Thursday, March 28, 2013

Everything Shall Happen at Once

From henceforth today you shall read the rant of the Everythings. Things that clump shall stay clumped, and empty space shall be nothing but open space. Everything shall happen at once, or not at all.
(Law of Everthings chapter 2, section 4.16)
If Chaos was a picture, this is what my brain would look like. 

I have decided that the universe is rather lazy, and likes to clump everything together to save effort. Especially along the time-continuum of things. Haven't you noticed that nothing will happen for ages on end, you'll have weekend after weekend free of anything social or even important to do, then suddenly three of your friends will call and invite you to paintballing, hiking, or a show all on the same night. At the same time. You haven't noticed that?

Okay girls, all the single ladies that read my blog. That's at least 3 people, right? Anyway let's talk about dates. How often has this scenario happened? You'll go weeks, months, even years without a date (heck, I went 2.5 years at one stretch) then suddenly you'll get asked out. Not just by one gentleman, but two. If you're lucky, three or four, even a fifth will express interest in you. And all within the same week. Sound familiar? Why does this happen then? I'm not really sure, I have some ideas, but this happens time after time so it's not a coincidence, there's some law actively governing things here.

Don't believe me yet? Well let's move on to pets.

How does this apply you may ask? Well, think about it. You probably went 3-4 years, heck, maybe even a decade without a pet of some sort in your life. Then, you decide to get a bird. Or a dog. A small dog. Suddenly, within 3 months you have become home to a petting zoo that consists of a dog, two cats, several birds, and all the neighbors asking if you can tend THEIR animals on the weekend. After years of petlessness, you are overcome with animals. Something fishy is going on here.

What about friends? It works this way too. You'll move to a new place, or even stay in an old one, and you'll  seem to have no friends that can stand being around you. Maybe no one knows you yet, maybe all your friends are busy or can't stand the sight of you and need a break. So you'll go a month or two spending Saturday night lying on the couch and trying to eat potato chips off your chest. Then, you'll either decide you've had enough of couch crumbs or your friends will forget why they were avoiding you and contact will once again be made. You'll have something to do every night of the week, sometimes five or six things and you're swamped. How does this happen?

Here's my explanation. The Law of Everythings clumps things together so that the most action takes place on the fewest amount of days. Don't ask me why, but it's as recurrent as Newton's Law of Gravity. You'd think this law would allow events to be spread out over time so you could handle the most amount possible. Not so.

     My explanation has three parts. One, life is like a floodgate. You either shut certain aspects completely out or you become entirely waterlogged with those occurrences. This may be a trick of the mind, but once you become aware of a lack of something in your life, you open yourself up to receiving it. Not the world's fault your life floodgate only has off and full blast.
     Second, sometimes you put off some sort of aura or personal bubble that people aren't welcome in. This applies especially to Laws of the Median involving other people. You bounce people off your bubble and then one day without your conscious mind realizing it your psyche carefully flips the reverse switch. Suddenly it's like people haven't seen you before and can't get enough. This would also explain weird trends in popularity like Beiber Fever.
     Third explanation is that we suffer from the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon on a much larger scale than we realize. This phenomenon explains that there is tons of information in our world. Such a large scale of sensory information that our brains block quite a bit of it out to keep from being overwhelmed. But, once you notice something, like how there is an arrow between the E and the X on the FedEx trucks, you notice this everywhere. Your brain becomes sensitized to the information and you can see the other occurrences of it. This explains the other half of the phenomenon that's not people related, but more you or other thing related. It's actually a rather interesting phenomenon and I recommend reading more on that.

Anyway, the reason for this introspection is that I was offered three different options for the first two weeks of May. Once is that I'm going to watch my aunt Roberta while my Grandma goes to Israel. Two is that I was offered a rather full-time job of working with the PTC (a 6-week run that starts the end of April). Three, I was offered a volunteer opportunity to stage-manage the Farmington summer play, which starts with auditions the first week of May and would require almost full-time attention every evening until the show opened. So, I can only do one of those things adequately. I haven't had a job for three months now, and suddenly there's a possibility for three of them? All starting within 4 days of each other? Yep, that's the Law of the Everythings at work.

Think about it, and I'll bet you can identify things like this right off the bat in your life. Currently this law is quite frustrating to me, although at other times it can be awesome. Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day and see if you can find a FedEx truck just for kicks.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Lies Disney Taught Us

Disney Princesses, the backbone of the Disney marketing scheme. They are the icons that are marketed to millions of little girls as strong, beautiful, intelligent role models. But what do their stories really teach us? I grew up with the Disney princesses. However, in growing up there is unfortunately a cynical, logical side to these stories that comes to light. Let's look at what Disney teaches us.

All Disney Princess Movies, EVER
     Princess has found her guy by age 16. Yep, you read that right, 16. In Tangled Rapunzel meets Flynn when she's 18, so they're marketing a little older at least, but 16? Really? That makes most of us old maids. At 24, I'm 8 years past that. So....what does that say? Not sure yet, but seems to be that if you don't find your dream guy young, you'll never find him. Don't think that's what we want to tell kids.
     Princess gets the guy of her dreams. Didn't you notice that? Every single movie, the prince finds the princess and they both fall madly in love. At the end of the movie, the lead character is awarded their favorite love interest. You can apply this to regular movies too, just reverse it since almost every main character is male. That doesn't teach kids how to interact well, just to develop stalker-type crushes and then they'll be happy. Something tells me that's not how it works. I could be wrong though....Imagine me and you, I do. I think about you day and night, it's only ri-i-ight. To think about the girl I stalk, both day and night, so happy togetheeeerrrrrrr......"

Okay, let's examine two movies in particular, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. I would do more, but then this blog would be too long and I'd lose half my readership (Yep, I'd lose half of the 10 :)

Beauty and the Beast
     A wonderful story about a bullied, friendless girl who is held hostage by a terrible beast, develops Stockholm Syndrome, and proves that with love you can change a monster into a prince. Just think about that for a second there. The message seems to be, 'If I love them enough, they'll change for me." Well, that doesn't sound like every abusive relationship ever now does it? 
     This used to be one of my favorite stories, and I still love the music when I can turn off the cynical portion of my brain. However, I was in one such abusive relationship for a long time and those were my exact thoughts. "If I just show enough love, if I'm patient enough, kind enough, listen enough, whatever enough, then he'll change and things will be perfect." Life's lesson there is that people don't change. They really don't, unless the individual person wants to. That takes quite a bit of doing, so most people don't bother. Sure, the power of love and all that, but really, it's backwards to what happens in real life. So unless you want to teach the little girls that they just have to be perfect enough and whomever they're dating will love them, maybe we should keep this one locked in the vault. It might happen, but there are too many weirdos out there. 

The Little Mermaid
    This one's fun. A beautiful mermaid falls for a sailor that she rescues who just happens to be a prince. They fall in love, Ariel sells her voice to get legs and Eric is put under an evil spell but eventually they're together. Very nice story, if the villain is rather weird (I mean, who turns into a giant half-octopus the moment they get a ton of power? Wait....) Just don't ever read the original Hans Christian Anderson version though.
     Another lesson we really shouldn't be teaching. Change everything about yourself, even your body shape, then you'll be able to get the guy you want. Right, plastic surgery all over again. Let's not forget the running away, abandoning family for some guy you pulled out of the ocean. Here's Florence Nightingale Effect for you, courtesy of Prince Eric. 

So anyway, there it is. Think twice when you watch the next Disney movie and make sure to live Happily Ever After!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A True Story

     Once upon a time, in a land far away and not too long ago there was a castle. Inside this castle a handsome prince lay in a deep sleep. A muscular princess broke into the castle, found the prince, and gave him a slap.
"Wake up!" she said, "We're going to be late for church!"
The prince awoke and began to sing, "I know you, you slapped me once upon a dream..."
The princess thought, My brothers are so weird and went off in search of the next sleeping prince.

True story

Saturday, March 16, 2013

10 Little Habits That Can Destroy Your Brain

You might want to re-examine those little daily habits after reading this list. These are some small but very important things that can have a negative impact on your brain. Read on, hopefully you'll want to change something in your life after you finish!

1. Skipping Breakfast - Many people underestimate breakfast. Not consuming anything in the morning causes a decline in blood sugar levels. This results in a lack of nutrients to the brain. Continuing this habit for too long can cause a decline in brain function over a few years, due to insufficient brain fuel. The best breakfast in the morning is not heavy foods such as burgers, but water and at least glass of fresh fruit juice. I also throw in some protein in the form of an egg and beans! Compact and useful for the body!

10 Little Habits That Can Destroy Your BRAIN
2. Overeating - Too much to eat can harden the blood vessel of the brain that usually leads to the decline of mental powers. This is due to buildup of fatty acids and cholesterol. I bet you didn't know that in addition to affecting the heart, this affects the brain as well! So eat a normal portion. Familiarize yourself with portion sizes so you stop eating before you’re stuffed.

3. Smoking - Cigarettes have a lot of bad effects, everyone already knows this. There’s one more bad effect from cigarettes that you should know. Smoking reduces the size of blood vessels throughout the body. This effect is seen easily in the extremities (fingers and toes being cold) but also affects the brain. With decreased blood flow the human brain can gradually shrink, lose cells, and lose much of the elasticity that allows you to learn and think quickly. One more reason to quit!

4. Consuming Too Much Sugar - Too much sugar intake will prevent the absorption of protein and nutrients in the body and brain. Sugar can override important nutrients and cause a form of malnutrition. This is especially significant with children and teenagers, as this disrupts brain development. Sad to say, but we should probably reduce sugar consumption. (Ahh, chocolate! I must have my chocolate!)

5. Air Pollution - The brain is part of the body absorbs the most oxygen. Too long in a polluted environment makes the brain work inefficiently.

6. Sleep Deprivation - Sleep gives the brain a chance to rest. Frequent sleep deprivation makes the brain cells  die from exhaustion. On the other hand excessive amounts of sleep can make you become lazy and slow. You should sleep 6-8 hours a day for the best benefits.

7. Covering one’s head during sleep - Sleeping with the head covered is a bad habit that can be very dangerous. Carbon dioxide produced by the lungs during sleep can collect in the enclosed space and become concentrated in the brain. Too much CO2 will damage the brain over time.

8. Thinking Too Hard - This might seem kind of weird, but the brain is like a muscle in many ways. When sick, working hard or studying can hinder the effectiveness of the brain. If you're sick, be aware that you can overstress the brain as well as the body and get some much-needed rest! 

9. Lack of Brain Stimulation - Thinking is the best way to train the brain. Again, it's like a muscle in that if you don't use it, you'll lose it! Engage in brain-stimulating activities frequently such as diligent reading, listening to music and playing challenging games such as Chess or Scrabble. Currently, I'm catching up on my books and I'm in an improv group which definitely keeps you on your toes! 

10. Rarely Talking - Quiet people may be considered polite, but you should consider whether you're engaging in conversation or just sitting out so you don't have to think. Once again, use it or lose it! Intellectual conversations have a good effect on the brain. So get out there, socialize, and debate! It'll be fun and good for  your brain!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

You Are What You Think

I've stumbled on something that I think is quite brilliant. It's one of those things people tell you a million times, but until it actually clicks with you it doesn't mean anything. Focusing on the positive will literally change your life. Let me explain:

I can eat it! Om nom nom nom!!!!
Hillary Weeks once did an experiment where she decided to count all the negative thoughts in her life. She did that for a week, and became rather depressed. Go figure. She then decided to count all the positive thoughts she had in her life, and suddenly things were so much better. I've linked the YouTube video so you can see it for yourself; but the point is that what you focus on becomes the center of your life.

Another story. There was once an Indian chief who was speaking with his grandson. He told him, "My heart has two wolves fighting inside me, one is good and the other is evil." The grandson asked, "Who will win?" The chief replied, "Whichever one I feed." I've paraphrased the story, but can you feel the power of that statement? Whichever one I feed. I've heard John Bytheway tell this story, as well as many others, and I cannot believe how it hits me every time I hear it.

In life, we have the power to give credence to either the good or the bad, the positive or the negative in our lives. In my previous post, I talked about this a little, but the negative can overwhelm us if we give it too much power, or even thought. Now, I know I've already gone on about this, but we were having a Relief Society lesson taught by our bishop today and we focused a lot on the power of thoughts. The lesson was on a different, rather personal subject but what I pulled from it is that our thoughts have the power to make or to break us, and if we choose to focus on the negative we bring ourselves down, and on the positive we pull ourselves up.

Here's my personal example. Today I was feeling sorry for myself. You know, the whole no car, no job, no money, can't do anything stuff. Then I had the thought, "This is pathetic, things aren't all bad, I mean, I'm not homeless so I've got to have some good things going for me, right?" Then I started to try and name them. It was actually really hard to pull myself out of the negative rut. I finally got myself thinking, "Okay, I've got a warm room... but it's not mine. No, that's not the point, I've got a warm room to stay in and a soft bed. That's a good thing." After that, it started getting easier. I have a fun class I'm taking, a grandma that loves me, parents that care, a brother that actually calls frequently, a best friend that let me borrow a car, another best friend I can talk to, an improv troupe that I feel welcome in and that I'm making friends with, and job interviews and cool socks and a caring bishop and the list went on from there.

After I started thinking about it, there was so much to be thankful for. It really turned my day around. I could focus on everything that's going wrong right now (no car, job, money, boyfriend, ect) but by focusing on the good my life seems so much more open. The possibilities become endless, and I feel like I can accomplish things. That feeling is more important than anything, because when I'm stuck in a pit of depression I don't want to do or try anything. On the other hand, when I turn that around it's like I've got wings. Life may not be perfect, but it is good. It just depends on which side of it you look at.