Wednesday, 30 April 2014

She's My Kind Of Rain - Tim McGraw (cover)

Five Little Things

The older I get, the more I find I enjoy little comforts in my life. I love having familiar things around me that give me some sort of sensory pleasure. Here are some of my little favorite things listed by the sense they cater to:

Sight: My internet projects. I try to keep up with my YouTube videos (although I haven't been doing a good job lately), and post something here on a daily basis. I also try to post a song to SoundCloud 3 or 4 times a week if I can. But the "sight" part doesn't come into play at this time. It is later on, when I see that people are actually viewing/listening to my offerings. It helps reassure me that I am making connections with people, even though sometimes I may feel that I am not.

Sound: My iPod. I have over 3000 songs on my iPod from all sorts of time periods. Nothing classical - classical music annoys me to my very core. Every other genre is fair game, though. I have loved music my whole life. Dick Clark was right on the money when he said that music is the soundtrack of our lives. My memory can be pretty bad sometimes, but when I listen to music I can transport myself back to the time period when I first discovered the song I hear. It can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on the memory.

Smell: The smell of clean laundry. I don't usually have a lot of energy as a general rule, so when I accomplish a chore it is a huge deal for me. I associate the smell of clean laundry with accomplishment and success. It also doesn't hurt that the smell of clean laundry means I don't have to worry about it for at least another week.

Taste: I am a soda fiend. So Diet Pepsi feels comforting for me. It means my fridge is stocked with goodies and all is right with the world.

Touch: My bed. I have a fairly new bed, which my son has referred to as "the enchanted bed" because he nodded off within 2 minutes of lounging on it and slept for 3 hours. It's like lying on a cloud and it does wonders for my back. I have never been a person who falls asleep easily but now I can be halfway through a thought before waking up the next morning. What a wonderful feeling.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Good Music Is Still Good Music

As I mentioned in my first post for this blog, I love singing. I upload some songs to SoundCloud, I upload some in video format to YouTube, but most of the time I sing using a karaoke app. In this app there are a few songs that I can sing for free, but I have to pay for the privilege of singing most of them. It was cheaper just to get a VIP membership for a month to be able to sing all I wanted. I didn't think I would use it as much as I have. It's been a few weeks now and I have sung over 120 songs, no kidding. That's without me really knowing diddly squat about today's music.
Here's my complaint: there are, as an example, probably 8 Britney Spears songs. There are several Lady Gaga songs. Even Ellie Goulding has two or three karaoke songs to her credit. However, there are a number of artists that are conspicuously absent. ABBA. Leonard Cohen. Tina Turner. Aerosmith. The list goes on and on. And I am not talking about one-hit wonders here, people. I am talking about legends in the music business. Whether they are your cup of tea or not, they are the true survivors. I can't believe it was so much easier to get copyright permission from Justin Bieber's people and One Direction's people than it would be to get permission from, say, Def Leppard. It just makes no sense.
Granted, today's teenagers might be hard-pressed to name one UB40 song. But that doesn't mean that no one would sing them. I can't be the only 39 year-old who uses this app. And music that was good back then is still good today. Isn't it? What do you think?

Monday, 28 April 2014

What's My Name Again???

You may have already come across the fact that I changed my name on all social media sites. I am in the process of changing it legally as well. I will now be known as Tanya Muzanovic, which was my name for the first 18 years of my life, anyway. This will be the third time I have done a complete name change, and it is the last time. I have already completed the process twice before - once for each marriage. And it seems to be more of a hassle every time I do it, more complicated. I never thought I would ever use my maiden name again. But I think I have come to accept the fact that life is unpredictable for the most part.
How annoying and fiddly is changing your last name? Very. I began a list on my Things To Do pad I keep beside the computer of the institutions I needed to change my name with and the requirements to do so. I have to change practically everything, except my birth certificate. After twenty minutes of investigating and scribbling things down I realized I needed help. I found these decent folks who would do all of the thinking and figuring for me - for a price, of course. But it is well worth it if I prevent a migraine in the process.
The irony of this situation is that Mills is the only last name that I have been assured I can use for life or longer. But it is not my name. It is the name I took on when I got remarried last year. That's how I was brought up, that's what happens when you get married. Surrender your pre-marriage last name and get ready to perfect your new signature. It sounds ludicrous, now that I know what a pain it is to change last names these days. Do yourself a favor, any single ladies out there: if you get married, hang on to your last name. You'll thank me one day.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Friendliest Sites On The Web

As you may well imagine, someone as socially inept as myself appreciates kindness wherever it exists. It is something I can't afford to take for granted. I spend a significant amount of time online, and I have noticed that three sites I visit regularly seem to be the friendliest of the bunch. I don't even want to add up all of the sites I belong to/visit. Sounds too pathetic. So I have listed my top three in ascending order with #1 being the most consistently friendly. And because this blog would not be the same without some form of negativity, I will be listing not only the pros but also the cons of my involvement with each site.

Pros This site is great because I can come and go as I please. I do not have a regular group of people I interact with; I just post my crap and go on my way. Positive reinforcement comes in the form of favorites and retweets, which is just remote enough to ensure that no one gets pissed off or hurt in the exchange. Great when I am having a bad day but I need some sort of distraction.
Cons Regardless of what I post, no one ever checks to see that I am okay. Not that I am normally an attention whore, but it's nice to be noticed every once in a while. Twitter does not offer me this. I have 400+ followers, and I know nothing about any of them beyond what their brief bio suggests.

Pros Unlike Twitter, I do have people on this site that I interact with regularly, even if it is just to "poke" one another. And I will never forget one late night I was in a bad place mentally and visited Facebook looking for some reassurance/support. I posted a status update asking someone, anyone to please pay me a compliment. Anything. I got over 10 compliments in all, even though it was not exactly a peak time online. They may have saved my life that night. That's definitely nothing to sneeze at.
Cons Most of the people I am friends with on Facebook are former classmates, which would suggest that they are also pushing 40. It's hard not to compare my life to theirs and add up the ways in which I failed to achieve my goal of happy wife and mommy - and they reached it somehow. Can be very disheartening.

Pros I have had my YouTube channel for four years now, and I currently have over 400 subscribers. But unlike Twitter, I get to interact with some of them. The core group that interact with me represent some of the clearest examples of kindness and caring that exist in my life. In return, I try to provide them with the types of videos they want to see on my channel. It's an exchange that works for both parties.
Cons The other side of the metaphorical coin is that YouTube has introduced me to some of the coldest people I have ever met. The cruelty can be overwhelming in some instances. But it is a price I am willing to pay for that kindness and caring I crave so much.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Welcome To Five Minutes You Will Never Get Back

Hello, and welcome to the very first instalment to a blog that is determined to push the envelope, Amish Drive-By. The reason for the name is simple. This is about my dreams and my life as a blogger dealing with chronic pain and illness on a daily basis. This makes everything harder, including relationships with friends and family, which in turn makes me ruthless. It's a vicious cycle. But I am determined to achieve a happy and fulfilling life, even though it may take me a lot longer. Even though I may make more than my share of enemies along the way. But first, an introduction.

My name is Tanya Mills and I am 39 years old. Mills is not my maiden name, not even close. Mills is the surname of my second husband, a marriage that has more or less fallen apart too. I don't seem to be very good at the "wife" thing, not sure why. I know I am hard to love but when I love, I love hard. True to my Scorpio sign, I am a very intense person, but lately I have become more aloof. A series of failed friendships has produced in me a jaded outlook towards human interaction in general. The failed marriages don't help either. Then there's my family. Or rather, there isn't. But that's a different story.

Then we have the illnesses I deal with on a daily basis, both physical and mental. Most of my physical ailments fall under the umbrella known as fibromyalgia. And if you know anything about fibromyalgia you are aware of how widespread the symptoms can be and the facts that it is a progressive illness. I also struggle with mental illness, as I mentioned before. That can best be summed up as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with a flair, because I don't do anything simply or halfway.

I have a YouTube channel but as I have become more reclusive, I have stopped being on video as much. I love to sing, though. I am not a wonderful singer, but I don't care. Nobody has to listen if they don't want to, except for my neighbours. It helps me with stress and muscle stiffness, so there has to be something to it.

And that's me in a nutshell. If I were, in fact, a large nut. This is still open for debate.