Day 16: Make A Writing Prompt Your Own

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt.”

First off, can I just say how excited I am that I’m over the halfway mark?! 2 more weeks and I’m done with this 30 Day Challenge!

The Daily Prompt hyperlinked in the original Zero To Hero 30 Day Challenge post was originally from January 17th, so I’ve decided to sub that with today’s (March 28) Daily Prompt:

We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

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Well to be honest, the blues are my specialty. I think I feel a different shade of them every day. Last night I was feeling a bluish-black blues that only felt more weighted with the glasses of wine I drank with dinner. It’s funny because it’s raining now and you’d think I feel down about it, but I actually like when it rains and I’m home. It’s a cozy feeling.

But when I do feel down and the coziness has evaporated these things have helped me get out of my slump:

  1. Listening to music – Whether it’s a Saves The Day record or Into It. Over It.’s 52 Weeks on cassette, music calms my mind and just allows me to kind of wallow in my emotions a little bit. Sometimes a fever needs to be sweated out, and sometimes you have to let the emotions you’re feeling run their course before you can pick yourself back up again. About a week ago I was feeling down so I went in my room, put on Under The Boards, turned the lights off, opened my shades to watch the moon, and just laid there listening. And yeah, sometimes I cry a little too. I can’t be ashamed about that. I’m only human.
  2. Listening to Joseph Campbell lectures – A friend of mine got me into this. He tends to listen to them in his sleep, but I can’t do that. My headphones come off, I end up sleeping on them or they end up around my neck, and then I get upset that I don’t remember which part of the lecture I dozed off at. – It’s not quite comfortable for me. But I do listen to them during the day – When I’m cooking, doing laundry, drying my hair, etc. Joseph Campbell’s words have a knack of lifting my spirits and putting me on the right path again. He never fails.
  3. Baking – My mom put away our Kitchen Aid mixer since the holiday baking season is pretty much over, but when it was still in full swing I started really taking off making dairy-free and gluten-free goodies. I love baking and cooking because it ignites that creative fire that’s in me. I get a lot of pleasure out of making something everyone likes, that everyone can share and enjoy. It’s very therapeutic and I feel accomplished and productive afterwards.
  4. Watching TV – Certain shows that automatically put me in a good mood are FrasierThe Golden Girls, Moyers & Company, anything on The Food Network, and practically any Star Trek episode. These shows just lift my spirits, make me laugh, and/or keep me engaged. I guess in the end, it’s a nice distraction and keeps my mind off any problem I may be going through at the time.
  5. Writing songs – Even just writing out the lyrics help. It takes the thoughts floating around my head and puts them on paper so I can stare back at them, decipher them, make sense of it all. I’ve been doing this since I before I was even a teenager, ever since that Good Charlotte S/T came out. That album really pulled me into songwriting. There’s nothing more cathartic than honest and open songwriting, whether you end up sharing the song with anyone or not.
  6. Playing guitar – Playing my own songs help, but sometimes it’s just good to belt out an Oasis cover and sing “Don’t Go Away” at the top of your lungs. Or even turning to open D and finding weird chords. I like that too.
  7. Venting it out on WordPress – When worse comes to worst and none of the above seems to be working for me, I end up writing something emo on here. Sometimes it feels good to just get the feelings out somewhere where you know maybe someone will read it and come across it, maybe even relate to it a little bit. Whether someone likes it or comments on it is irrelevant. Similar to how writing a song for me feels, this is similar except I know I will have a potential immediate audience. Even if it’s one person, that’s okay for me.
  8. Getting a good night’s sleep – Sometimes that all it takes. Tuck in early and get some restful shut-eye. Sleep is how your body and mind heal. There’s nothing like waking up and feeling completely refreshed.

If these work for you too, that’s awesome. I’m glad we share some commonalities. But at the end of the day, my suggestion to overcoming the blues is to find something that makes you happy and do it. Life is all about balance – You can’t have up without down and down without up. This goes for both gravity and emotions. The blues will come, the blues will go – like the wind. No one likes feeling down and out. Such is the emotional nature of human beings. The blues are nothing to be afraid of, they’re just a natural part of life. And I believe we can get through them together. 🙂

Day 15: Learn More About How Visuals Influence Content

“Today’s assignment: open the Customizer and try out some new fonts and colors (and backgrounds and/or headers, if you’re still undecided).”

Unfortunately, it’s not economically feasible for me to purchase a custom upgrade package to have access to changing fonts and a palette of colors. But I did change my header, it’s font color, and also changed my background for white lined paper to yellow lined paper. I thought it was a little easier on the eyes than all that white.

RKB is getting there, y’all. And that’s what’s important.

Tokyo Police Club’s ‘Forcefield’

TPC_ForcefieldPaul McCartney’s McCartney II, Green Day’s American Idiot, Saves The Day’s In Reverie, MGMT’s S/T, Tokyo Police Club’s Forcefield. I tend to be really drawn to albums within a band’s discography that their core fanbase tends to dismiss or be disappointed by. It’s a slowly developing pattern I’ve begun to notice. I love all the above albums dearly. They’re so deliciously good in their own right, despite their stylistic differences from their previous released material. I rarely get upset when bands do this because all it is is their natural growth as musicians and people and writers. As consumers, listeners, people we do the same! I’ve never understood why people take it so personal sometimes.

I am not exaggerating when I say I have been listening to Forcefield on repeat all day. As soon as I played “Argentina” I knew I was in for a ride. I must have listened to this album over 10 times in a row. This is not normal, especially for me. This is unanticipated behavior, but I just cannot help myself. It’s resonating. This album is pulsing with thumpin’ bass tones and guitar riffs that just want to make you swim inside crystal clear ocean tides. I’ve also noticed a lot of  s p a c e  on this album – Reverb and delay aplenty but tasteful, not overused. Vocal distortion on David Monks’ cathartic outcries are hungrily welcomed. But let me backtrack –

My first memory of Tokyo Police Club is seeing their music video for “Tessellate” on MTV at some point circa 2008 or so. I downloaded a few tracks off Elephant Shell and that’s about as far as it got. I don’t think I ever got into them as much, but I sure played the 1s and 0s out of “Graves”, “Tessellate”, and “In A Cave”. Great tracks, all! I’m almost certain TPC headlined a local town festival about 20 minutes away from me, but having only heard those tracks I wasn’t interested enough and let it go by. Boy, am I regretting it now.

Forcefields is bridging the dancey/EDM/Top40 assault we have all be enduring like a stinging, raging sandstorm to the authentic indie sound we’ve all really been craving deep down. There is a more polished feel on this record than Tokyo Police Club’s previously released material. I feel like I’m at a dance club on a space station searching for the cure. It’s compelling, adventurous, daunting, daring. I think TPC’s style and overall sound in Forcefield, could’ve been what MGMT could’ve sounded like had they not opted for psychedelic avant-garde. Don’t get me wrong, I love MGMT. But I think some of their fans resented them going that route, especially fans expecting Oracular Spectacular 2.

The intricate in and out synth/keyboard parts are truly the masterwork of this record. The nerve centers in my brain are having the time of their lives picking them out. David Monks’ voice is cool and soothing, navigating the ebbs and flows, peaking and falling. I don’t remember the last time I had this much fun out of listening to an indie pop record. I don’t remember having this much fun listening to a record straight, over and over!

Favorite tracks: Miserable, Beaches, Toy Guns, Tunnel Vision, Through the Wire – Fuck, the whole album is just brilliant. Go listen to it. In order. Like everyone had to do before we had a choice. That’s how it’s supposed to be!

 

Day 14: Blogger’s Choice!

Since today I had the choice of adding whatever I wanted to RKB, I toyed around with the lil’ apps you see on your right. –>

The first time I had to add widgets as part of this 30 Day Challenge, I remember reading about how to add those lil’ boxes with about.me, but at the time I was too impatient to try. Well, today I finally figured it out! It took some toying around but I made an about.me profile, connected some of my most frequented social networks, and look! Now it’s so easy for you to click on them and they’re so colorful and cute!

I’ve always wanted to figure out how to do this for awhile, and I’m just so happy I finally did it.

Cool! Now you can click away!

PS: about.me didn’t have all the app connections to the sites I typically frequent (especially the music ones) or they had some, but then it looked too aesthetically unbalanced for my taste when I posted them on here. So, be sure to check out my ‘About Me‘ page where I have everything hyperlinked. 🙂

Day 13: Build A (Better) Blogroll

Today’s Assignment: Create, edit, or expand your blogroll.”

I didn’t have a blogroll until today so voila! Behold!

To the bottom right of my widget bar, you will see blogs I have recommended to you, my lovely readers:

Jen’s Post Grad Life – Jen is one of my oldest friends; We’ve known each other for almost 10 years now, first meeting in the Alto section in our middle school choir. We were always involved in choir and the musicals at our middle school/high school, roomed together when our Chamber Singers group toured Italy and Austria in 2007…Needless to say, we have an extensive, exciting, and humorous history.

Jen is probably one of the few people I know who is on my wavelength, trying to find her place in the world, trying to find work in a creative field that she loves. We’ve really been bonding over our situation the past couple of months, and that’s why I want you to check out her blog. Like me, she’s also a 20-something going through a transitional period. And even though we’ve both seen our fair share of ups and downs, at the end of the day I know we can get through this together! Be sure to check ‘er out. 🙂

What Will I Cook Today? – My good friend Sam has been posting to this blog for a few years now. She’s an AWESOME baker/cook and concocts the most DELICIOUS, healthy things! (Seriously, she once had me try a piece of Vegan Vanilla Bean Cheesecake…it was DIVINE) Definitely check her out if you’re looking for delicious, nutritious food and goodies. She does not disappoint!

Texts from TNG – This is actually a Tumblr site, but oh my gosh does it make me lawl so hard. This meld of Texts From Last Night and Star Trek caps are genius. Whoever decided to combine the two, I sincerely salute you. There’s other sites like this on Tumblr; I know there’s Voyager one, I think there’s a DS9 one too. But anyway, if you’re a Trek nerd and love to laugh this blog is absolutely perfect.

I still feel a little new to the whole blogroll concept, so this list is bound to grow but don’t you worry.

Stay tuned, everyone!