A New Netflix Original Release: Yasuke

Here lately, I’ve run out of anime that looks interesting to me at the outset, so I started checking out anime news sources to see what’s going on in the anime world I’d be missing.

First of all, if you’re an anime fan and don’t know what’s up with Anime News Network (ANN), check it out.

I happened to have the pleasure of checking out an interview from ANN with LeSean Thomas, the executive producer of a new anime hitting Netflix on Thursday called Yasuke.

You can watch the interview here.

Yasuke is the story of a black samurai who is an actual historical figure. He was a retainer for the daimyo Oda Nobunaga.

Yasuke arrived in Japan in 1579 in the service of an Italian Jesuit missionary.

The animation from the trailer and the music is beautiful and artfully done. (Watch it here.)

Again, season 1 is coming to Netflix on Thursday, and I, for one, will be watching it when it releases.

I’m Still Here

Hellooooooo…

I just wanted to pop in to let you all know…

I haven’t forgotten about my blog.

I’ve been writing rather prolifically, but it’s been fan fiction.

It is not likely that I will share these novels (some of these are 50,000 words long and there are 10 different ones) but I will say I’m glad that I’m putting time and effort into something…

Even though I’ll probably be the only person reading it.

If you aren’t sure what fan fiction is, it’s when you take something that already exists, but write your own plot lines.

At this point though I’ve created enough scenarios and original characters that I could put them all together to make my own original work.

I don’t know. We will see.

The point is I haven’t stopped writing. I just stopped sharing the things that I write.

I also wanted to let everyone know that I’m still here.

Until next time (hopefully sooner rather than later).

Classically,

Angela

Short Story: Outside the Window

In order to improve my writing, I have looked for various resources for ideas.

I stumbled on a list of writing prompts that I’ve decided to work through.

I may not share all of them with you, but some will make their way into my blog.

This particular prompt directed me to write about the weather outside my window or if that was boring the weather of somewhere I wish I could be.

I opted for somewhere I wish I could be, so without further ado, here is…

Outside My Window

The frosty breeze cuts through the cracks around the window seam, bringing some of the chilly air inside.

A chill that is challenged by a warm fire in a regal brick chimney, guarded by a beautiful golden gate inside the cabin.

As I sit in my chair by the fire, wrapped in a blanket drinking hot tea, I see the glistening snow outside of my cabin in the Rocky Mountains.

My comfy T-Rex slippers and the warmth of the fire protect my feet from the chill on the tile floor as I get up to look more closely.

The sky is clear as the sun is setting in a sea of white.

The only indication of the distant forest is the broad trunks of mighty trees.

The air is so cool that the snow remains unbothered by the sunlight.

As the moon began to rise, the clear sky twinkled with many stars.

It’s near impossible to see this many stars in the city.

Clouds started to roll in as I moved back to my seat by the fire, putting my feet up and wrapping myself back up in my Spongebob quilt.

It was very likely that the clouds were bringing fresh snow to drip into the vast expanse of snow outside my window.

My assumption was confirmed as I nodded off.

Little white specs fell gently from the sky.

It was a beautiful scene to set the tone for sweet dreams.

I hope you enjoyed this short story.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

8 Podcasts to Listen to

I’ve come to that point in my life where I listen to more podcasts than music.

It really gets me to listen to other people’s ideas and opinions that matter to me.

It also gives me a perspective that may be different from mine.

It’s the new age version of watching the news or talk shows without all the bells, whistles, and bull crap.

I have a rotation of ones I love.

I thought I would share those with you today.

Becoming Bulletproof with Tracy O’Malley

This is my number one go to podcasts for many reasons.

First, what hooked me was how she talked about the evolution of Howard Stern in the first episode.

Second, how she shares the Enneagram.

If you don’t know what the enneagram is, it’s a nine personality type system of getting to know yourself that’s been around for centuries.

That may be an oversimplification, but the self-discovery is fascinating.

The interviews are spectacular.

Tracy interviews in a way that is more like a conversation.

The Mindset Mentor with Rob Dial

This is the OG podcast that got me started on podcasts.

I love this one because Rob likes to keep things as concise as possible while dropping mind blowing tips.

Usually he gives out the advice or wisdom in fifteen minutes or less.

It’s the perfect podcast for a commute to work or to school or wherever it is you need to get to in life.

ProjectME with Tiffany Carter

I actually found this podcast through her interview with Tracy O’Malley.

I love how unfiltered the truth and advice is given on this show.

Tiffany doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to her ideas and how those ideas help people.

She is also very open about her life experiences and how those experiences made her who she is today.

The Tim Ferris Show

I recently discovered this podcast from an email newsletter I get from Zach Spear, founder of MLM Rebels.

What hooked me was his interview with Sia.

I always thought she was weird. The good kind of weird.

This interview confirms that I love Sia and Tim’s style of interviewing people.

They can be long, but the conversations never miss a beat or get boring.

There are lots of nuggets of wisdom and it just feels more conversational than like an interview.

Tim also has a compelling email newsletter that breaks down what he was up to that week as far as his podcasts interviews, reflections on quotes, and books he happened to be reading.

On Purpose with Jay Shetty

This is another podcast where the interviews can get conversational with nuggets of wisdom all throughout.

It’s no surprise to me because Jay Shetty actually used to be a monk.

I think that’s part of what makes his perspective interesting to me.

He is out here asking the real questions and he helps you to dig a little deeper.

And when I say “asking the real questions” I mean it.

Jay doesn’t piddle around with surface level stuff it makes you dig deep and think hard.

The Ziglar Show with Kevin Miller

My love of Zig Ziglar and his wisdom is some of my favorite stuff.

They incorporate that wisdom throughout while addressing topics such as having dreams so big they scare you.

Unf*ck Your Brain with Kara Lowenthal

I basically love how she calls the listeners her chickens and she has a really soothing voice.

That’s not all I love though.

There is so much empowerment in this podcast.

She talks a lot about situations that kind of mess us up and how to overcome them.

Greatness Radio with Les Brown

If you don’t know Les Brown, you should because he is a legend.

Most of these podcasts I got into after I stepped in the field of an entrepreneur.

Les has guided many people to greatness including our main man who shaped our childhoods, Walt Disney.

Les just reminds you of how much greatness is already in each of us and how to cultivate it.

What are some of your favorite podcasts?

Until next time.

Sincerely,

Angela

Are you asking yourself the real questions?

RuPaul is right.

The struggle is real, and it will continue to be real.

So, I’ve started asking myself the following questions;

“What pain are you willing to sustain? What do you want to struggle for?”

These are questions created and addressed by Mark Manson.

This man actually asks the real questions and some of these questions are really hard.

The basics behind this is we often share what it is that we want.

The things we share are often about having the perfect life, but it doesn’t address what we are willing to do to get it.

You can read more about this in the blog post here, or buy his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck here.

Recently, I’ve come into a transitional phase in my life.

One where I have to address “Who am I and what do I value?”

So far I’ve been answering this question based on past experiences and expectations outside of myself.

The truth is that some of the things I want to do might seem strange.

I recently got a job as a remote customer service person.

Basically like a call center for your home.

I’m excited for this because I’ll still get to help people, even though a lot of them may be angry.

Teaching middle school, heck, even kindergarten has prepared me for this.

Now, before you get all judge-y about call center jobs let me tell you a story.

It’s about three masons, putting a building together.

All three of them are doing the same job.

The first one had the mindset of, “I’m just laying some bricks.”

The second one said, “I’m making a building.”

The third one said, “I’m building a house of God.”

The difference between the three is this; the first one saw what he was doing as a job, the second one a career, and the third one saw what he was doing as his passion.

I want to reiterate that they were all doing the same type of work.

It’s about the mindset behind the work.

Angela Duckworth covers this in the chapter on Passion from her book Grit.

When we talk about passion, we see it as something outside of what we are already doing and it comes from a place of lack.

The place we should start with is what we already do, what we like to do, and how we can use those things we like to do.

Then, we can channel them into what we already do or find other places that those things would be helpful.

So when it comes to doing this new job…

The thing that most excites me is the combination of these things while helping people understand the fine print.

If you know me, you know I read EVERYTHING.

I get particular joy reading through health plans.

If someone is struggling with anything that requires combing through the fine print, I’ll go through and help them figure out if they are justified and what they can do.

So the pain I’m willing to sustain is to help people resolve issues with medical insurance jargon.

Do I think I will be building houses of God doing this? That remains to be seen.

I’m so pumped about this, though.

That may sound strange to some people, but I’m no longer basing my life on the opinions of others.

That’s how I lost myself in the first place, and now have to struggle with questions like this in my 30’s.

Of course I’m learning that doesn’t even matter because no matter what our age we are transitioning in one way or another.

What is it that you are willing to struggle for?

Until next time.

Sincerely,

Angela

(Note: If this spoke to you or you know someone else who needs to hear that they should just let themselves enjoy the things they actually want to struggle through, give it a share. I am also not getting anything out of sharing Mark’s stuff. I just think he is asking the real questions and putting the unfiltered truth into the universe. Seriously, read his stuff. The same goes for Angela Duckworth.)

A favorite song lyric and what it means to me.

“What will it take to show you that it’s not the life it seems. I tell you time and time again you say the words, but don’t know what it means to be a joke…”

This lyric is from the song “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance.

“What will it take to show you that it’s not the life it seems?”

For me it was a kick in the teeth or as of a week and a half ago, a dresser in the teeth.

“I told you time and time again you say the words..”

I’m fine.

“…and don’t know what it means.”

The entire song is one I belt out when I’m having a bad day, and sometimes even a good day.

There’s really something cathartic about cranking it up and letting go.

These lyrics in particular speak to me because the words are things I want to say to people in no uncertain terms.

However, it’s not socially acceptable to tell people you’re not okay.

The fantasy that we have to be okay at all times is expected.

When you don’t fall into that line, and step off of it, you seem to be the joke.

Appearing to be okay all the time is honestly toxic and pretending that we are all okay all the time is the joke.

Sometimes it’s better to not be okay than it is to be okay. I promise.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

My Top 5 Favorite Water Bottles

A good water bottle is an essential part of maintaining hydration.

There are so many different types out there, and I can honestly say that I have used a fair amount of them.

As far as I’m concerned, getting a great water bottle is a good investment.

In this post, I’m going to cover my top 5 favorite water bottles out of all of the ones I have ever tried.

Pro tip: most lids to water bottles are not dishwasher friendly.

This is due to the fact that the plastic ring that creates a seal can melt off.

When this happens the liquid leaks from the container.

The water bottle from this lunch box set.

This was the closest kit I could find to the one I got my water bottle from.

Believe me, I spent a lot of time looking for the one I have.

Mine is chevron, but this is the exact same type of water bottle.

The water bottle like this one is currently sitting on my night stand which is why it’s first on the list.

The Arbonne Water Bottle

This is another one I use a lot.

I have dropped it so many times, and it’s still good.

What’s nice about this one is that it has the ounces written on the side so you can track your water intake.

This is important because it helps determine how much water you need.

It’s also the perfect size for the Arbonne Essentials Body Cleanse.

Unfortunately it appears to be out of stock, but the Phytosport bottle is a good substitute.

Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle

This one is great because there is a filter inside the bottle itself.

That’s fantastic because you can get filtered water anywhere.

One problem is tracking when you need to replace the filter as there is no indicator for when it needs to be replaced.

The second is that the filter can become water logged, and so it makes it difficult to drink sometimes.

There are ways to fix it.

Check out this video for tips to help with this problem.

Blender/Shaker Cups

These are great for several reasons.

First, it’s a quick and easy way to take a shake with you on the go.

When you finish your shake, rinse the bottle and fill it with water.

Or simply just use it for water.

Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Ashland Water Bottle

This one is great because it comes with a straw.

One of the nice things also is that some versions of this protect the spout when closed so the straw is not exposed.

I love these, but I also went through a lot of them.

That’s partially because in college and in my first couple of years teaching I was REALLY rough with these.

The bottle itself is tough.

The lid is tough.

The straw in the lid though is the problem.

Once you put a hole in that it’s basically done for.

I personally thought they were worth repurchasing because they are convenient and again the ounces are written on the side.

I hope this was helpful to you on your journey of staying hydrated.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

The #1 Thing I’m Good At

Over complication and over thinking is like an art form for me.

I have over complicated things since the day I was born.

That’s not an exaggeration.

I tried to come into the world upside down.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I’m an entrepreneur in information overload and analysis paralysis.

In this day and age there is so much advice, so many methods, and a coach on every corner.

It can be maddening starting out.

Don’t get me wrong, mentorship and coaching are great…

If you don’t have shiny object syndrome.

Analysis paralysis is real, people.

So what do you do to combat that?

Trust yourself.

Allow yourself to mess up, get rejected, fall on your face.

There are people out there who want to help you not struggle because they’ve done it already,

And that’s fine.

But don’t let someone offering training wheels overshadow your ability to ride, fall, scrape your knee, and get back up again until you can fly.

The number one thing I’m good at is over complication and over analysis, but I think I’m going to find a new thing.

And whatever that is, it’s going to be a good one with all the scars from falling on my face trying to do it.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

My Crazy Addiction to Cooking Competitions

It’s the end of the day, and I’m exhausted.

There is nothing I want to do more than to put on my comfy pants, sit in my comfy chair and decompress.

What do I do to decompress?

Watch other people losing their minds to cook things in 45 minutes or less.

That’s right. I decompress watching cooking competitions.

Who is the king of bringing us the best of the best in cooking competitions?

Food Network.

I could binge watch Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped, Iron Chef America, Beat Bobby Flay and other until Hulu gets judge-y and asks me, “Are you still there?”

Yes, Hulu I’m still here trying to watch Alton Brown kill someone’s spirit by making them cook with golf clubs on Cutthroat Kitchen. Geez.

On occasion, I have some of these shows playing in the background while I’m cooking dinner.

Food Network has done more for me than providing quality entertainment.

Food Network has also been a great help to me with recipes.

Aside from watching the judges crush people’s spirits, I occasionally like to look for recipes from the judges on the Food Network website.

I don’t talk a lot about cooking because I don’t cook as much as I used to.

My default setting is spaghetti in meat sauce.

I will never forget that flank steak I made using a recipe from Guy Fieri though. Heaven.

Back to the competition shows, I’m usually not a back seat chef (because I’m not a chef), but…

When competitors try making certain foods with certain judges on the panel, it’s like they are actively trying to get cut from the competition.

Do not try to make a mole in 30 minutes with Aarón Sánchez on the panel.

The same with a risotto with Scott Conant is on the panel.

Those things do not cook well in under 30 minutes, just don’t do it.

They do it every time, but few do it successfully.

I give those chefs a sigh of relief and applause.

It’s usually at the detriment of something else on the plate though.

Aside from covering my face when a bright-eyes chef says, “I’m going to make risotto in 30 minutes…”

I watch carefully to learn from the chefs too.

There are certain knife skills I’ve picked up watching the chefs, from chopping vegetables to getting proper cuts on meat.

The themed episodes with butchers are my favorite ones.

No, I do not chop my food as fast as they do or as clean.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people can cut up food without chopping off a finger.

Anyway, I love cooking competitions and I’m glad Food Network keeps bringing them to us.

Just thought I’d share.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela