Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Lemonade Movie

I went to a film presentation tonight at the Books & Books in Coral Gables for a film called Lemonade. It is about creative advertising professionals who were laid off in this recession and their innovative approach to making a living. It was amazing! The film has not yet been released but I highly recommend it to anyone who is unemployed, hates their job or is unsure about what to do with their life. Its hope-reviving and totally inspiring. I feel like quitting my job and doing my own thing!..(whatever that may be). The writer of the film, Eric Proulx (who is also featured in the film), was there to present it. You can sign up to be notified when the film comes out at lemonademovie.com and watch the trailer there, too. Be prepared to feel the urge to do something crazy and a little wreckless. You can also check out Eric's blog Pleasefeedtheanimals.com. I would like to close this post with: "Can i say Fuck You?"

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Pet Doorbell

Attention fellow owners of un-potty-trainable-doggies: I found this item and I'm dying to get it. It's a pet doorbell that pets can buzz when they need to go out and do the peepers creepers or other fun stuff. Its exactly what I need for my stubborn dogs (particularly the min pin). It says no training necessary...I believe it! Because I want it to be true.  Buy it for me?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why I Love the MyTouch!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got my new Mytouch and I gotta say…I am NOT sad. I thought I might miss having my cool sidekick that opens up like a switch blade, but no. Most of the differences that I have experienced with the Mytouch are good.
  • Love the apps! I didn’t even understand what apps were a few weeks ago. I would always hear about them: “Apps this, apps that” but I just had no interest in finding out what they were. Well, I get it now. I love them!!! AND…so many of them are FREE!!!
  • You can open multiple windows in your web browser (sidekick didn’t let me do this)
There are only a couple of things I have some difficulty with.
  • Typing on the touch screen; I was so used to the QWERTY board that I could type without looking. Now, the touch screen in combination with the automatic spell checker has made me send a couple of texts to my boyfriend that say “Mean!” instead of “Mwa!”
  • The Camera has no flash :(
Despite these cons, I LOVE the Mytouch! It has great battery life, so many entertaining options and lots of free stuff…myfavorite.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Sidekick Users Deserve

I am one of the many unfortunate t-mobile sidekick users who have lost so much of their personal information. I have been a loyal sidekick owner who has upgraded from one model to another and just could not see myself going to anything else that didn’t have that special swivel screen that flips open. Even before being a loyal sidekicker, I was a loyal T-mobile customer for several years. As many people have pointed out, this recent service disruption that sidekicks have undergone has been highly inconvenient, especially for those who have conducted business and stored business contacts and information on their sidekick device. But…let us not forget that it’s still very inconvenient for those who don’t. Most of us have stored important information including contacts, to-do lists, appointments, deadlines, account numbers and passwords on what we thought was our device; not the technology cloud on the manufacturer’s database.

T-mobile is proposing to pacify sidekick users with a $20 data credit as well as $100 gift card that may be used towards T-mobile products or bills. T-mobile should act as if their customers’ time and loss is worth something more than that. After losing so much personal information as well as enduring what felt like a long week of no internet access among other features, sidekick users deserve more.

Sidekick users who stay with T-mobile should be allowed to upgrade to the myTouch for free. I don’t think it is fair that as a result of the trouble we were caused, that we would have to pay to get the new phone (even after factoring in the $100 credit) AND our monthly data service charges will go from $20 to $35. Sidekick users will end up paying more money per month due to the inconvenience caused to them. It would be more than fair for T-mobile to allow users to upgrade to a myTouch for free while adjusting the monthly data fee to match the one that we currently have for sidekick. Forget the $100. That is still T-mobile profiting from a grand error.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Annoying Things People Say, Misuse or Mispronounce

I get annoyed pretty easily. This is a fact. Some of the things I can’t stand are when people mispronounce common words, when they use obnoxious phrases or they just say stupid shit that even my 5 year old niece knows better than to say.

Some mispronounced words that are pretty annoying:

Old-Timers Disease (or sometimes all-hymers)
I can understand to a certain degree that many people may be ignorant of the disease but…lets get this lesson out of the way already…its…Alzheimer’s Disease. Yes, old-timers are usually the victims of it but…no, that’s not what it’s called.

Concentrate…Per-so-na-li-ty. My name happens to be Natalie…stop calling me by accident.

       Valentime's Day 
       It's Valentine's Day, stupid. 

Annoying phrases:

I could care less
You could? So…you care a lot and it could only go down from here? Its “I couldn’t care less.”

That’s What’s Up
This is just a personal one. I used to know someone who would use this for every fuckin thing I would say and it made me what to stab him in the throat every time he said it.

A Spanish phrase for the road:

Te llamo para atras
This makes me crazy. When you are hanging up with someone and you promise to call back…saying the above phrase is pretty much promising them that you will call them backwards. It’s just ghetto Spanish.

Which misused/mispronounced phrases or words do you think are the most annoying?

Monday, August 31, 2009

My Uber Long Posts

Oh dear blogspot, why are my blogs so long?? Is it the layout of my page? Is it because I ramble? I don’t post that often because I feel I do not have enough information to create a complete post…when I finally feel that I have enough thoughts to post something short and sweet …it ends up being uber long! NO MORE!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Human Species: Built for Monogomy?

A few days ago, while I was getting my nails “did”, I got into a slightly discouraging debate with my nail lady and two of her clients regarding couples and “forever afters”. The debate was 3 against one (one, being me). On the other team: A 34-year old married woman who we will call Rosie; a gay man who has been in a domestic partnership for 8 years (we’ll call him Tim); and then there was my nail lady (we’ll call her Jackie) who is divorced and currently living with her boyfriend and his two kids.
Tim is about 40 years old and very committed to his partner. Tim told me that he strongly believes (and always has) that no two people are meant to be together for the rest of their lives. He said that people change and grow apart. His parents have been married for 44 years and he has asked them over a dozen times to get a divorce. He said that humans are animals…and only like 2 species of animals mate with one mate for life. I argued that my parents have been married for almost 40 years and are still very much up each other’s assholes. They go everywhere together and my dad doesn’t know what to do with himself when he is without my mom. Tim merely acknowledged that as an exception to the rule. The others agreed with him that it was “unnatural” for two people to live their lives faithfully dedicated to only each other.
Yes, people do change as time goes on but, I think the best way to deal with that situation is to expect it and prepare for it so that when it comes, you recognize it and can ride it out. I think people’s feelings will rise again like a rollercoaster. If you wait, it will come again. I think it is possible to grow together and not grow apart. You also need to know and expect that the relationship will change and the kind of love will change…but you have to know that it is coming. Those who are not willing to sacrifice the type of love that you feel at the beginning of a relationship are the people who will not be able to sustain a long term relationship because they will just keep thinking they’ve fallen out of love.
Jackie and Rosie believe it goes against our nature to be with one person forever and say that is why it is so easy to stray and there is so much infidelity (even when you love someone). Difficult…it is. And sometimes, it is attempted with the wrong person. Marriage is definitely not just rainbows and butterflies. I am fully aware that it is a lot of work and effort. You must know beforehand that there will be times when you will doubt your feelings for the other person and even go through phases where you might feel like you can’t stand them. Marriage or any “forever after” requires sacrifice and a lot of compromises. You will quickly come to realize that you are not living your life just as you please anymore…there is someone else to consider now besides yourself.
I acknowledge that we, as humans, will continue to lust and have normal human thoughts. This is why it is “difficult” and requires work. The fact that it is difficult may make it seem that it is “unnatural” because it is not our natural instinct. Fine. It’s not our natural instinct but why is anyone faithful? It is not for ourselves…and it’s not because it’s our natural inclination. Commitment and loyalty is more like a meaningful gift that someone can give to the person they love to show their respect for the relationship and allowing the relationship to remain…respectable.
Thoughts? Comments?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How Are We Supposed to Find the Time to Travel and Work?

Some things in life just don't balance out. I spend most of my day, week and month at work so that I can make money to live. Aside from bills and basic necessities, the money I work hard for can go towards pleasures, hobbies and anything from partying to a home or luxury car. For me, travel is the ideal place to put my money. I studied abroad in Europe a couple of times and ever since, I get this itch every so often to travel again. That itch normally comes every two years or so.

About a year ago, I started writing full-time for a travel/tourism company. I spend all day writing about top vacation destinations, exotic places, isolated beaches, crystal clear waters and amazingly beautiful natural areas. After researching and browsing pictures of each place, I find myself yearning to go to places I never thought anyone would ever want to go to. I want to go to Idaho? Bizarre. I currently have a list forming of places that I want to make a point to visit. Aside from the destinations I've never seen, I often daydream about returning to the places I have been and previously fell in love with. I want to sit on the gorgeous Ponte Vecchio in Florence Italy at night with a bottle of wine listening to a street entertainer sing and play his guitar; I want to walk around the distinctly gorgeous city of Venice; I want to live in Barcelona and enjoy a cafe con leche and tostada for breakfast and the sight of the ancient streets as well as the modern, high-end store fronts; I can go on for a while. After spending an entire day teased by tempting vacations that I have to write about, I end up frustrated at the fact that taking time off from work is frowned upon. At my job, we get zero days of vacation time and 3 sick days for the first year...and I work in a TRAVEL AND TOURISM company. Go figure. I write about places I have never seen.

Although every part of me wanted to graduate, start a career and make money without looking back more than anyone I knew...I now find myself yearning for the days that I was able to study abroad for a month at a time or take a vacation without worrying that I would get fired from school. If you don't work, you have all the time in the world but usually not the funds to afford to travel. If you do work, you have the money to travel but not the time. Damned if you do, damned if you dont. If you are someone who has a job that allows you to accumulate time and take it all of in a big chunk of time (like a month) or your career has a flexible schedule where you can easily schedule a good amount of time off (nurses, firefighters, etc.), that's awesome and this is not a problem you have to deal with. For the rest of us, we have to think outside the box and find ways around this obstacle. Otherwise, we will be pissed and bitter about the inability to use our money as we please. A few things you can do to squeeze out a healthy chunk of vacation time:

Combine vacation days with holidays
Schedule your time off the day before or after a company paid holiday. This way a week's worth of vacation time can be easily turned into a week-and-a-half-long vacation.

Work Abroad
Not the easiest option but probably the best. Aside from the fact that living abroad is a fulfilling vacation experience in itself, many other countries have a very different, more flexible work and vacation policy. Travel on very affordable forms of transportation with a generous amount of allowed time.

Do contract work and travel between contracts
Work by contract (freelance, per project) so you can get income as well as an open schedule at the end.

Take time off between jobs
Start saving now so that if you foresee or unexpectedly find yourself without a job, you can schedule a long vacation before you start a new job. Take a month, two months...whatever you can afford.

Use vacation days plus Leave Without Pay (LWP)
Combine your paid vacation days with Leave Without Pay days

Working at Foreign companies
There are a few, special companies right here in the United States that are actually European, Australian or other nationalities with an office here. Some of these companies practice the vacation policies from back home and allow up to 7 weeks of paid vacation. For example, I have read about a British company that allows 4 weeks of paid vacation and urges employees to take every last minute of it. Nice.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Natural Highs

I’m not a doctor or psychologist. I don’t claim to know as much as a doctor or psychologist. I am simply someone who previously fell victim to depression and anxiety. I always thought it would be helpful to get insight from someone who had recovered from depression or anxiety themselves and could give me the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I often tried to find relief or answers by researching online. I found a lot of websites advertising different books, CDs or DVDs claiming to have the secret to solve all my problems. Maybe they did…but I wasn’t willing to pay money to find out if they were more than gimmicks. Plus, I was looking for something very specific. I wanted to know how to accelerate my journey to “normalcy” while on antidepressants. Nothing that I would have to worry about combining or conflicting with the medication. I wanted natural depression remedies. Below are tips to do just that, which I have gathered from research and my own personal experience. I do as many of these natural depression remedies as possible on a regular basis. I think it’s best to attack depression and anxiety from all angles.

1. Meditation
I started practicing guided meditation once a week at a yoga studio. To be honest, I wasn’t sure it was helpful at first. Over time, I got better at relaxing and meditating and I realized why it’s helpful. Meditation is all about practicing the ability to clear your mind and think about nothing at all. Through practice, it’s easier to control your thoughts and even switch them on or off when necessary. Don’t get discouraged when you start if you can’t control your thoughts while meditating. It took me a few months to get the hang of it. Ideally, you should meditate once a day. Download a guided meditation track, lay back and follow it on a daily basis.

2. Pranayama

Pranayama is a form of yoga that is used to reduce stress and anxiety. Pranayama is different breathing and sound exercises. Search online to see if there’s a place near you that offers Pranayama.

3. Yoga
I’m sure you’ve already heard that exercise releases endorphins and promotes happy moods. Yoga does that while incorporating a pure and spiritual ambiance which, if nothing else, is soothing. You’ll also like the improvement in your physique.

4. Jog, Speed walk or just get active
Cardio is known to enhance the effects of antidepressants. If you can’t bring yourself to do something like jogging or taking a walk, plan an activity that requires exercise. For example, make plans with friends to go kayaking. Try an aerial trapeze class. I’ll warn you in advance…you may wish you hadn’t made the plans when its time to get ready and go but you’ll be happy you did after. Make yourself do it. Make the plans with a group. That way you’re more unlikely to back out.

5. Going to the Beach

Believe it or not there is such a thing as a beach addiction. The reason this is possible is because Ultraviolet rays release endorphins. Therefore, people get hooked on a high that they’re unaware of. I’ll try anything that they say might be helpful. Plus, maybe my tan will make me happy.

6. Writing
Journaling is another popularly recommended tip. It serves as a release and helps sort out your thoughts, which can get lost in the fuzz when you’re depressed.

7. Go out

People suffering from depression would rather stay home and mope or “relax.” Force yourself. You may not even have fun while you’re out but after a few attempts, you will. Keep going.

8. Do something creative
I started painting which I’ve never done before. It was a distraction. I was very focused on coming up with new ideas and art that would decorate my apartment and the homes of my family members. Put your focus on other creative things like decorating your home, improving pieces of furniture, making something cool out of something you were going to simply throw away.

9. Sex
An orgasm releases endorphins and keeps you on a natural high for a few hours.

10. Massage
A massage gets me in a calm and feel-good mood. It’s so soothing and feels great. Turns out that, this too, releases endorphins. Yay to this one!

11. Laughter

A good, hard laugh does wonders for your overall mood. Watch funny movie, go to a comedy show or hang out with someone who tends to make you laugh.

12. Chocolate or a hot pepper

You may have already heard about chocolate causing your brain to release endorphins. Apparently, a hot pepper releases endorphins too. If you can bring yourself to do so, chew on one.

13. Things you like

Enjoy art of your taste, listen to music and do things you like.

14. Go on a Rollercoaster
Just do it.

15. Watch a scary movie

Weird, I know. According to something I read, a good spook and scream can do good. My view on it: You’ll know if you’re ready for this. If you don’t feel up to watching a scary movie, don’t.

Have anything to add? Do it up!