Tag Archives: StumbleUpon

Ditch the Double Double

9 Mar

Not to brag or anything, but a few weeks ago I made the best discovery ever. Most of you make your way to my blog thanks to Facebook, which means that most of you are my college-aged friends living off of the infamous “student budget.” Personally, I have eating habits a five year old could only fantasize about. I devour chocolate at an alarming rate, eat Oreos for dinner, and can down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting. The good news is that my body is kind enough to keep my thighs and tummy in check with a decent metabolism, but the bad news is that there are some seriously dangerous side effects that result from eating habits like mine. Believe it or not, Ramen is about as good for you as a bucket of salt for dinner (yum) and while it’s so much cheaper and easier, fast food presents the same problems.

I’m in college too. I get why you don’t cook. To research a recipe that sounds good, write down the ingredients, check whether you have said ingredients, fetch the remainders from the grocery store, and cook dinner would require lifting too many fingers. Not to mention the fact that for us, hunger sets in pretty quickly when we walk in the front door after a long day of work, and we don’t have the patience for all that crap. But behold…

Pork Tenderloin DinnerA solution! Weeks ago, I discovered the most amazing website called My Fridge Food. Why is it amazing? Because it compiles a list of quick, easy recipes that use food you already have! All you have to do is fill out the elaborate checklist of products (they include literally everything edible) and click “search for recipes.” Then, their database gives you a list of recipes to choose from. For each recipe, it tells you how many of the ingredients you have, what you’re missing (whether it’s an optional, mandatory, or nice to have ingredient), and how long it will take to make. You can also browse by category: appetizers, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, dinners for two (ooh la la), desserts, and snacks! If you’re in a rush or just too starving to wait, you can browse by cook time too. I made a delicious tilapia with balsamic dressing in five minutes. So instead of making a bee line for a box of Cheez-Its or a Hot Pocket, make an account with My Fridge Food and have something healthier to eat!

From Internet Junkie to Fun and Spunky (it’s the only word that rhymed with Junkie..)

6 Sep

So naturally, when a person realizes that they have no life, they go looking for one. And when I realized that all I do is sit around on my ass (which is growing at an alarming rate) doing absolutely zilch with my time, that’s exactly what I did. Of course, going from being an internet junkie to just not being one is somewhat akin to dumping drug habits cold turkey; it’s a pain in the butt, and virtually nobody can do it. That’s why I developed this brilliant plan: with my facebook deactivated, I had all of this free time to learn new things and do fun stuff. But learn what? Do what? I almost Googled “fun things to do” (talk about being desperate) …. but then I found a solution. StumbleUpon is like, the coolest invention ever. I know what you’re thinking: “What the hell, Jess! You said this was all about getting a life and getting in touch with the real world and all that crap, and here you are advocating for another timesucking internet invention?” Yeah, basically. …. No, I’m just kidding! It’s all part of the story. I deleted my facebook and then I decided to see what kinds of cool things I could find on StumbleUpon. Even though I think people should spend a minimal amount of time browsing the internet, I’ve gotta say, SU is a great way to find articles and fascinating tidbits of information that really interest you–so if you’re bored at bedtime or something, sure. Check it out. Anyway, I digress. Back to the story: Stumble helped me to develop a few concepts that are pretty important if you plan on breathing some life back into yourself. They are:

1. Educate yourself. It’s more important than you think, because the older you get, the less impressed people will be when you know the entire storyline of Grey’s Anatomy or Lost but have no concrete understanding of anything of substance. I hate politics and current events with a passion. I don’t know what it is, but I find it about as interesting as I find the fact that the sky is blue. If you’re like me, do what I do. Watch The Colbert Report — it’s at least hilarious, and can kind of keep you somewhat aware of current events. Read books. If you have a special interest like me (I’m obsessed with people and their behaviors), read articles. I read Psychology Today every day. If you don’t like books, watch the history channel or Animal Planet or something, who cares.. the bottom line is, you’ve been in school for most of your life and it’s about time you’ve got something to show for it.

2. Appreciate the arts. No one’s telling you you’ve got to drool over the statue of David or a bona fide Jackson Pollock; hell, I wouldn’t. Art History was the single most painful class that I ever had to sit through, but that’s not the point I’m making. Here, I’m referring to “arts” in a more general sense — things like painting, photography, music, or crafting. There is so much art in the world, and practically nobody sees it. Take this, for example: Sand Animation, Ukraine\’s Got Talent. Like, are you kidding me? Isn’t that just jaw-droppingly awesome? That’s the kind of art I’m talking about. The kind of thing that everyone knows exists but takes for granted. Think of photography: until I started Stumbling, my perception of photography was just “whatever”… it’s just pictures. But after coming across several different series of photos by extremely talented photographers, I saw things that took my breath away. And have you ever noticed how beautiful traditional, classical music really is? That some people are gifted enough to create such beauty with their fingertips? Amazing. So when I say appreciate the arts, I mean stop taking them for granted. And maybe, if you’ve got the balls and the patience, invest yourself in something that interests you. Learn to play the guitar. Take up painting. Write a story. I don’t care. Just stop taking life for granted and take advantage of the incredible noggin you’ve got inside that skull. It would be a shame to let it go to waste.

3. Get Up Close and Personal. Seriously, cut the texting, facebooking, twittering, and IMing crap and get personal. That’s the problem with people these days — do you have any idea how much of communication is nonverbal? Let me tell you. Although there may be newer information on the subject as of late, the most commonly understood information stems from the research of Dr. Albert Mehrabian from UCLA who found that 7% of communication comes from the meaning of the words spoken, 38% of communication comes from tone of voice, and 55% comes from nonverbal cues. Since texting and social networking is written only, that means that tone of voice is also null and void. Guess what, people? That means that 93% of what you are trying to communicate through texting, emails, and social networking is open to interpretation because the person you are chatting with only has a few of the puzzle pieces. Communication is complex, and relying on texting and emails is sort of ridiculous. Think about all of the times that you’ve been offended by something a person said to you, or vice versa. It’s almost always through media, isn’t it? So here’s your solution: get personal again. CALL people so that you can hear their voice. Go SEE them. Spend time with people and nurture real relationships instead of wasting your time with all of the superficial nonsense Facebook and texting have to offer.

4. Get Creative. Make stuff. I kid you not, it is the best, and most rewarding, way to spend your time. You will feel entertained and accomplished! Thanks to Stumble, I’ve become a HUGE fan of DIY projects (Do It Yourself). They are a great way to save money and have really cool things to decorate your house with. If you’re a tech-savvy guy with a lot of spare time, check out this gem. Yeah, I’m serious, you can make that… I mean, I’m not about to try, but if you’re at MIT or something, I say go for it. And if you’re a girl, peep this awesome website called P.S. – I made this…. Those are just a couple of examples, but Google can guide you to TONS more websites with awesome cool ideas for DIY projects that are fun and easy. And also, because I want you to like me and keep reading my blog, I’m going to post entries with the ones I tried and loved and step by step how-to instructions. You’re welcome!

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