Wednesday, October 21, 2015

30 Days. 30 Goals: My Challenge To Myself

Earlier this year I decided to get my life together "for real this time." I don't know about anyone else but I find myself saying this every year, every month, every week. I'm always saying "Tomorrow, I'm going to start being great." And sometimes I do start, and then I fall off. I had to get more organized. So when Myleik of Curlbox created a journal and podcast outlining how she gets things accomplished, I thought "this is perfect, I can do it." And it was a great plan. I bought the journal, read all of her methods, and listened to the blog. It seemed simple enough...every day you write down everything that needs to be done (color coding based on importance or time), and when you complete a goal you highlight it. Seeing a whole page full of highlighted items is suppose to encourage you and fill you with a sense of accomplishment. If there were any tasks you didn't complete, you moved them over to the next day. GREAT. I can do this. But then I couldn't. I started and I would pick and choose which tasks I would do. I found myself carrying over certain tasks day after day. It never bothered me to write down tasks over and over again because I stopped doing it every day. I wrote a list and I could remember everything so no I don't need to do this every day. I realized a month ago, as I was writing a poem in the journal, that this method didn't work for me. I didn't feel accomplished, I felt like it was WORK. I used my journal to write poems and ideas, to write down quotes, to draw pictures...everything BUT getting organized. Why wasn't this working for me? 

Then I saw a post that said "Finish ONE thing. That's all you have to do." Sunday, I looked at my life and realized I had two main goals that I needed to finish. Both of which could change the trajectory of my life next year. Both things I have wanted since I moved to NYC. I wrote down everything I needed to do and got overwhelmed. This is why it wasn't working for me. There was too much to do. I had 100 things I needed to complete. My mind jumped back and forth between tasks. But then I heard a voice in my head say "Just finish ONE thing." So I decided, for the next month, every day I will choose one task from that list and devote my day to that ONE task. Nothing else. I wouldn't even think of other things I needed to do. 

So I picked one thing, and I wrote it down. Monday will be devoted to writing an LOR. The 99 other tasks didn't matter. I only had to finish this one on Monday. And I did. Then something amazing happened: I forwarded the LOR to the person who needed it (getting a second task done) and she uploaded it to the proper source (getting a third tasks done). Finishing ONE thing removed THREE things off of my lists. I felt so good. That task was gone.

Tuesday came and I selected another tasks: write the essay for the scholarship. 250 words. I could do this! On my train ride to work I started working on it. On my train ride home I reviewed what I wrote. When I got home, it was completed! I put a tasks on my calendar to remind myself to re-read the essay a week before the due date. Another task completed! These two items have been on my list for over a month and in two days, I knocked 4 things off my life! Having completed that essay I started looking for more grant funding to apply to later this month (a 5th task). I was on a roll!

Today is Wednesday. My task today is to finish a journal article. The article is completed, I just have to re-read and revise it. Once it's completed, I will forward it to my friend so he can review it. Then I can submit the article. 

I know it's only been three days but I have completed 6 goals by just focusing on ONE goal a day. So for anyone who is like me and has ADD and feels overwhelmed at times: Just pick ONE thing. Finish that ONE thing today. I personally decided that all of my tasks have to be aimed at the bigger goal of making me a better person (meaning "washing my clothes" could not be a goal). To avoid being distracted I started my list on a new sheet in my journal. Each day I add to that list the one goal for that day, and I look at that goal throughout the day until it's completed. I personally can't look at a list of 100 things anymore  because I want to do them all! But a list with ONE thing (I know, one item isn't really a list), it makes me feel like "This is all I have to do? Just this? I can do this!!". 

This method does require anyone on a schedule to be aware of their timeline. It also requires discipline because it forces you to focus on only one thing at a time. If you complete that task, you can move on to another one but it's not required. However, I have found that completing one tasks did give me the motivation to work on another. 

If you try this method out let me know how it works for you. At the end of the 30 days I will definitely update everyone (and show my list off!!).  Remember: Do Better! is STILL the movement. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

AHS: Hotel or "Why I Don't Like To See Rape On TV"

So last night AHS returned with it's 5th season and this time it's set in a hotel. The Hotel Cortaz to be exact (Fictional hotel in LA, the same place where Season 1's story took place). When I first learned it would be in a hotel setting I was ecstatic. I kept thinking of all the legendary haunted hotels, and one in particular, The Cecil Hotel, stood out in my mind. I thought THAT would be the best template for this season. But I'm not a writer, so that is totally not the story we got. (Sidenote, SPOILERS will be in this blog). I actually didn't know what to expect from this season, so when I finally saw Episode 1, I was dumbfounded to say the least.

AHS: Hotel is about a hotel with horrible secret. The secret? People are being killed there in various crazy ways. The owner is a vampire with a bunch of little blond hair vampire kids she kidnapped over the years. A vampire? Yes, a vampire. Now let me say this...I'm ALL about vampires and I'm all about horror. But a vampire owning a hotel...a bit cliched but what else could happen?  EVERYTHING could happen and EVERYTHING did happen last night. Early in the episode, this season showed on of the most disturbing 3 minute scenes I have ever witnessed. A male drug addict getting his fix is confronted by a latex wearing man with a metal penis and raped for about 3 minutes. While he's being raped he's crying and a woman is talking to him telling him if he says I love you, it will stop. All the while, you can still see this man literally fucking the hell out of dude in the mirror that's behind her.  It wasn't overly graphic but it was excessive and unnecessary to me. It lasted two minutes too long. Let me explain.

First off I'm am NOT a trigger sensitive person. I have never been raped or abused, so this is not about that at all. Second, I'm a horror fan. I love scary movies, but I'm not a fan of slasher/horror porn (excessive use of blood & murder with no storyline). Third, it's not just about rape, I'm not a fan of the use of sex scenes as filler. That's basically what happened here. A rape scene lasting an excessive amount of time and not adding any substance to the story. It's rare for me to see any rape or sex scene in any movie or tv show and think "That really adds something of value to this." No, most of the time it's for shock value or just gratuitous and inserted for "entertainment." I GET IT. However, I watch horror shows to see horror. I watch dramatic shows for drama. I watch porn for sex. I am not trying to watch 4 or 5 sex scenes in a horror show that lasts 90 minutes with commercials. It's a turn off to the show if it doesn't add substance. This is why I stopped watching "True Blood." I just couldn't understand why each episode needed 5 sex scenes. Like I get it, they like to fuck...but they are vampires so go kill people.

It was disturbing. It was unsettling. That was Murphy's point. However in proving his point, he turned off a lot of people who tweeted about that particular scene non-stop. Many people put "trigger warning" in their tweets to warn others who hadn't watched the show yet. However, this is not the first rape scene in AHS. The first rape of a man but not the first one, which leads me to wonder why rape is necessary element in this series? In every season of AHS, a rape as occurred, and this is the second time I felt that it was used for shock value.  Maybe in a few weeks it will make sense? However, the length of time the rape occurred? All for shock value. "It's provocative, it gets people thinking..." and it did make me think...and question why sex and rape is used unnecessarily? In the long run, the rape was a distraction from the story at hand. The scene happened 20 minutes into a 90 minute show and literally overshadowed anything else that happened (except the foursome scene, which was a few minutes too long too but held some relevance since that was the point where we find out Gaga and her lover are vampires). The guy doesn't even die after being raped. Murphy has stated that the rape is a metaphor for addiction. I can see what he's getting at but no. His explanation reminds me of the director of the Serbian Movie's explanation for its' use of sex and rapes. A metaphor? Metaphor's only work if people can make the connection between the two otherwise all people see is a man getting raped by a demon.

However, I digress...I did enjoy the aspects of the series OUTSIDE of the hotel. The story of Det. John Lowe  and his search for a serial killer are is way more interesting to me than the vampire aspect. But of course, the episode ends with the Detective moving into the hotel after the killer told him about the hotel and he saw his kidnapped son in the hotel (SO MUCH IS GOING ON!!!). I just hope Murphy doesn't decide to rape more people unnecessarily for minutes at a time for the remainder of the season.