Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Gonna Find My Purpose: or How to Make Your Own Vision Board

It's the first month in a gloriously new year!

A glorious new year that hasn't yet been tainted by your passive-aggressive boss who leaves a new project for you at 4:45 p.m. on a Friday, or that stupid ex who still hasn't discovered what "feelings" are and is therefore incapable of discussing them,  or those cats who puke after every meal and seriously why do I even bother buying the expensive brand of food when they just throw it all up anyway and oh my lord this year is going to suck.


We must combat this type of thinking. It is negative and soul-sucking and there's just no good reason to do that to yourself. And here's how you fight it:


You've probably heard of these before. Google image them and a million (1,000,000) come up. While you don't need to convince me of the power of a good collage, many other people not related to me credit vision boards with helping them to discover their life ambition, refine their goals and to manifest their dreams into destiny.


I know, sounds familiar, right? But no, my Jennifer Aniston/Angelina Jolie reversible collage does not technically count as a vision board.


(still for sale, price negotiable)

And all you have to do is fill a poster board with images that you feel connected to, things that represent your goals or inspire you. You can also use words or phrases.

Vision boards can come in all different forms, as everyone's vision/aptitude for creating beautiful art is different. Check out a few I found via Google:

These are all correct, although some look a bit more correct than others.

Since it's late January and I haven't yet manifested anything, much less my dreams, into destiny and also haven't made a subversive collage in awhile, I decided to give it a try. My roommate Velvet and I sat down with a huge pile of magazines on a Sunday evening to MANIFEST OUR DESTINIES. And you too can MANIFEST YOUR DESTINY in just a few simple steps.


1.) Make sure you're dressed properly for the occasion. Do you really think destiny is going to want to manifest with you when you're wearing those elastic-ankle sweatpants that need a wash? No, it won't. It'll manifest with the guy wearing the four thousand (4,000) dollar suit. COME ON, Velvet. Think!

Now, THIS...this we can work with.

2.) Rustle up some ambition-finding snacks to fuel yourself as you begin this journey. Might I suggest some lentil beans with brown rice?  A cup or two (2) of pumpkin puree with coconut milk?

Oh, wait a minute. Are you not on Day Eight (8) of a three (3) week elimination diet like myself? Well, then eat some chips or chocolate or something delicious for me. NO WAIT, eat THESE:

McCain Smiles, I hope you fit into my destiny.

3.) Feed the cats.  You have to do this or else they'll meow the whole time and distract you from your destiny. They will; trust me, I know. They don't care about your dreams.

Quiet, you; you're sabotaging my life!

4.) Sit down with a huge pile of magazines. I already have an inconveniently large collection of magazines due to my occupation, but you may not be so lucky. If this is the case, then your vision board may require an extra step of procuring materials. Magazines can be found in almost any drugstore, grocery store or bookstore. Just ask a store employee to direct you towards the "magazine section." They should understand what you mean.

This is an example of what a typical magazine looks like. It may be helpful to print this picture out and bring it with you on your search for magazines.

(Thrifty vision boarders may wish to check neighbors' recycling bins for used magazines instead of purchasing new ones. Your vision board may smell slightly of garbage juice but hey, it's just your hopes and goals for the year.)

5.) Begin to leaf through your new and/or garbage-tainted magazines. Look for images or words that you feel a connection to, ones that represent your aspirations for the year. 

Some examples--if, like Velvet, one of your goals is to "buy more cats in 2012," you may wish to cut a picture like this out for your board:

Or if, like Velvet, one of your goals is to "turn bedroom into cat shelter," this picture might be for you:

6.) Now, sometimes your goals may not easily translate into images. Try to avoid that creeping frustration you feel setting in when, after an hour of searching, you've found barely any images/words that align with your aspirations. 

This is the step when I began to struggle.

Like, seriously, where are the images/power phrases that represent "Complete Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic fanfiction novel"? Or "Send my fan letter to Jason Segel convincing him that we should go for a drink and maybe write a fun movie together"?   Or "Pick out my outfits the night before so I don't end up wearing the same jeans every single day of the week like I usually do and hating myself"? Or "finally finish rebuilding my collection of The Baby-sitters Club series"?


I know, guys. It's not fair. One day society will see you as beautiful.

7.) Keep reciting/chanting your list of goals aloud to make sure you remain true to them. This step can make vision boarding in a group a little confusing, but it's vital.

You may start to feel the urge to subtly shift your goals to better align with the magazines on hand. Ask yourself if the power phrases "Keep it Casual but Cute at the Movies" or "Make His Dirty Dreams Come True" or "How to Tan like a Pro for Your Show" are really what you want to work towards this year.

When you find yourself declaring out loud "You know what, I DO want the Kardashians in my life this year!" then it's time to put your vision board down and get some space.


8.) Take a break to clear your head. After all of your intense concentration on MANIFESTING YOUR DESTINY, this is a great time to reward your body and mind. A session of Bikram hot yoga will help to soothe your tense limbs, while delving into that new hobby you've always wanted to try (like stained glass making--both easy and inexpensive!) will invigorate your mind. Velvet and I both soothed our limbs and invigorated our minds by watching four (4) episodes of Roswell, season three (3).

It's just frustrating because things are kind of crazy right now with Maria and Michael broken up and Liz at  boarding school even though she KNOWS that she and Max are destined for each other even though he's an alien. Why won't life just let them be? It really puts things in perspective.

9.) After a one (1) to four (4) hour break, come back to your board. It might be very late in the evening and you are most likely on the verge of exhaustion after all of the soothing exercise you just performed. 

You are now in the perfect state to complete your vision board. 

Because, as you all know, it is only after true exhaustion that your visions can be seen clearly and grasped in board form. (This is an old quote but I can't seem to find the source.)

This is about the time when I made five (5) impromptu resolutions for the year, all involving sleep, and also about the time when my vision board became filled with pictures of beds.

10.) Remember, any spots left blank may be an indication that your year will be empty and unfulfilled. Cover those boards! You know you can't be lazy!

12.) Feed the cats again. It's been seven (7) hours since you last fed them.

13.) Don't forget to do the reverse side of your vision boards! Repeat steps 1-13. It is crucial that this all take place on the same evening. 

14.) Now that your vision board is complete, you'll want to place it in a prominent spot where you'll be sure to see it frequently.  Velvet and I have placed ours inside of our pillow cases.

After all of this hard work, I thought I'd share with you my completed project. But wait! Life is never that simple, is it? To mimic the unpredictable and often chaotic nature of contemporary life, see if you can pick out which of the below images are my completed vision board and which are from a "Where's Hilary Swank?" puzzler I made years ago. 

"Where's Hilary Swank?" is also still for sale, $1,500 as is. Contact me for more details.

I didn't post pictures of Velvet's vision board because visions can be a private thing, but it was pretty much just this:

It's gonna be a great year!

Has anyone here made their own vision board? How did it turn out? Did you have to feed the cats more than two (2) times while making it? Has your vision board helped you to MANIFEST YOUR DESTINY? Show me pics and keep it clean!

PS--Here's my actual vision board.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hobbit Heartache: Chapter Six

Enticing, huh?
Well, this is embarrassing.

It's been roughly a month and a half since my last installment of Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic fanfiction novel was posted. 47 days have passed. The last time I wrote, it was a different year. That's pretty bad.

And I'm sorry. I really am. If you could see me right now, this is how I look:

Only even sadder. And human. And dressed in a stunning vintage dress and perfect eye makeup. Certainly not wearing sweatpants covered with cat hair.

Anyways, I do apologize for the wait. It won't happen again, at least not until my night job picks up again.

To atone, I give to you an actual recap this time. You deserve it.

The Sweet Valley High gang are somewhat psyched to spend their Spring Break in Middle-earth; however, things quickly go awry when their tour bus explodes and they become lost and stranded in the forest. Meanwhile, Bilbo Baggins, Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippin have set out on their journey to destroy a mysterious and powerful ring. Frodo is feeling a bit down these days, not realizing that he's secretly in love with Bilbo, while Merry's heart and loins burn fervently for the distant Frodo.

(Here's where I throw in my gentle reminder that I know nothing of the LOTR and this is my complete imagining of their world. Don't hate.)

When we last visited, the SVH gang had just crossed paths with the hobbits for the first time. Jessica developed an instant attraction to the clueless Frodo, while Elizabeth is harboring some deep and intense feelings for Gandalf. The two groups agree to merge and continue forth on the adventure of a lifetime. Will Jessica's aquamarine eyes be enough to entice Frodo away from his secret love? Will Elizabeth's feelings for Gandalf be reciprocated? Will the Sweet Valley gang be able to survive the dangerous forests of Middle-earth, despite having no common sense or logic?  


Liz is all like "MUST READ MORE!"

(If that recap's not doing it for you, ain't nothing like the real thang: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Now that you're all caught up, I'm going to throw a bit of a curveball your way. Chapter six (6) introduces a new character, never before seen in the SVH or LOTR worlds. Sweet Valley High fans may find her familiar, and that is because she is following in the grand SVH tradition of the evil doppelganger.

You might think I'm kidding here, but I'm not. The evil doppelganger was a very real and extremely terrifying plot used multiple times in SVH history. Each time was more believable than the last.

This new doppelganger has a lot of work to do before she joins the SVH Evil Doppelganger Hall of Fame, and don't she know it.

Now, come, gather 'round, ignore your work for the next ten (10) minutes and learn a bit about our newest character: Largo. She's a little insane, a little blood-thirsty, but ultimately, very lovable.

Chapter Six: Hark! A Lurker Approaches. Largo Appears.

Unbeknownst to the group trekking ahead, a lone female followed close behind. Largo watched the rag-tag hikers and listened to their songs, each out-of-tune note curdling her ears more and more. 

Oh good, they’re singing about nature again, she thought, the sarcasm twisting her moderately attractive face into a grimace. They never stop, she silently raged. They fill the air with poison.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011: A Picture Review

A new year has begun. Like many, I have high hopes for this year.  High hopes and big plans. Productivity will be key. I can already cross "lie on couch slightly hungover and watch ten (10) episodes of 'Blossom' in a row" off of my New Year's resolution list. 

Like I said, productivity will be key. 

Impromptu New Year's Resolutions that were Certainly Not Inspired by Blossom:  Wear more hats.  Make more friends who have numbers for names. Bring vests back into my life. 

I know that during this first week of the new year, most people will be encouraging you to look to the future, leave the past behind, seize the day and many other time-related sayings. I say yes, let's do all of these things. All of them! Out with the old, in with the new. Sniff my butt, 2011.

But first, before the seizing and the sniffing, let's cling to the past for just one more blog post, a Holiday Edition Best of 2011 edition.  Come and marvel, as we travel back into the depths of 2011!

Elizabeth Banks GIF - Surprised Pictures, Images and Photos

surprised gif Pictures, Images and Photos

Jonghyun gif Pictures, Images and Photos

Okay, okay; it's getting weird. For both of us. Stop marveling. Let's just read it.

The year began with a Sunday spent in the snow with my dodgeball team, the Devil Bats. It was a day full of tobogganing, creating sick snow jumps and many a failed attempt at "snowball dodgeball." We optimistically declared that Sundays would hereto be known as "Anything Can Happen Sundays" and filled with wondrous activities.

Never happened again.

After eight (8) years in Canada, I become an official, government-approved Permanent Resident. This had to be the most important (/time-consuming/expensive/emotionally draining, etc.) highlight of my year. My roommates and cat rejoice knowing that I can now stay in Canada FOREVER.

After a two (2) year letter writing campaign, Great Grains finally made their Canadian debut. My friends promptly clamor to try them.

(This was probably the second most important highlight. It was all pretty much downhill from here.)

I turn 26 and celebrate in an age-appropriate fashion.

A slew of dodgeball tournaments provided us with plenty of opportunities to dress in ridiculous costumes. Lessons learned in costumed dodgeball included that losing a tournament while dressed as the ThunderCats notches up the humiliation factor juuuuust a little bit more; on the other hand, destroying another team while playing as the Rainbow Unicorns feels pretty sweet.

A springtime jaunt to Detroit turns into an impromptu carnival visit. We cast aside whatever doubts we had concerning tourist traps and safety regulations and take a brief, one-ride-worth's-look-see.

Such hopeful smiles.

The adolescent ride operator made sure to give us the time of our lives during the four (4) minute ride aboard the Enterprise. Ride recaps included: "I've never been so nauseous in my entire life,""Why wouldn't it end?" and "Can thirteen year olds legally operate carnival rides?" We shared a nice, silent car ride out of the park, each of us intently concentrating on not throwing up out of the window. Detroit never fails to disappoint. 

(2011: yet another year when Detroit touched my heart and also my vomitary system.)

Summer begins and we try to spend as much as time as possible at the park.

We learn just how badly a group of people can be at badminton. You can add badminton, frisbee baseball, soccer dodgeball, gymnastics and cool breakdancing tricks to the list of activities we did not master this summer.

Activities we DID master, you ask? Mostly beach dodgeball, the art of the sporadic kip-up, ways to achieve the perfect sunburn even when drenched in sunscreen and how to be the creepy clothed people at a nude beach. 

We willingly forked over money to go see Katy Perry in concert. Are you wondering if we dressed up in costume?

...If you don't know me by now, you will never never never know me.
(no you won't)

A few of my dearest friends from home decide I should have no money for the rest of year and hold various wedding-related activities way, way, way, far away from Canada.  Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, Tennessee and Florida weddings--I attend them all!

(Were they worth it? You bet your bippy they were.)

Dreams come true when Velvet and I transform into Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield for Halloween.

On a just-as-important note: Sweet Valley Confidential WAS FINALLY RELEASED.  As someone currently writing an erotic Sweet Valley High fanfiction novel, this was extremely pertinent market research. 

I only finished it in one (1) day because it was such pertinent market research. Nothing more. 

I attend Fan Expo Canada by myself dressed as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (this is a 2011 highlight/lowlight). 

The roommates and I wrap up the year with our first house Christmas. 

Marley wraps up the year by inching his BMI closer and closer to the danger zone. 

It was a year filled with friends, both near and far.

And more importantly, it was a year of Canadian-accessible Great Grains.

(the gorgeous Great Grains pics are courtesy of the cereal-lovin' William Matthews)
(other photo credits go to the usuals: Jenn, Heather, Velvet and Ryan P.--thanks a mill!)

*A small but important note: though it may look like all of 2011 was spent skipping in the sunshine while wearing sequined boas and hoisting trophies into the air, I don't want to be misleading. There were certainly low, un-blogged-about moments. Financial stress, zero free time and putting far too much effort into things/people undeserving are all things I'm happy to leave behind. I'm optimistic for 2012.

Apart from the world ending and all that.

Obligatory New Year's resolution mention:

Though, like every year, I have about sixty (60) New Year's resolutions, I want to assure you readers that Hobbit Heartache, the Sweet Valley High/Lord of the Rings erotic crossover fanfiction WILL be completed in 2012.

Though it will be sad not to have to ponder such queries as "Is a size six the same in hobbit clothing?""Would Bruce Patman and Bilbo fight over who will be the group's alpha male?" and "Would Jessica ever consider a threesome with Bilbo and Frodo?", I do promise that our journey will reach its conclusion in the upcoming months.

To all of you who have read and supported my blog and stories over the year, you warm my heart and if I could, I'd give a cat and box of Great Grains to each of you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Share some resolutions below.