This Is Seriously An Honor!

This is crazy to me! I was bored one afternoon and decided to type in “hottest female doctors” in the Google search field. I had done this in the past and was stunned when I saw more than one article which mentioned me. I once again stumbled upon another article which was published in 2016, and which is a highlighted “People Also Ask” question on Google: “who is the hottest female doctor in the world:?”. I honestly thought I might see a venerated female colleague as a response to that question, but instead, I saw that there was an article on me!

I have gotten a LOT of criticism for being forthright in my determination to show off the labors of my hard work in the gym. My determination comes from being a “practice what I preach” type of person, and not from wanting to be in any type of spotlight. So before the haters emerge and decide to blast me, keep in mind where I am coming from.

Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

https://theoatmeal.com/

Check out Matthew Inman’s amusing blog post which covers ten words he believes people should stop misspelling. I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with Matt regarding the issue of misspelled words. For those who are interested, you can even purchase a poster of the blog post, which could serve as a not-so-subtle reminder to those afflicted with spelling and grammar faults to pay attention.

The Oatmeal – Funny Website

If you haven’t checked out The Oatmeal, and you enjoy quirky humor, then you really should click on the following link:

https://theoatmeal.com/

This website is the brainchild of Matthew Inman, who created the card game Exploding Kittens. The comics and blog articles are sometimes bizarre, usually very perceptive, often hilarious, and always brilliant. One of my favorite blog articles is the one entitled, Autocorrect hates you:

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/autocorrect

All I have to say is, be prepared to chuckle.

How To Have A Social Life While Recovering From Addiction

It was the partying and bars that helped bring you to this point. After years of self-destructive behavior, failed relationships, and even some run-ins with the law, you’ve finally managed to walk that straight edge. You’re clean and sober, and you have every reason to want to keep that going. 

But you also deserve friends, fun, and the rest that comes with having some kind of social life. That can be tough when you’re recovering from addiction. Society as a whole is not designed to be supportive to those in recovery. But without social interactions and good times, the resulting depression and loneliness can trigger a relapse. 
To help, Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net shares some tips for staying clean and sober while going out and having fun.

Image Source: Pixabay

Finding The Right Activities

One of the keys to staying sober while going out for fun activities is picking the right ones. This takes some of your history into account. If you spent way too much time in your previous years in dive bars, heading to hear a band at one might not be the best idea. Here are some activities that help support you in your addiction recovery. 

  • Play some games: This doesn’t mean sitting alone on a couch playing video games. You need social activities. Instead, get some friends together for board games. Bring a pack of cards to a restaurant and play there. And yes, video games with a bunch of friends in the room does count. 
  • Go see some live sports: Sports loyalties bring out a passion from their fans. Even if you barely know people, you can quickly bond over a game. But instead of hitting the bar scene, go see the game live. Professional leagues can be expensive, but minor leagues can be even more fun. 
  • Join a local league or sports club: Speaking of sports, you can have a social life by joining a local league or amateur sports club. Many adults get together on weekends to play some football, basketball, and more. 
  • Check your local library and park district: You’d be surprised how many social activities are now being offered by your hometown’s library and park district. Visit their website and look to see what clubs, events, and happenings you can attend. 
  • Reconnect with former friends: If you lost touch with friends along the way, rekindling old friendships can be a healthy way to heal and move forward in your sobriety journey. If you have trouble finding old classmates, try a site like ClassFinders, which makes it easy to track down school friends by graduation date and alma mater.

Going Along With The Group

You can’t be that person who’s always telling the group where they need to go. Sometimes, you’ll have to head with your friends to some place that can challenge your sobriety. It’s not inevitable, but it is something you can handle. 

First, explain to your friends why certain activities are just not for you. There’s a difference between going to a restaurant that serves alcohol and a dive bar that serves nothing but cheap booze. Your friends will understand. 

Once out, a big way to stay sober is to change your focus. Instead of thinking about how you can’t enjoy a few drinks, focus instead on how you can mingle, talk to people, eat great food, that sort of thing. In other words, give your mind something positive to think about. 

Just make sure you have an exit plan. Hanging out at a club can be great, but what happens when you suddenly realize everyone around you is high? You need to know when to leave. But you also need to know how. 

A Sober Companion Can Save You

When you’re out and about, having a close friend who can leave with you can be a lifesaver. Suddenly leaving a club or house party is embarrassing, but it’s less so when someone is heading out with you. Find a friend that you can depend on like that, and be sure to make it up to them if you have to leave early. 

It’s not always easy living the sober life. You’ve already made many big changes to your lifestyle, and more are probably on their way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life. Just pick your activities carefully, focus on something fun and sobering, and make sure you have an exit plan. 

Soothing Sounds You Can Customize

Source: 123rf.com
Copyright: fermate

Check out this interesting website I found, which enables you to customize soothing sounds which you can use as a nice background or “white-noise” experience:

https://asoftmurmur.com/

The dashboard for A Soft Murmur, which is available as an app for both iOS and Android, allows you to adjust the volume or omit different nature or soothing sounds: waves, rain, wind, thunder, fire, birds, crickets, singing bowl, white noise, or coffee shop. For example, combining rain and thunder sounds will mimic a thunder storm. If you choose to upgrade to their premium plan, you can then access 13 more sounds, and have access to any new sounds as they are added to the app.

Are Art-Related Immersive Experiences Worth It?

Copyright: iqoncept

Numerous visual artists and musical artists have been honored by a relatively new type of immersive experience which has become increasingly popular since COVID and lockdown changed our perceptions of our world. Ads for immersive experiences featuring Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, or Pink Floyd have frequently popped up on Instagram and Facebook news feeds over the past year. The idea is that when you attend one of these events, you are fully surrounded by and immersed in an imaginary, illusory world. A popular trend in the world of immersive experiences has focused on prominent painters such as Van Gogh and Klimt, whose bodies of work were intensely vibrant and unique.

The problem is that the Los Angeles versions of two of the immersive experiences I mentioned, Van Gogh and Monet, were complete disappointments. I attended the Van Gogh experience, and expected to be dazzled and amazed after paying $70 ($40 admission, $30 for a cushion to sit on) for the privilege of seeing the spectacle. Instead, I was annoyed by the long wait, lack of crowd organization, and the obstructive pillars which littered the viewing rooms. The cushion I was allowed to sit on during the 12 minute short film was on loan, not something which I could keep as a souvenir (not that I wanted the flimsy cushion anyway). The concrete floors were cold and hard, and the short film morphed and mutated Van Gogh’s works in such a way that it was impossible to experience the purity of the original images. My cousin and I were in and out of that venue within 30 minutes. I have heard similar negative feedback regarding the Monet experience.

Who else has been disappointed by art-related immersive experiences?

Hold Onto Your Car!

Copyright: stanciuc

The pandemic has created many shortages and supply chain issues, among them toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, and workout equipment. But did you know that there is also a shortage of used automobiles? Two major factors which have caused so many people to turn towards used cars are decreased new automobile production, and budget concerns which have resulted from decreases in income. If you have an extra used car sitting around that’s not being used, it may be a small gold mine for you if you sell it right now, because the demand is so high. But if your used vehicle is one you actually need in order to get around, and it’s in good mechanical shape, you’re better off holding onto it until the surge in demand simmers down.

Even my car, which is a 6 year old economy car, is now worth about $1,400 more this year than it was at the beginning of 2020. Strange, but it’s true. Prior to the pandemic, I had actually considered selling my car and getting a newer model, but I am definitely pushing my plans back by about 3 years or more. I truly hope that when I am ready to get a different car, the supply chain issues with new automobile production will not be an issue like they are right now.

If you are in the market to buy a used car, you already know how difficult it is to actually locate one. It took one of my dear friends four months before she was able to find a used car to purchase. She looked everywhere, and kept responding to listings which turned out to be sleazy dealers instead of the private parties they claimed to be. The vehicles were not in good mechanical condition, so they never passed mechanical inspection. The only reason why she was finally able to find a decent car to buy was because a friend of hers whose mother was going to buy one from a family member changed her mind, and offered to sell the car to my friend. Had that not occurred, my friend would likely still be on the hunt for a set of wheels.

If you can purchase a new car instead of struggling to find a used one, be prepared to pay about 5% more than before March of 2020.

Why I Hate The Phrase, “It Is What It Is”

“It is what it is.’

I cannot understand why this phrase has become so popular, because it is incredibly stupid and redundant. I cringe every single time I hear someone utter it, and am dismayed by the number of people I know who have adopted this into their current communication behaviors. Why has it suddenly become so trendy to state the obvious in this manner? I can’t help but think that everyone who utters this string of words either hasn’t given much thought to the circular reasoning buried in it, or has developed a pathological and resigned attitude towards life in which circumstances are shrugged off. Come on guys, take a little responsibility, would you?

Copyright: rnl

If we look at res ipsa loquitur logic, this legal term indicates that someone is presumed to be negligent if that individual had control over what caused the injury. But since I took two years of Latin in high school, I am more intrigued by the original semantics and logic of this particular phrase. If we apply this idea of negligence to the statement, “it is what it is”, does that mean that people are blaming fate, or the lockdown, for the unraveling of society which has occurred in the past year and a half, or are they simply resigning themselves to fate when they utter that? All I know is that I have heard it far too often since spring of last year, and it is raising my ire.

I truly enjoy and appreciate what Ethan Ryan from The Fiddleback has to say about this idiotic statement:

“It is what it is” is a waste of words, a waste of breath. I mean, sure, I get it. It expresses the same sentiment as the French “C’est la vie!” But still, it irks me. It’s just a repetitive series of defeatist monosyllables. Why not just say “It is,” or for that matter, “It’s”?

Of course it is what it is! How could it be anything but it?

The only context in which that phrase would be appropriate would be if somebody asked “Is it what it is?” and you said, “Yes, it is what it is.” Presumably you’d have this conversation in an assisted living home with a demented loved one attempting to categorize an ice cream cone.

When you write “It is what it is” as a mathematical algorithm it looks like this:

it = it

In logic, this is called the law of identity, which states that an object is the same as itself. “A is A” is a tautology. Here are some more:

1 = 1

pineapple = pineapple

J = J

☺ = ☺

poop = poop

X = X

Those are analytical facts, verified by their consistency within the rules of a symbol system. But they’re also stupid and irrelevant. They’re true under all possible circumstances, and they demand little of the world for their truth. You don’t need evidence to back up the claim “Poop is what poop is.”

Here’s another tautology:

Formula_Ryan

Seems logical, right? I don’t know, I’m not a logician.

What concerns me are rhetorical tautologies such as:

“I am what I am.” ~ God talking to Moses

“I yam what I yam.” ~ Popeye talking to Olive Oyl

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” ~ Gertrude Stein

“A horse is a horse, of course, of course.” ~ the Mr. Ed theme song

“It is what it is what it is what it is what it is what it is what it is.” ~ this essay

It is it. A is A. But redundancies are redundant, aren’t they? Be succinct. Next time your umbrella breaks, or your toilet gets clogged, or your house burns down, just shrug and say “It’s.”

That’s obnoxious advice, I know. Defeatism gets us nowhere. Life is hard, but that’s no excuse to spout meaningless clichés. There are so many fantastic adjectives and nouns and verbs out there, humming in a deep pocket of your brain. Use your words. Don’t just say “It is what it is.” We already know that.

Wittgenstein said philosophy is the headache you get from banging your head up against the limits of language. When I came across that line I decided I was done studying philosophy. Years later, my head is still hurting. Philosophy is dangerous.

Whatever.

It’s.

——–
Ethan Ryan

Cutting Out The Fat

One of the healthiest things I have done this year is to eliminate a very toxic person from my life. It took me over ten years to realize that this person was never a true friend, and that I was always regarded as “just Stacey”, not as an important or special person. I foolishly kept making generous gestures, including buying this person a new phone when the old one became nonfunctional, even though I struggled to pay for that replacement phone and felt the financial impact of my own generosity. I went so far as to stock special supplements, foods and beverages, which I never personally consumed, in my home to accommodate this person’s visits, even visiting stores I would not normally frequent in order to purchase these special items. In short, I was too nice to a person who never deserved any of it. I have saved money since I cut this person off. I don’t miss being drained financially, emotionally, mentally, even physically. This person NEVER cared about me, and has never wanted to help me with something as simple as taking out the trash while I was preparing food. If I asked for such a favor, this person would say, “You’re just gonna have to wait”, and would take his time reading his book or watching TV before he would begrudgingly get up and toss the garbage.

Copyright: bsd555

I was never good enough in this person’s eyes, and was always being told that if I did things his way, then my life would be so much better. One example was when he stated that a mini fridge I had in a corner of my dining room was not positioned optimally, and that I should pivot it 90 degrees. We bickered about it for several minutes, then I acquiesced. Upon attempting to pivot the fridge, we discovered why I had positioned the fridge the way I had done when I moved in. Basically, the way that I had arranged the fridge was the ONLY way I could plug it into the wall without using an extension cord. So we pivoted the fridge back to its original spot, yet this person never admitted that his insistence on moving the fridge might have been unnecessary. I received unsolicited advice on my finances, how I stored my pantry items, how my home gym was set up, etc. When I say that this person would constantly tell me how to do things, I am definitely not exaggerating. I was ALWAYS in his shadow, even when I knew that his suggestions were no better than the manner in which I did things. It was exasperating and frustrating to deal with this constant criticism.

You might be asking how I could have let someone take advantage of me like this for so many years, and the only thing I can say is that I somehow believed that this person was a good friend. Something clicked in my brain when he decided to wash his car in front of my garage, using water I pay for, and using car wash accessories I also paid for, without asking me if he could do so. I had to study for my family practice board recertification exam, so I told him I needed a couple of weeks to really hunker down and study. I took the exam, then he rudely ignored me for several more weeks (we would often hang out on a weekly basis), triggering an epiphany in me. Only then was I able to stand tall and speak my mind, then sever ties.