The Junk Drawer

Happy Independence Day my lovelies! Tonight people all over the United States will be gathering to have parties, grill things, and watch fireworks. To help you get in the spirit of the holiday, I’ve collected some tips that may help make your July 4th party look better for less money and in less time! How American is that?!

30 Cheap and Brilliant Dollar Store Hacks

Need some quick/cheap decorations for your holiday? Check out hack number 2: making a garland out of slices of pool noodles. It isn’t hard to find these foamy tubes during summer and if you can find the right colors you can easily make your garland 4th-of-July-themed! One edit to that project you could try would be to string the noodle slices onto a garland of lights. I think alternating red and blue bits with white lights would look awesome in the evening. The other ideas on the list may be more useful for everyday needs, but you can slap some red, white, and blue on most of these ideas to make them more festive. (more…)

Yesterday I finished re-watching all of the X-Files. In case you haven’t heard, they’re going to air new episodes soon and I’m super excited. There’s a lot that I love about the show and I can’t wait for it’s return, but that’s not what I’d like to talk about today. In case you haven’t heard in the 20+ years since its inception, the show’s main theme revolves around aliens. Which leads to my main point:

Hello everyone, my name’s Ashley and I believe in aliens.

Ancient Aliens - i'm not saying it  was aliens... but it was aliens

I still think I’m less crazy than that guy though 😛

I have a few problems with most portrayals of aliens. There’s a few tropes you see in basically every movie, tv show, and book that includes aliens (my dearest X-Files included) and I think most of them are probably wrong. For example:

  • “Aliens abduct people to perform tests/anal probes”
  • “Aliens are little green men with huge heads and massive eyes”
  • “Aliens are super smart and have advanced technology “
  • “Aliens are intent on taking over the earth”
  • “Aliens are totally fine in our atmosphere and ecosystem even though they’re from a different planet”

Now, I know that tv and movies are intended to be entertainment and Hollywood gets things wrong all the time, but it’s not just entertainment sources saying this sort of thing. I hesitate to call alien abductees liars, but some of these things just don’t make sense to me. Let’s dissect the nonsense, shall we? (more…)

See? I told you I’m still alive 🙂 It’s Scholarly Saturday again, so let’s get right to it! I don’t really have a theme for my links today, just a bunch of good stuff
We’re starting with the heavy stuff here. Bullying is a really serious problem. I think many parents, school administrators, and other adults don’t understand how serious it is. In their day, bullying meant that an unpopular girl with glasses got called a nerd or some boys would beat each other up. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t insidious, it didn’t happen to everyone, and the kids who got teased or pushed around turned out fine in the end. The “game” has changed. These days the unpopular girl isn’t called a nerd, she’s called awful swears that I value my readers too much to repeat. And this is placed online where the world can read it and at least one copy will exist forever. The boys who fight after school bring knives and guns now. Kids go to the hospital over this stuff and sometimes they don’t come back. I also want to make it clear that most teachers know this is a serious and continually escalating problem. They’re on the front lines of these wars. It’s the office people (who are usually in charge of the ultimate discipline) who are out of touch with this. It’s the parents of bullies, who after learning that their kid is a bully don’t react strongly. They think things are still how they were years and years ago. It’s time for people to learn that even “small stuff” isn’t small. It isn’t okay. I’m so glad that Mr. Koyczan was able to put his pain into such powerful, amazing words. Please watch this and do what you can in your circle of influence to remind others to be kind. To be compassionate. To not lose their sense of wonder and love. Do what you can to remind others that all people should be safe from this kind of evil. I’m done with the soapbox now, you can have it back 😛
Let’s lighten it up a bit, shall we? These things are just truly hilarious. I think my favorite
so far is “On a scale of fake pockets to nachos, how good is your idea?” That’s a spectacular scale 😀
I loooooooove secrets rooms and passageways, so this link makes me jealous. So many super cool places! I’d say my favorites are the Narnia wardrobe and the secret pub.
I love this letter so very much. It makes me want to have a pre-teen kid right now so I can share this with them. It’s insightful, beautiful, and absolutely true. When I was 17, I had a boyfriend I was sure I was going to marry. Obviously I loved him very much. There was a day that I got into a bit of an argument with one of our mutual friends because he insisted we were all too young to know what love even was. To this day that line of thinking infuriates me for two reasons; first, I’ve grown up with love all around me. I’d have to be incredibly dense to not know what love is. That can be chalked up to different life experiences though, so that doesn’t bother me too much. What does bother me is that he was using his life experience to mentally invalidate mine. I wish at the time I had had Steinbeck’s beautifully crafted letter to cite in support of young love. If you find yourself in need of uplifting words, follow the link.
 Although I don’t have kids of my own yet, parenting styles are always fascinating to me. I guess it started as wanted to be prepared for when I do have kids or as having heard a term and wanting to know what it means. But at this point I read parenting articles mainly because I find it interesting to see how other people tackle a very old task (raising kids) in entirely new ways. This is a perfect example of that. If you’re pressed for time, the main point of the article is that running your family like a business complete with meetings and mission statements can make your family run smoother and therefore happier. It certainly makes sense to me and I look forward to testing it myself 🙂 Until then, my best endorsement is to say that the theory is sound.
That’s all I’ve got for today! Be sure to let me know in the comments if there was a link that particularly resonated with you. Thanks for reading and stay lovely!

I’m Still Alive, I Promise!

I’m absolutely shocked at how long it’s been since I posted anything to this blog. It’s downright embarrassing really. My only defense is that I started a new job (you may have caught that reference in previous posts) which turned out to be more mentally draining than expected. I work as a sales and customer service agent in the call center of a really awesome dinner theatre company. I actually do love the company and the people who work in it, but the work itself tends to be monotonous. I take tons of calls every day and there are ultimately only three or four different reasons a person calls. So I talk to people all day, but I’m always saying the same things. By the end of the day, I want nothing to do with words for the next several hours. Which makes blogging fairly difficult since the medium consists entirely of words. It’s a threadbare excuse, but that’s been the main reason I haven’t blogged much at all for a while.

With my triumphant(ish?) return to blogging, I’d also like to announce my new project: another blog called Truth in Training! Remember when I said that I was devoting myself to fitness this year? Well, at some point that fell by the wayside too. I’ve already recommitted though, and I want to share the details of my journey in a dedicated space for that. So when I have Truth in Training up and running in a few days, you’ll be able to follow me there as well! I’m tremendously excited for this new project and I hope you love it too!

Don’t worry about The Junk Drawer, though, your regularly scheduled programs will return! I don’t think I’ll have a Thoughtful Thursday ready by tomorrow, but after Scholarly Saturday I think we’ll be back on track. Tutorial Tuesdays will still be on hold, but if all goes well it may come back very soon indeed. I’m sorry I let you all gather dust for so long but I’m back with failed Swiffer mop in hand to fix that! Stay tuned for more goodness and stay lovely!