Random Prompt | Onion Garlic Chewing Gum

“Write a thank you note to a friend who gave you onion and garlic-flavored chewing gum.”

My dearest Becky,
Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for the savory treat of mastication that you have bestowed upon me. Never in my twenty-five years on this planet did I think that I would enjoy the process of befouling my breath with the taste of onion and garlic, without filling my stomach with unnecessary calories and gorging. No longer will I be subjected to the struggle of finding manners in which to politely conclude conversations brought on by unpalatable individuals, as my fetid breathe should suffice as a deterrent for both unwanted conversation, as well as potential suitors! Your pungent gift will serve a great purpose, and I thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Yours truly, with little sarcasm,
Jan

Advertisements

Daily Prompt 1/21/2016 | Bored? Never!

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/21/2016 | ( YAWN )

“What bores you?”

What bores me? Honey, please. Life is never boring when you have a nearly one-year old (two more days, you guys. What?!).

Even during his naps, when the apartment is quiet and serene, I always have so much to do. Sure, I usually just take that time to nap, or write a blog post, or shower… but there is always something going on. Never a dull moment. Ever.

Throughout each day, the majority of my time is spent picking Cheerios up off the floor, chasing Liam’s around the apartment, trying to steer him away from naughty areas he shouldn’t be in, kissing boo-boos, cooking meals, pressing ALL the buttons on ALL the toys, trying to figure out what the heck he just put in his mouth and where it could have come from, trying to keep him from taking his pants/shirt/diaper off, performing concertos on a piano that only has 4 keys, sweeping my floors for the 5th or 6th time, changing dirty diapers, playing peek-a-boo behind every piece of furniture in the apartment, getting soaked during bath time… the list goes on.

Never. A. Dull. Moment.

I honestly don’t know if I will ever be bored again.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Random Prompt | Traumatic Childhood Memory

“Write about a traumatic childhood memory.”

Tanika looked over at me from the other end of her pool, her sunglasses sat low on the bridge of her nose, “Do you want to play hide-and-seek?”

“What?” I asked her, “Aren’t we a little old for that?”

She laughed, “I’m getting Chase, he’ll want to play, too.”

Unfortunately, I don’t remember her brother’s actual name, so we’ll call him Chase.

We climbed out of the pool and toweled off. I had spent nearly every day at Tanika’s house that summer, just lounging in the pool, or playing Sonic on her SEGA, just trying to have as much fun as we could before returning to school. Tanika was my best friend, and our families had known each other for years. She was going to be in 5th grade in the upcoming school year, I was going to be in 7th. Her older brother, Chase, was visiting for the weekend, but he hardly wanted to play with a couple of kids, and spent most of his time in his room, ignoring us entirely.

This time, he agreed to humor us in our game of hide-and-seek, and it probably saved my life.

Tanika was “it” for the first and only round that we played. Chase and I separated, running in opposite directions into the woods behind their house. He headed down the path we took to play by the creek, and I wandered into the heavily wooded areas that we didn’t normally explore.

I could hear Tanika call out that she was coming to find us, and pushed further into the unexplored part of the woods. Suddenly, I lost of footing, and fell forward into something wet and mushy. I immediately panicked, realizing that I was starting to sink into the ground. I didn’t know what was happening, but the ground seemed to be swallowing me up. I grabbed onto a nearby tree and started screaming. The ground was heavy and cold around me. I still don’t know if it was some kind of sinkhole, or a very muddy pocket of water, but I was so scared.

By the time I saw Chase was running towards me, I was up to my rib cage in thick, muddy water. With one arm around the tree that I was holding, he pulled me out with little difficulty, and carried me back to the house, where Tanika was waiting. We agreed not to tell their mom, because we were afraid that she would be upset. The three of us snuck back inside, and Takina and I  went to her room, where I changed into a pair of her orange sweatpants, a matching orange sweatshirt, and a pair of black clogs, all of which were a size or two too small. Chase threw my clothes in the wash for me, and we retreated into the living room.

We didn’t really talk about what happened after that, and I spent less and less time at Tanika’s house that summer. After we returned to school, we grew more distant, until we were practically strangers. I never knew why that happened. We haven’t spoken since.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/20/2016 | All By Myself

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/20/2016 | Witness Protection

“When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?”

I’m a lone wolf, baby.

I’ve always preferred to deal with my stress and my problems on my own, even when they become overwhelming. That’s just how it has always been. I don’t really consider public speaking or bungee jumping to be that stressful, at least for me, but when I moved across the country (and even to a different country), I did it on my own. When I was kicked out of my ex’s apartment that we shared, and was forced to find a new place to live quickly, I did it myself. I didn’t really have anyone to support me. I never have.

When my son was born, I didn’t want anyone there other than my son’s father, and my nurses and midwife… unfortunately, Kyle wasn’t exactly there when our son made his debut into the world. Well, he was, but he was on the other side of the curtain, because he couldn’t handle it. I had my team of nurses and my midwife, and that was it. No one holding my hand, no one stroking my hair, no one comforting me. Just like my life has always been.

And I got through it, just like I always do.

I have always done better on my own. It keeps me focused, and gives me a sense of control, in a world where, realistically, I don’t have much control at all. I’ve never been the kind of person to allow others to shoulder my burdens, because I’ve always had to deal with them myself, as it should be.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Random Prompt | Travel the World

“What are some places around the world you’d like to visit, but haven’t made it to yet?” – @mageic via Twitter

There are quite a few places that I want to visit, and a handful of them are located right in this country! One of the top ones on my list is located in my home state. I was born and raised in Maine, yet never visited Acadia National Park. That has always been a huge item on my bucket list, and I someday hope to bring my husband and son back east with me to see the ocean, as neither of them have, and to see Acadia National Park. The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and The Redwood Forests are also places I would love to travel to for the first time.

Outside of the U.S., the places I’d love to visit are much more broad. India, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, England, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Australia (if I’m wearing a full-body bug net)… you get the idea. There are a few specific, foreign gems that I would love to see, like the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Colosseum, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu… the list goes on and on for a few hundred more pages.

There is so much beauty in the world, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience even a small percentage of what this planet has to offer. I’ve seen the ocean, climbed (small) mountains, been to New York, Boston, and Chicago, and experienced some of what they have to offer. I’ve been to science museums, art museums, famous zoos and aquariums, taken tours, hiked trails… But the United States is a newborn baby compared to some of the countries out there. There is so much to explore, and so much to learn, and I can only wish that some day I can afford to take my family to see even a tiny fraction of it.

What is the most exotic place you have ever visited? Would you recommend it? Where do you want to travel some day?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 1/17/16

Past (5 years ago).

My ex and I were shopping at a Rural King, on one of the days where they had the giant peanut bins set up, where you eat the peanuts, and drop your shells on the ground. As we were shopping, the peanut shells on the floor starting multiplying, and the level rose to our knees. Customers were casually wading through an ocean of peanut shells, and grabbing canoes, and other items off of the shelves, to stay above the shells.

That was it. We just walked around, shopping like normal, wading through an ocean of discarded peanut shells. I remember buying a blue scrub top, and some rain boots, and some snacks, but that was really all the dream was.

And then I woke up.

Daily Prompt 1/19/2016 | Can’t Stand Me

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/19/2016 | Can’t Stand Me

“What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?”

Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but I have been on the internet for a long, long time. I used to blog regularly on sites like Open Diary and Teen Open Diary back in midle school/early high school, and then moved on to Blogger, and eventually to Tumblr and WordPress. I dabbled in blogging, short stories, and online role-playing blogs (mostly Harry Potter), before moving onto a new platform: YouTube.

Untitleddddd

In 2009, armed with nothing more than a crappy webcam and my trusty headset, I uploaded my first video ever, which was a video response (remember those things?) to a video that Red Shirt Guy uploaded after facing criticism and ridicule for his Asperger’s Syndrome, which was brought into light during a BlizzCon panel, when he stunned the crowds, as well as the developers, by pointing out a story line flaw between the Warcraft novels and World of Warcraft game content. After my video response received over 10k views, and several hundred comments, I was inspired to make videos regularly. I began recording myself daily, talking about my day-to-day life, including fun rants about working in retail, trying new foods, talking about gaming, books, and movies, and also submitting entries for my friends Amanda’s monthly The Scrawl posts. While I had a lot of fun doing it, and built up a fan base of… well, 5 or 6 nice people, it was draining.

CX0efyqWYAE9-KA

I’ve never had the highest self-esteem, and putting my face out there for all the trolls of the internet to pick apart, certainly did not help. While the majority of the comments I received from viewers were quite positive, there were definitely some not-so-positive ones, and after a while, that got to me. I went to a dark place, for a really long time, and I still haven’t recovered from it.

Untitled
There’s something about putting yourself out there that makes you vulnerable. There are people stronger than me who probably could have handled it better and kept going, but I had a hard time. I eventually started moderating the comments, so that they needed approval before being posted. If people weren’t insulting my appearance, they were saying other vulgar things. You can see a few examples above.

After a while, I stopped posting videos regularly. And after a few years of this, I gave up entirely, and stopped posting videos. This was all during a time in my life where I was struggling with having moved to a new town, where I knew nobody, had no friends, had a hard time finding a job, and was in an unhealthy, controlling relationship. I felt completely alone. Before I gave up on YouTube entirely, I started dabbling in audio, specifically, podcasting. After receiving a lot of positive feedback, and realizing that it was something I enjoyed and was good at, I decided to give up on YouTube, and dove into the cold, unfamiliar waters of podcasting.

72841_354157268024476_531196143_n

I uploaded my first episode of Something Suggestive in February of 2012. Early on, I filled my show with World of Warcraft news, movie reviews, and a random Q&A segment. It was really awkward, and felt totally different than recording videos for YouTube. There was no camera to talk to, and I found myself needing to edit out a lot of awkward pauses and stumbles. But I eventually got the hang of it. I gained a pretty decent following on Twitter, and the outpouring of friendship and support was incredible. For the first time in a long time, I felt accepted. Like I mattered.

My show started getting bigger, and the pride that I felt whenever I checked my weekly stats was amazing. I made so many friends in the podcasting community, and was even invited to be on several other podcasts as a guest host. Some of you may not know this, but I believe that I was also the first WoW podcaster to interview a WoWHead staff member (Perculia), which was pretty amazing to me at the time. I overhauled the content of my show, made it more WoW-oriented, and introduced two amazing segments, featuring my dear friends, Rho and Marconin. Life was good.

That all ended in March of 2013, when my ex and I broke up after 4 years together, and he kicked me out of our apartment. He took back the computer that he had given me for Christmas, and I was forced to leave my old life, and most of my belongings, behind. Rho was nice enough to take over my final episode of Something Suggestive for me, which aired on April 1st, and that was that.

It has been a little under 3 years since the last episode of Something Suggestive, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Podcasting was one of the only things in my life that I felt like I was good at. It helped me break out of my shell, and helped me form some amazing friendships. It also helped me deal with trolls and haters better (and believe me, there were quite a few), because I knew that I was good at what I was doing, and they were just jerks. Unfortunately, I no longer play World of Warcraft, so returning to the podcasting community seems impossible. I’ve lost contact with many of the people I once considered to be great friends. I recently picked up blogging again, which has given me a nice outlet for my creativity, as well as my frustrations, and it has made me feel a little bit better about the direction my life is going in. Kind of…

I guess, to answer the original question, I find watching old videos of myself more unbearable, mostly because I was so awkward. I had no idea what I was doing. I sometimes wish that I had stuck with it a little longer, because who knows where I would be right now! I had fun doing it, but looking back at it, I don’t think I was nearly as successful at vlogging as I was at podcasting. I have the face for radio, haha. I actually wouldn’t mind getting into radio, or some other kind of podcasting, in the future!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan