Tips on Saving Money

I’m a bit of an impulsive buyer. However, recently my behaviour is turned down because a) I have come to my sense that I will not really need those things I want to buy, b) I have meager budget.

That leads me to an article “8 Simple Ways to Save Money” by Better Money Habits from Bank of America because I need to save money to support my impulsive shopping, right? (I don’t have the right motivation, sorry). Let’s review the tips.

1. Record your expenses: to be honest, I’m lazy to write expense record. However, as I recall my expenses, I spend so much money for food and makeup. Damn.

2. Make a budget: this sounds difficult but I may try.

3. Plan on saving money: I do plan on it, that’s why I read that article. However, I’m often tempted to use my saved money for something else that wasn’t intended at first.

4. Choose something to save for: I’ve mentioned my problem in point no. 3

5. Decide on your priorities: well… food is important. Okay, I’ll be more careful about spending money on food then.

6. Pick the right tool: I don’t intend to save my money for something big so…

7. Make saving automatic: on a side note, the saved money I talk about in no. 3 is not the money I save in bank. My money in bank is quite untouched since they’re for my need in far future.

8. Watch your savings grow: I’m ready for this.

So yeah, wish me luck on spending and saving my money better.

Remember Me for Centuries

The prompt is legend and I instantly think about the song “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy. Let’s just talk about that song and music video then.

The music video starts with a scene set in ancient Rome. A few seconds into the video, I had got the epic vibe then there was a lady in white gown with two lions behind her and some background done with annoying editing then I remembered that I was watching Fall Out Boy music video.

I like the lyrics to the song. It begins with “Some legends are told. Some turn to dust or to gold….” In the video we see a hooded man give stuff to each member of Fall Out Boy who are dressed in gladiator clothes. On a side note, they look so damn fine in such clothes.

There are some religious symbols in this video, I guess, like a crucified man, a lady with gown and veil surrounded by some people, and a man with mitre accompanied by three ladies. If anyone can explain that symbol, please leave me a comment. Thank you.

Next in the video, the boys fight a big man. Many people watch them including some from royalty. I adore the look of the beautiful lady who wears maroon dress with intricate pattern and pretty updo on her head (crown braid and bun).

Right when the lyrics come to “We’ve been here forever and here’s the frozen proof. I could scream forever. We are the poisoned youth,” the boys used the stuff given by the hooded man: rope, stone, and wrapping leather (?). They wrapped the stone in leather and tied it with rope. Pete then used it to attack the big man by doing hammer-throw style.

The boys win! After that the hooded man took of his hood and it is revealed that he has wings.

The video has open ending with the boys having to face another opponent.

If you have watched the video and you think I miss some details please tell me. Also, is the right phrase in this song “frozen proof”, “chosen fruit”, or “frozen fruit”?

Train of Thought: from Irn-Bru to Orange Lipstick

Yesterday, I read a blog post by Joel Sorin entitled “Sail“. That post mentioned Irn-Bru which, after I searched in the internet, is actually a Scottish soft drink. Then I remember something else: dandelion and burdock. How can people come up with good idea to name beverage?

I first heard “dandelion and burdock” from the song “Suck It and See” by Arctic Monkeys. You can watch the official music video, or if you think that video is too sexy then you can watch Alex Turner perform the song in acoustic version, which is also sexy for some people.

The song also has amazing lyrics. I like the lines, “That’s not a skirt girl, that’s a sawn-off shotgun. And I can only hope you’ve got it aimed at me.” Usually I don’t like lyrics with such “dangerous vibe” but those words are well-arranged and unexpected. I just can’t hate it.

Anyway, suck it and see means to try something you have not done before. When was the last time you tried something new? Was it a great deal that you had to pluck up courage? Or was it something simple that you did on impulse?

Asking that question, I then remember myself that I haven’t done anything new recently. Well, I did try to wear matte orange lipstick last Saturday if that counts.

I guess I’ll try to do something new again this Saturday. But what?

Figurative Ship and Some Language Lesson

The prompt today is sail and considering that I don’t have proper knowledge about ship and sailing, I will just write about figurative ship: household.

In Indonesian language there is term “bahtera rumah tangga”. Bahtera means ship, rumah tangga means household. If you understand Indonesian language, you can read this article about the etymology of the phrase.

Usually people use the word “kapal” in Indonesian to talk about the watercraft. The word “bahtera” is rarely used in everyday conversation when you talk about water transportation. So why do we use the word “bahtera” when it comes to figurative ship called household?

The word “kapal” is derived from Tamil word “kappal”. The word “bahtera” is derived from the word “bahitra” in old Javanese, which is a loanword from from Sanskirt word “vahitra”. According to the article I link above, the word “bahtera” is used when talking about figurative ship because Sankirt is used as ritual language so it has more spiritual feeling.

So it is said that being a family and creating household is like being in the same ship. You have to work together so the ship can sail safely. I can’t explain further about it because, like a fan whose ship isn’t canon, my ship hasn’t sailed yet.

Maybe I should enjoy the harbour while getting my ship ready. Then we’ll sail (though I don’t know yet whom this “we” refer to).

When I was Nine, I Read Greek Myth

There are nine Muses in Greek mythology. They were written as “Musae” in Indonesian spelling. I first read about them when I was 9. I remember at that time I liked Urania, the muse of astronomy simply because she held a globe. Nine-year-old me had a thing for astronomy and such.

Before opening the wikipedia page for Greek Muses, there were only two Muses that I remembered: Urania and Kalliope. Kalliope was the chief of Muses, the main inspiration for poets and artists.

It turns out that I still have the Greek mythology book that I had read long time ago. The book contains some stories. The main focus is “Orpheus and Eurydice” story. That story affected me in weird way when I was a kid. I once believed that Hades had kingdom underground so when I knocked my girl scout bamboo cane to the ground, I thought I knocked Hades’ kingdom.

I considered Orpheus and Eurydice as one of the best love stories. I may still do. One day, when I was teenager, two radio DJs talked about love story and asked if the listeners had and favourite story. I called and told them the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Now I’m a young adult who doesn’t like romance. Should I die first, I hope my “Orpheus” continues his life in healthy way. 

I also still wait for Kalliope to come and inspire me to write beautiful poem. 

My First Ship

In fandom, there is the term “ship”. This is where you want characters to have relationship. It doesn’t only happen in fiction fandom but also in music fandom. It happens in most fandoms, I guess (I say most because maybe there is a fandom that doesn’t have ship).

I don’t like shipping. I once wrote in my post “Confession of a Fanfic Reader” that I prefer friendship. 

However, one day, out of nowhere, I got a shipping idea. I didn’t even simply ship two fictional characters or such. I shipped an internet friend of mine with someone in one of my fandoms. For a few weeks, I searched in the internet for the right wedding dress and veil for the bride. I browsed wedding flowers and what kind of party they would have. I even came to the point where I imagined their wedding vow.

That imagination doesn’t come to my mind anymore. Maybe the wind blows the ship to somewhere faraway. A good place, I hope.

Still, I prefer friendship to romance.

Sanctuary in Warm Hug

Today’s prompt is sanctuary. Reading that word, my mind wasn’t directed to certain place but to warm hug. From that, I started to think that I read fanfic too often.

I don’t remember if I ever give warm hug. I usually just give casual hug or side hug. However, I like hug scene in fiction, be it friendly hug, brotherly hug, or romantic hug. It just seems warm and comfortable. Often, the character feels safe and protected while being hugged. That’s why I associate the word sanctuary with warm hug; because of fiction, or fanfic.
 
It is said that hug can increase oxytocin release. According to Marieb and Hoehn (2013), as neurotransmitter, oxytocin is involved in sexual and affectionate behaviour. It promotes nurturing, couple bonding, and trust.
 
What about reading hug scene? Do I experience oxytocin release while reading hug scene? If Does it mean that I’m affected in the matter of nurturing, couple bonding, and trust? It that’s true, it may explain our emotional bonding to fictional character.
 
On a side note, since oxytocin promotes trust, do not hug someone you don’t want to trust. Do not even imagine hugging a fictional character you don’t want to trust. Really, we can’t be sure about oxytocin and its magic.
 
P.S.
Oxytocin acts as both hormone and neurotransmitter. As hormone, oxytocin is involved in uterine contraction (during labor) and milk ejection.
If you can explain more about oxytocin or if you think I make mistake in this post (or in any post), please let me know.

Talking about Fandom: the Feels

In fandom there is the term “feeling” which is shortened to “feels”. It is that moment when you feel overwhelmed by something. You may call it sadness but it’s different kind of sadness. It’s just difficult to describe so we simply call it “feels”.

If you want to see some examples, I once wrote a post entitled “Jleb” Harry Potter Moments. Yeah, it’s quite similar to “jleb” in Indonesian.
 
However, no matter how overwhelming it is, we often intentionally hit ourselves with “feels”. Here are two examples. Harry Potter fans know that Fred Weasley’s death was sad but they still search in the internet for meme or fanfic or anything related to it, only to get struck with “feels” afterward. My Chemical Romance fans can get “feels” only by listening to any of their song but still, they listen to the songs, watch the videos on YouTube, watch past interviews, or read old articles. 
 
Why do we do that? Is it like when we fall in love? I mean, when we fall in love, we experience increase of dopamine and oxytocin. According to Marieb and Hoehn (2013), dopamine is “feel good” neurotransmitter; the ecstasy of romantic love may be just a brain bath of glutamate and norepinephrine, which act on the reward system to release dopamine. Oxytocin, on the other hand, promotes nurturing, couple bonding, and trust.
 
Questions:
1. Is our feeling in fandom similar to those of people who fall in love? Or is it just obsession?
2. If it’s because of dopamine, why do we feel this strange emotion? Dopamine is supposed to make us feel good, right? Why do I feel miserable instead?
3. How long does it normally last?
 
Well, I guess for those who are not in fandom, it may sound like we punish ourselves. However, for people involved in fandom, it’s just a normal activity. We sometimes even think, “I’m in the good mood for sad fanfic. Let me search and read. Don’t disturb me while I’m suffering with this mess called ‘feels’!”
 
Also, if you’re interested in learning neurology, psychiatry, and fandom psychology, I have those three questions above. You may use it for research idea or something. 

My Exam Hangover

I’ve had my comprehensive exams. I had comprehensive OSCE on Thursday, June 16th and comprehensive CBT on Tuesday, June 21st. Now I’m waiting for the result.

After exam I feel this condition I call exam hangover. I was curious to find out whether other people ever call it exam hangover so I google it. I found two proper results.

One result is from Urban Dictionary. According to Urban Dictionary, exam hangover is that period between the end post-secondary exams and the next day you can think. I also found an article, “A Remedy for Your University Exam Hangover“.

I haven’t done much during this exam hangover. I definitely don’t study medical stuff (sorry). I borrow a novel from local library but I haven’t even started reading it. I haven’t written a letter for my German penpal (please wait patiently, dear). I want to buy flowers and arrange them but I’m currently saving my money for something else.

In that article I share the link above, the writer experience 4 week exam hangover. I hope mine is shorter. Now I’m going to open the novel I borrow.

Voronezh or Sarov

“I’ve always wanted to visit Russia,” I told the Russian scientist.

“You have nothing to do in Russia.”

“I want to watch ballet in Bolshoi. Seriously.”

“Eheu! Ballet in theatre. Red square. **** that. If you want to visit Russia, go to Voronezh or Sarov.”

“What can I do in Voronezh or Sarov?”

“Drink bad beer, smoke a cigarette, and start hating the world.”

“I neither drink beer or smoke but I can take part on that ‘hating the world’ “

“You will start when you arrive in Voronezh.”

 

Note:

  • The conversation above actually happened between a Russian friend and me. I searched for Voronezh and Sarov in Google and I found that Voronezh looks like typical European city while Sarov, as Wikipedia said, is closed as it is the Russian centre for nuclear research. If you have ever visited or even lived in Voronezh, could you please tell me why my friend said that way about the city?
  • “Eheu!” is Latin word which means “Alas!” or “Oh my God!” (according to Google translate and my friend).
  • Just in case you know me in real life and worry about my health, I feel the need to state this once again. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink alcoholic beverage.