want to learn. People who waste money trying to impress other people because other people don’t matter. People who don’t have compassion. Brown nosers/kiss asses (sorry for the language). I’m sorry I’m so negative but there are a lot of people that just make me angry.
5. What is your favorite curse word?
I think “ass” has to be my favorite. I can add an accent to it and make it sound like “S” so I can get away with a lot of things. You can also say you’re referring to a donkey so that’s fun. And well, it’s a pretty funny word. Well, and “bitches.” It’s just fun if you don’t take it as an insult. And if you’ve ever seen the “In Plain Fright” episode of Psych, then you understand why bichin’ is just the greatest typo ever.
6. What sound or noise do you love?
Music is a great sound, but also laughter. I think I really love when people laugh because it reminds me of how positive life can be even if we don’t feel it right now. Music is also one of my favorite sounds since I am a musician and I love music in general. I especially love laughter since it means I’m correct in assuming I’m a funny person.
7. What sound or noise do you hate?
Whining. I cannot stand when people whine or cry over something that is completely their fault. Look, you didn’t finish the project on time and you failed. Get over it. It’s your fault, that was assigned a long time ago and you could’ve planned ahead. I have nothing else to say on the matter (this goes back to my distaste for brown nosers)
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I don’t have a profession as of yet, so I would love to try anything at this point! Being a student is great and all since we have minimal responsibility, but I’d like to eventually do something meaningful. The saying “the grass is always greener on the other side?” I believe it 100%. We all desire what we don’t or can’t have. I don’t have a job, and I’d really like one. Once I get one, I’m positive I’ll go beating myself up on how stupid I was for wanting a job. Anything like that makes sense. Looking at senior year of high school, I wanted nothing more than for the year to be over, then suddenly when it was over, I didn’t want it to be over anymore. I was so paranoid for the road ahead that I realized maybe the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. Wow that was really off topic. So I’d like to attempt anything that requires minimal math and science skills. I’d personal like to try something artsy. Not sure what yet though.
9. What profession would you not like to do?
I guess I remember a lot more than I thought. So I would dislike anything relying heavily on math or science. I personally don’t care for math and science since I like to think people smarter than me are taking care of that. I personally don’t like math so I don’t want to pursue it. Basic arithmetic and statistics , as much as I hate to admit it, are necessities in my life as a business major. But once you start talking about calculus I start to have a nervous breakdown because I really didn’t retain any information on that from high school. I think I’d like to see how scientist do their work but I’d never want to do their work. Writing to apply for grants and writing a million essays is just really not my cup of tea. I don’t think the business world is much better but hey, I’m better at all those courses. A higher GPA makes me happier than most things.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Wow I’ve never thought about that (since I don’t necessarily believe in heaven). I think “here’s a green tea frappe with whipped cream, just like you always order, and the world buffet is to your left.” That would be my heaven. Lots of food and lots of fun. I just realized I’m really craving a green tea frappe right now. And food. I should probably do something about that…
Until next time, friends!
©2013, Amanda H
This is a really great video explaining how introverts are the majority and how this indicates we should change our ways of expecting productivity. As an introvert, I completely agree. I can work with a team but sometimes I just need time to think and brainstorm. I never thought about the power of introverts because society expects everybody to be an extrovert. I share this video in the hopes that as a society we can learn and adapt and also in the hopes that some managers/executives can change their expectations of teamwork.
Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?
I’m actually extremely uncomfortable in front of people. I’ve trained myself to act confident in front of people so it looks like I’m relatively comfortable. In all honesty, I think I’m horrific at speaking in front of people but everyone else I talk to is impressed by how comfortable I seem. The key word here is “seem.” I don’t actually feel comfortable, I just “seem” it. I actually am a very shy person, but I pushed myself to become a different person in front of people. I use humor all the time and in almost any conversation – that’s just my personality. So, when I make a speech I try jokes and when NOBODY LAUGHS I get even more uncomfortable. So, my method to make things less uncomfortable makes me even more uncomfortable is just a huge paradox.
I think I’m afraid of public speaking for one reason: I’m a perfectionist. I hate admitting it to myself, but I want my life to be perfect. Everything is always done before the deadline, no stress, no mistakes and no sadness. I know that is impossible and unattainable but that’s how I feel. I want everything perfect and that’s it. I used to rewrite notes and type them up just because I want them to look perfect (now I’ve dropped that habit because it’s a waste of time). I honestly used to be borderline OCD. It’s not that fun because I’m not actually intelligent enough to get a perfect 4.0 GPA. So public speaking is probably just one thing I should be bad at. I should get anxiety and pass out, but I don’t. One day I just said “screw this, you can’t be perfect and you’ll never be perfect.” It seems a little harsh, but reality isn’t easy to digest. I hated how awful I felt because my life wasn’t perfect. I’m not a failure because my life isn’t perfect. And I think realizing that I can’t be perfect helped me get through public speaking. I’ve done speeches for a music group I was a leader in and also for a club I founded – and to be honest I’m glad I had those experiences no matter how difficult they were.
My advice? It’s going to sound so silly and extremely cocky, but here it goes: convince yourself you’re not going to mess up and that you’re the best. Yes, before every speech I tell myself that I’m smarter than everybody and that if I mess up it won’t matter because NOBODY IS SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND IT. Sometimes, you have to just convince yourself that you can do no wrong. Then, when you do mess up, you don’t become more nervous and mess up more (ironic, right?). I think you just have to stand in the bathroom and scream “I’M AWESOME AND THIS SPEECH IS GOING TO KICK ASS.” Seriously. Your psychological instincts are easy to convince and change. Use that to your advantage. So go out there and KICK ASS. Speech wise. Don’t get violent. That’ would be wrong.
©2013, Amanda H