2016 – Challenge: Day 10-18

Day 10

Day 10 – Monochrome

Iron[wo]man. I have too much time on my hands. Or not enough. I’m not entirely sure. Continue reading

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2016 – Challenge.

Years ago I spent a lot of money on a DSLR camera. Since that purchase, I have used the camera enough times to warrant the purchase, but I have not moved forward in pursuit of bettering my photography skills. This year, I hope to fix that. Granted, these photos are mediocre, but I’m hoping throughout the year I will improve.

I’ll be posting probably once a week, even though I’ll be taking the pictures daily. Maybe if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll post the pictures after I take them. I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for that one though.

The challenge is called Capture Your 365, and I’ll be tagging it as such despite the fact that this year will have 366 days in it.

Continue reading

The Life and Times of a Spade

You might want to step back, because I’m about to get all sorts of personal on your dash.

I’m sorry, that ridiculous pun sounded a lot better in my head. Getting to the point though, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of what is going on in my life, and what that will mean for my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I was hired on for a full-time phone customer service position. Not a big deal, and I don’t start until early to mid February which means nothing has changed as of yet. I don’t know what my shift is, and I won’t know until the middle of March what it will be. As it stands now, that one job won’t change much when it comes to posting.

The thing that might make my posts more sporadic is the fact that I will be looking for a part-time position as well. I know what you’re thinking, “Johana! A part-time and full-time job isn’t going to occupy all of your time.” Okay, maybe you’re not thinking that, but if you are then I’d have to say that you would be right. Keep in mind we have to factor in time for sleep as well as time for eating and exercising. That shaves a bit more off my available hours within any given week. Once again that is not what I am worried about, I’m more worried about the fact that I am also going to continue going to school full-time. With my procrastination techniques firmly in place, I do believe my posts will be limited. I’m hoping for once a week at least. We will see how well that works out.

Just wanted to keep you updated as I continue on in my endeavors of paying my bills and getting educated. With any luck I’ll be able to make it to graduate school with only a bit left to pay on my car.

Why did nobody tell me adult life was going to be so stressful?
~Johana Spade

The Buck Stops Here

I somehow simultaneously expect too much and too little from society as a whole. Moreover, I know how bad society can be, and I keep hoping against all else that it will change. Instead of the change I’ve been wishing to see, it only seems to be getting worse.

Yes, how incredibly fascinating that I’m yet another unspoken activist hidden behind the confines of a keyboard and a pen name. Dreary, really.

Back in the old days, that long three years ago when I was still young and naïve, I applied for the Miss County pageant. Let me amend, I was in the Miss Pageant. Circumstances lead me to not trying very hard, because all the platforms offered to me just seemed so contrived. If I was offered another chance, I’d have a platform I could work with; one that I would want to strive towards. Alas, that cannot be, so I’ll simply have to rehash these would be memories at a later date.

As I was saying, the potential activist inside of me does not quite have the means to make the change happen that I wish to see. I am so sick of the high horse people ride in on. What good does it do to tear people down?

I’m not saying this because I can’t handle hate – anonymous or otherwise – I am saying this because I can. I’ve dealt with my fair share of ridicule, and I’ve grown from it. It’s actually gotten to the point where I am quite indifferent to the insults slung my way. I am not, however, indifferent to the crude behavior taking place everywhere else. Say what you want about me, because I can handle it; it’s everyone else that worries me. Because there are so many people out there who can’t handle such abusion. And no one should have to handle it.

It’s everywhere: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever social media site you’ve dabbled in the so called ‘haters’ have also forayed into those grounds. I have not been on WordPress long, but I’m sure that it receives its fair share of bashing. Excuse me if I’ve used the word fair too lightly. There is nothing fair about someone being slammed for stating their thoughts.

I do suppose that the haters use that as a defense too. “I’m just stating my opinion,” they’ll say as the write out a contemptuous review that not only berates a person for his or her words but somehow threatens and abuses all in one go. And there is the difference. I wouldn’t mind if people were merely sharing their opinions. It could range from “I don’t like this” to “I love this” and social webbing would already be a safer place. It’s the ones who feel the need to throw in the threats of death, wishes of disappearance, and the criticizing of morals and appearances that bring haters to a whole new level.

I ask again, why? Why would anyone think they are so high above the rest of us mortals that it is okay for them to think this way?

Reading the Situation

Are you a good judge of other people’s happiness? Tell us about a time you were spot on despite external hints to the contrary (or, alternatively, about a time you were dead wrong).


 

Being able to read people is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. There are people you want to read in order to help them out and lend an ear if they so need, then there are some people you really don’t want to read or who don’t want to be read; this can lead to some unsavory feelings if not dealt with properly.

The gift found in being able to read people is that you are able to tell when another person is happy, and if your an emphatic then that happiness could in turn be your happiness. A person can be so happy that a dreary environment will not even intrude upon their good feeling, that is the wholesome feeling of rightness that we all strive for. Some are successful, many are not.

There was a time when I was hanging out with a group of friends that I can clearly recall being able to read people a little too well. It was one of my friends birthday’s, and I could tell that she was not having a good time. It was her 21st birthday, and while many choose to go out to a bar and drink on their 21st that is not everyone’s cup of tea. My friend fell into the latter category, but some of our other friends simply told her “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and tacked on the ever helpful “you’ll have a blast”.

It turns out that no, she did not have a blast. She drank a few drinks that she really didn’t want to, and we stayed out much later than she had deigned necessary. But she was the birthday girl, fresh to the bar scene, and our other friends were either too focused on their own inebriation that they didn’t notice her miserable countenance or they were having too much fun to care.

That was the moment I felt my inner self being torn in two different directions. One of those direction reached out to the birthday girl, who clearly would have preferred to celebrate her birthday in a different fashion. The other direction went out to those of my friends that were undeniably having a good time. Being able to read people and situations means that you often have to pick sides, and while it might be an unfortunate feeling for you, you’re going to find that you can be the savior too many under certain circumstances.

In that instance, I choose to help out the miserable party; because it was her birthday and no one should feel miserable on their birthday.

~J. Spade

Secondhand

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


As the youngest child I spent a lot of my time dealing with hand-me-downs. Toys, books, clothes, and even sports seemed to belong to someone else before it came to me. At the time it really annoyed me. I was the only girl amongst my parents children, it didn’t make sense to me how my mother kept happening across used clothing for girls that were conveniently in my size. Of course, I had plenty of older cousins that helped out with her endeavor to keep me clothed in articles that were well past the point of worn.

Being as young as I was I just didn’t understand. Why did my brothers receive new things when I never did? Was it because my parents loved them more than me? Questions filled my brain and stuck in my mind, making me more confused than I had any right to be. Then one day all of that washed away. All pieces of hand-me-downs that were given to me were not merely objects that had previous owners, they had been cared for and loved in such a way that shouldn’t be looked down upon. The objects had lived, had stories of their own. That was beautiful, that was new, and the fact that I could create my own stories to go right along with the previous ones was an incredible feeling.

Once I had realized that, I ended up being happy with the things that I had. I was able to appreciate the value of them, and even to this day I still admire the quality of life found in hand-me-downs. That’s part of the reason I donate the stuff that I have outgrown, because maybe, just maybe, someone will have a place for that material in their own life.

 

~J. Spade

Royalty

A second #RoyalBaby will soon be joining the Windsors in England. Given the choice, would you rather be heir to the throne, or the (probably) off-the-hook sibling?


 

Royalty comes at a price, and being the heir to the throne puts that much more at stake. At some point or another I am sure that we have all dreamed of what it would be like to be royalty, but it’s very rare to put thought into how different we would be if this were the case.

If I was royalty of any kind, I believe that I would rather be the off-the-hook sibling. I’ve always had a strange fascination with Victorian and Renaissance books that depict the life of royalty, and I have to say the heir never seems all that thrilled. It is the sibling who is essentially unimportant that gets the carefree attitude.

While it is fun to imagine being Queen or King, I would much rather live my life as a princess or a duchess. That way I can still do most of the stuff that I wanted to do without being nagged constantly.

~J. Spade

To The Grave

Keeping a secret, while difficult, is not impossible. Secrets are small glimpses into another person’s soul; they happen because you were trusted by that person to help keep a piece of her or him unseen. It’s an act of trust between two or more people, and spilling the so called beans can essentially mean breaking that trust. Reality is harsh, but if you fail to keep a secret that is that big then you might has well have literally thrown your friend under the bus rather than figuratively. The key here is keep your lips sealed to the best of your ability.

As with anything, there are plenty of tips that can help keep a secret remain just that. Some of those tips include:

  • Putting yourself in his or her shoes. Think how you would feel if it was your secret being shared. You wouldn’t want to tell just anyone your secret, so you shouldn’t tell just anyone their secret.
  • Listen to them. Chances are they mentioned at least once that you “can’t tell anyone”. Anyone means anyone. Even if it is someone who doesn’t know them you still shouldn’t let their secret slip. Telling a person who doesn’t know the person is just as bad as telling someone who does know them. It’s a gateway slip, it will undoubtedly lead to future slips. So just don’t do it.
  • Secrets can be soul burdens. If you’re finding a mighty need to tell the secret just to ease the pressure of your soul write it down. Use code-names of course so that if someone happened across it all parties involved would still remain intact. Writing it down is similar to sharing the secret with someone without all the horrible backlash that could result in a loss of friends.
  • Know your limits. There are some people who just can’t keep secrets. If you are one of those people, speak up before the secret is spilled. That way if for some unfortunate reason you were to let it slip later on, then it will not be entirely your fault. You gave fair warning, and they still decided to share their secrets.
  • Understand the difference between secrets that should be kept and secrets that shouldn’t. Sometimes there are people out there who give you a secret that can be harmful: to themselves or to others. If you happen to come across such a secret you will have a lot to contemplate. First you will need to know who you can turn to with this secret, because harmful secrets aren’t always best left swept under the rug.

Those, of course, are just a few of the essential guidelines to follow. There is more to it than that, but knowing the basics helps to lay the groundwork for future tight lips.

~J. Spade

Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade

New Dawn ♠

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).


At my previous job, I had to be up before sunrise everyday. The only rough part about it was that I was working split shifts, so not only would I have to roll out of bed at five in the morning, I usually never got to bed anywhere before midnight. It was taxing, and with school on top of that very stressful.

Now I sleep in a bit. I wake up around 7am every morning, if I get to bed at a reasonable hour (I’ve started counting 2am as a reasonable hour).

There is about one day every week that I will stay up until sunrise though. Not on purpose. I’m usually so engrossed in what I am doing (i.e. reading, writing, homework, or internet browsing) that I don’t really think about going to bed until the feeling of being up to long hits me in the face.

That’s just usually how it goes for me.

Overall, I don’t mind being awake before sunrise. I’m not a morning person by any means. I wouldn’t recommend starting a conversation with me until sometime after noon, but I don’t mind being awake to get things done early. It just depends on how late I get to bed usually.

~ JSpade♠

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