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If We Were Having Coffee: Bringing the Heat Indoors

If We Were Having Coffee Image Four

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you most of my week has been pretty unproductive. Spent most of it continuing to read Ready Player One and lounging around the house. Mostly because my neck and head pain hadn’t gone away and I didn’t want to do anything else while dealing with it. But I also worked on editing another poem to post on my blog and watching YouTube videos.

Watching videos on YouTube is actually one of my many favorite hobbies. I usually do it whenever I don’t feel like watching television. Most of the videos I watch on YouTube are video game videos. I watch fellow gamers play video games to find out what type of games people are into lately. But also because I don’t have the current game systems out now. So I watch YouTubers to see games I might possibly be interested in playing myself one day whenever I’m able to afford getting a PlayStation 4. I also do it too because I sometimes just like watching other people play games because it can be mildly entertaining seeing another person play something and enjoying it. It also makes me feel like I’m even more a part of the gamer community because I watch YouTubers who play games currently available. But also watching them play games I might enjoy is fun too.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my fun day I spent with a friend on Thursday. We went driving around to different towns and parks here in South Carolina, then got out of the car and walked, looking at the beautiful world around us. I was tired whenever we first started our trip because he’d asked me if I could wake up a little earlier than usual so we could get started earlier in the day in order to have plenty of time together. But it was lots of fun, just driving around, seeing different places around us. We even briefly drove through some of the mountains here, which was such a beautiful sight to see. My ears were popping during that part of the trip, but it was worth it seeing all of that beautiful landscape.

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This is a picture taken at one of the parks we went to. It had a nice waterfall too and there were lots of ducks and geese there, swimming, squawking, just having a good time. This park is located in Greenville.

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This is the mountain view we saw on our way to our next destination.

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The house up on the hill is the home of an author who lives in North Carolina named Carl Sandburg. Going to this place took us a little bit of a drive, but my friend wanted to show me this place. I’m not a big fan of history but seeing this author’s home in the distance really excited me. It was a beautiful uphill walk that took my breath away with each step.

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 Our last stop was seeing Carl Sandburg’s house at a historic park. It was in North Carolina though so we had an hour and a half to two-hour drive to get there, but it was so worth the time it took for us to get there. I really enjoyed going there not only because the view of the house was breathtaking but because once we got up the hill, there’s a goat house where you can go and pet goats. I would say this part of the trip was one of my favorites because we did quite a bit of walking and it was just such a beautiful place to visit. After leaving this place, we headed home, quickly grabbing a bite to eat before heading back. Overall, the trip was such a great time that I can’t wait to see what type of adventure we go on next.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you Friday was quite a draining day. I was woken up early because Mom discovered a problem with our air conditioner and was having someone come to find out what needed to be fixed. So since I was still tired from my fun filled Thursday, I went back to sleep on our couch until around the time I normally wake up, waiting for the guy to get here. Once he did, he immediately went to our attic to find out what was wrong with our air conditioning. And what he had to tell us wasn’t good news. Apparently our coils for the air conditioning that connect to our drain were very rusty and there was mold on them. So our whole air conditioning system has to be replaced because of the mold. We also think this is possibly why I haven’t been feeling so great the past two weeks. Apparently, the mold was so bad that if anyone in the house was allergic to it, it would affect them. And while my allergies mostly pertain to pollen, I think it’s also possible I could have an allergic reaction to mold, which is why my head and neck have been hurting.

But because we need to get our air conditioning replaced, we’ve had to turn it off completely until they are able to come and fix it. Unfortunately, they won’t be at our house to work on it until Monday, which means this weekend we’ve been having to deal without it. Meaning, we now have a lot of box fans set up around the house and all of our ceiling fans on because we need cool air in our house. We live in the south where our summers are usually hot in temperature and right now our house is around 90 degrees in temperature. Unfortunately, I really have a low tolerance for heat and summer isn’t one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love doing things like swimming and laying out to get a tan during the summer. But otherwise, I want to stay away from the heat as much as I possibly can. And since we have this heat in our house now, I want even less to do with it now than ever before. But so far, I feel like we are dealing with it well, trying to stay as positive as we can. Monday just can’t seem to get here fast enough though.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I also finished reading Ready Player One and wrote the review for it on Friday. I overall enjoyed it, but gave it three stars because there were so many issues I had with it that made it difficult for me to enjoy it even more. Now I’m on to read Ernest Cline’s second novel Armada, which is so far pretty good. I’m hoping I enjoy it as much as Ready Player One or even more so, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

And that’s been my week overall pretty much. Nothing else I can think of writing, at least right now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the coffee and can’t wait to hear about how your week has been going.

Book Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One Cover

Rating: 3 stars

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

This book was quite an enjoyable read. The plot revolves around Wade Watts, a teenage boy who doesn’t particularly live in the best part of town. He spends his whole life inside the OASIS, a virtual reality world where anything is possible because the world around him is so crappy that he’d rather live somewhere else. Then one day, the creator of the OASIS dies and leaves behind a video. In it, he challenges everyone in the OASIS to complete a series of puzzles because the first person to do so will receive his fortune. This competition goes on for a period of time because nobody is able to figure out the first clue. Then one day, Wade figures it out and his name appears on the scoreboard and everything in his life changes in ways he couldn’t imagine.

I found this book to be quite an amazing read because of how accurately its commentary is in relation to the way we live with technology in the world today. So many people (myself included) use technology so much that it’s integrated to every facet of their lives. We communicate with our peers through text messaging instead of having daily conversation because its fast and easy. We use the internet and television as a form of entertainment not only for ourselves but for future generations instead of just taking a moment each day to spend talking to each other. We don’t want to admit that we rely on technology so much because not everyone notices how integrated it’s become a part of our lives. But reading Ready Player One has really brought that reality of our world to me. Of how much we rely on technology to do things we ourselves could do without it. Of how much we no longer can live without it because we are using it for everything we do. And while we aren’t yet in the future of 2044, we are closer to it now than years past. Virtual reality is no longer a thing of the past. The Oculus Rift and other virtual reality devices currently on the market are perfect examples of how much closer we are to facing the future Wade Watts experiences. While we aren’t there yet, we are much closer to that reality and we already use technology every day as a form of escape from our lives instead of communicating with those we love or doing activities without using technology. We just aren’t at the total scope that people in Wade’s world use it.

I also enjoyed all of the references to the twentieth century and how they were incorporated in the story to solve the puzzles Halliday created in the OASIS. While at times they were a little overwhelming, it was also nice to have a sort of tribute to a different time period. To a time when technology wasn’t such a big part of people’s lives. It also added more to Wade’s character because when he wasn’t doing something in the OASIS, he was watching shows or playing video games from that time.

Ready Player One was also an enjoyable read because I loved hearing about the virtual reality world Wade immersed himself in. It was interesting to see what all a person could do in that reality to escape from the world outside. I thought it was cool that a person could do anything in that reality world from hosting a chat room to going to school. It made the virtual reality world seem more realistic and I felt like it also showed me possibilities of what virtual reality is capable of doing.

There were some aspects of Ready Player One, however, I didn’t particularly like. For one, I felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of character development for all of the characters and I felt no emotional impact in the story. I felt like none of the characters in the story had any sort of personality. We saw the story from Wade’s perspective, but the whole time reading, I felt like I didn’t really know Wade very well as a person. I knew he was pretty much obsessed with James Halliday and felt like most of his interests were due to his obsession with getting the first clue and winning Halliday’s fortune. In fact, I felt like all of the characters in the story were obsessed with winning this challenge and it would’ve been nice to have been introduced to someone in the OASIS who wasn’t obsessed with it. But I also felt like the characters we were introduced to were flat in personality. To the point where even when things went wrong, it didn’t feel like there was any sort of emotional response to what was happening. A perfectly good example without giving any of the plot away is when Wade gets threatened by the antagonist. He literally doesn’t bat an eye and when the antagonist makes his threat a reality, I imagine Wade saying in a sarcastically dry voice “oh no,” but he doesn’t get completely upset by the whole thing. He literally shrugs his shoulders and moves away. I felt this lack of emotion from Wade and all of the other characters throughout and it really bothered me. It didn’t help that all of the characters felt flat to me either.

Another aspect of the story that bothered me was how the love interest was incorporated in the story. I felt like the author for some of the story made her a distraction for Wade to complete the quest. To the point where in a couple of chapters the author has Wade and her spend a lot of time together instead of trying to find the next clue. And that bothered me because I felt like there was another way her character could’ve been used, such as having her and Wade team up together to find clues so that the antagonist wouldn’t win. Instead, I felt like the author was using her as eye candy for Wade until the plot picked back up.

There were also things in the story I didn’t find realistic. For example, I was surprised at everything the author made Wade capable of doing. Most of the things the author made Wade do in the real world just didn’t seem possible to me. Not because I didn’t believe he could do those things. But because Wade spent so much of his time in virtual reality that when he was in the real world, he was always miserable and trying to do everything possible to get back to the OASIS. And this bothered me because I felt like some of his feats were impossible for him to do without another person’s help. But he managed to do those things anyway all by himself. It just felt like these particular feats were a complete miracle on his part and it made me hard to believe some of the story.

While I did overall like Ready Player One and the story it had to offer, there were just some things about the story that really bothered me. These things made the book interesting, but also question what I was reading. However, I overall enjoyed reading this book despite these issues and can’t wait to read another one of his works in the very near future.

If We Were Having Coffee: Surviving Sickness

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If we were having coffee, I’d once again apologize for my continued lack of recent blog posts. This time though, it really isn’t something within my control. For the past week (since last Thursday, not this one) I’ve been feeling quite under the weather. I’ve been dealing with a lot of neck and head pain that hasn’t completely gone away. I don’t know where this pain stems from and what caused it to occur, but it’s really starting to get old real fast. It’s gotten better since it first started. But it’s still there, hanging on, not wanting to completely disappear. I’ll start feeling better, almost as if it’s going to completely vanish. But then I’ll wake up the next day, my neck sore as ever, my head throbbing as if I got run over by a bus. But then as the day goes on, the pain gets less and less until it’s a dull pain. I’ll be excited, thinking I finally beat this thing only to discover when I’m in bed that the pain is back, stronger than ever. So then when I wake up for the day, I’ll come downstairs and lay on our couch in the hopes of shaking it off. It helps make the pain more bearable for me but once I go to bed—the pain returns.

But the problem is I don’t know what’s causing this pain. My family and I each have conclusions of our own based on what I’ve been experiencing. I really think it could be my bed causing all of these problems since my head and neck pain seems to get worse every time I wake up in the morning. However, I’m not an expert by any means when it comes to head and neck pain. So I won’t know for sure until I go to the doctor to find out what’s going on with me. Hopefully, that’ll happen soon so that I can find out what’s going on and make sure I’m treating this correctly.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that even though I haven’t been feeling well, I’ve been trying the best I can to make the most of it. I’ve been spending most of my time chilling at home. I haven’t really gotten too many job applications or anything done because of how I’ve been feeling. Though I did get an email from one of the companies I applied for a position with. They had some additional questions for me about my experience that they needed me to answer before later on talking about setting up a phone interview. The position is with the company I work for now, but is more of a job in my field and I’d get paid more. I’d also have to move because the position isn’t in the state I live in now. But until I have the phone interview, I can’t get my hopes up yet that I’ll get the position. I also finished reading Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation. It was a very satisfying read that reminded me so much of my childhood where I spent a lot of time playing video games on my Sega, Nintendo, SNES, and PlayStation 2, all of which are systems I still have with me. And then started reading Ready Player One, which so far is a pretty enjoyable read too. Even though there are some things with the story I’m still unsure of yet. Just going to wait until I finish reading the book though before I make a judgment call.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you last Saturday, I went on a Cystic Fibrosis walk with my best friend. Even though I wasn’t feeling so hot, I already committed to going on this walk and it was for a good cause. For those unfamiliar with Cystic Fibrosis, it is a genetic born disease that limits a person’s ability to breathe over time. It also causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs, which can cause infections, extensive lung damage, respiratory failure, and prevent the release of digestive enzymes, which allows the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an organization whose mission is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives. My best friend has been dealing with this disease her whole life. So even though I wasn’t feeling so great after the walk, I did this for her and to help others who have to deal with this horrible disease. And it was a lot of fun because not only did I get to see my best friend, but I also got to walk, which is a form of exercise I really enjoy. And that’s what really matters, being surrounded by people whose company you enjoy and doing something you love.

If we were having coffee, I’d also inform you I have some really good news. My sister has finally gotten a job in her field!  I have one older sister who graduated from college a year before I did with a degree in Bioengineering. She’s been looking for a job in her field for two years now, but has been working for one of our school districts as an assistant secretary for one of the coaches. So I know she’s very happy about it, even though it means she’ll be moving away from Mom and I into another state six hours away.  We celebrated by going out to our favorite Mexican place for dinner once she accepted the position. But next weekend, we shall hopefully be moving her into her new place. She’s been communicating with a friend of her friends about being roommates and it’s been stressing her out because the friend won’t be ready to move from her current place until a month after my sister needs to be there and my sister doesn’t want to spend a month at her friend’s place. So she’s been dealing with a lot of stress from that, but I’m hoping everything will work out okay for her.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that’s really all I have been up to besides lounging at home. I know today will be our last Zumba class with our Sunday instructor. She’s got such a busy schedule and I only go to the gym on Sundays because guests are allowed to go to the gym on the weekends for free. But I probably won’t be going because my neck is still sore and I don’t want to do anything to hurt myself. Also a friend of Mom’s is having a cookout at her place tonight so I’ll be going to that. It’s raining here though so we’ll definitely be cooking everything indoors instead. So I guess it’s time for me to go. I hope you’ve been having a good week and I’ll talk to you later, dear friend.

If We Were Having Coffee: Another Semester Comes to An End

A Cup of Coffee and Books

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you this week has been quite a busy one. Busy in ways I wasn’t expecting it to be. I’d tell you how my last week of work went, giving you details about what all transpired. I’d tell you my meeting with my General Manager about opportunities in my field went successfully. He was able to provide me with some amazing places where I could look for jobs, informing me to let him know where I applied so he could give a good word. But also telling me where I could search that I hadn’t thought of before. Another coworker was there when we were having our session and volunteered to help me build up my resume, completely recreating it from scratch. But improving it in ways I believe will make my resume stand out and open the door to other amazing opportunities.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you a breakfast bagel shop close to home called me for a job interview. The interview went well and was shortly followed up by a second interview with their General Manager. They sound like they are interested in hiring me, but I also know I need to keep my options open. But I haven’t heard back from them since they did my background check. Though I’m willing to give them a couple more days before I get back on the band wagon to continue searching for jobs. This time, I’ll be looking for jobs in my field at places where my General Manager will be able to give a good word. So I’m not completely holding out on hearing back, but continuing my job search from where I left off. I just hope this time around I’ll be more successful. Only time will tell, that’s for sure.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve spent nearly every day with my new friend. Not only talking and messaging, but spending time with each other, getting to know each other better. We are planning on doing something together on Monday, but I’m waiting for word on what we’ll be doing exactly. Just know I’m excited to have another friend in my life and continue to be excited to see our friendship blossom.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m not too sad to see work coming to a close this semester. A lot has happened there that has caused me so much stress that I’m glad to see it’s over. This week there went well. It was very slow because students were in their final exam week so they were leaving as soon as they finished their last exam. We also had a closing meeting, which was pretty basic chit chat on Wednesday afternoon. My last night shift on Friday was the Senior Dinner, which went off without a hitch. There were some minor problems here and there, but nothing none of us were able to handle. We worked well as a team to make sure everything got done properly, even getting out 30 minutes to an hour earlier than anticipated. So that was pretty nice. It’s weird how quickly this school year has gone because I didn’t graduate this early last year. But I’m also proud of my fellow college peers for all they’ve accomplished in their four years at Columbia College and know they’ll do some amazing things in the years to come. Just hoping to do some amazing things myself very soon, fingers crossed.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve started a new book as well as acquired two new books. I’ve started reading the book Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris. So far this book is truly amazing, talking about the video game industry and how both Sega and Nintendo have revolutionized video games in their own unique ways. But focuses more on Sega, the company that could arguably be called the underdog in the video game industry. Then, Tom Kalinske was brought on board, transforming Sega into a $60 billion dollar industry. I would go into more detail about what I think about this book, but I really want to save that until I’ve finished reading it and my review is posted for you to see. But so far, I really enjoy it, learning more about the video game industry and the people who’ve shaped it into the beautiful thing it is today. The two books I bought at Barnes & Noble yesterday also focus on video games and are by the same author, Ernest Cline. Both of them are books on my Goodreads to be read list that I’ve been really wanting to read for the longest time. They are Ready Player One and Armada.  I’m so excited to read them both even though the book I’m currently reading is amazing and I’m learning more about video games from it. I just can’t wait to see how all three of these books are and to write about them on here.

books

If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for my continued lack of posts. I was planning on doing more posts this week, but didn’t really have too many ideas besides posting my two writings from the application to Book Riot. I’ve already posted the first one and will post the other one very soon. I hope this upcoming week will make up for it as I won’t be working anymore so I should have plenty of free time to think up posts to write. But will just have to wait and see what happens. Because it’s also possible I could very easily be hitting a dry spell and that’s why I’ve not been writing quite as much. Either way, I plan on becoming more active in the future on my blog and hope you all still enjoy my posts, regardless of how much time passes between each one.

If we were having coffee, I’d finish by saying this weekend has been a wonderful one so far. Yesterday not only did I get to go to Barnes & Noble with my sister, but I also saw my best friend for my second Mary Kay consultation. I not only did the skin treatment, but they put makeup on me too. So since none of you have any way of knowing this, I don’t wear makeup. At all. I’ve only worn it a couple times, mostly when forced by friends into doing makeovers, but that’s about it. Personally, I just don’t like the way makeup looks on my face. I feel very uncomfortable with it on and it doesn’t enhance my physical appearance or do anything for me. Just more of an irritation than anything else. Yesterday, it wasn’t too bad. Still not convinced in getting any makeup for myself or anything. But I did get the stuff I ordered from the last consultation, which I’m definitely looking forward to using in the foreseeable future, despite my family wanting to use it too. But today, I’ll be doing Zumba soon, so I should probably let you get going.

If we were having coffee, I’d also like to quickly let you know that I might not be doing coffee next weekend. I have a cousin graduating from college next Saturday so I’ll be pretty busy spending time with my family.

Just thought I should let you know. But I’m off now. Hope you’ve had a good week and catch you next time with more about what’s going on in my life and more coffee.

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